The Internet has changed the way people do business – and mostly for the better. Everything is much more cost-effective now than it was twenty years ago. Companies like Xero are devoted to reducing your overhead expenses using the many utilities the Net offers. But the fact is that the sheer amount of new-fangled approaches to marketing can end up discouraging the budding entrepreneur. And it’s often the small businesses and retailers that have to pay for it.
However, if you look past the gimmickry, there are a few staples of online marketing you should seriously consider. The most notable of them is a classic: email marketing.
Looking at the latest bevy of fancy trends plaguing the world of online marketing, you could be forgiven for thinking that old-fashioned email marketing is somewhat of a dinosaur. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Research has shown that email marketing can be as much as 40 times more effective than Twitter and Facebook combined when attracting new customers. While social networks rise and fall in popularity in months, it’s clear that email is here to stay. So, if you don’t put your time in developing a strong email marketing campaign, you’re probably missing out on a lot of potential customers.
But how exactly is email different than other forms of Internet marketing? Well, for starters, an email allows you to craft a longer and more elaborate message to the public. Yes, brevity is the soul of wit, but there are times when a longer text can deliver the clearer message, and, given the current trends of treating potential customers like children suffering from ADHD, many find it refreshing to be treated to a more meaty notice.
Also, emails afford you greater customization than, for example, an Instagram post. Emails give you the opportunity of grabbing the reader in a wider variety of ways than stale, pre-designed social-media updates. If you have a good in-house designer, this is the moment to display all your eye candy.
However, perhaps the greatest advantage of email marketing is the ability to personalize emails. Personalized emails make the customers feel like you really care for them, and are more difficult to ignore than form emails. But how could you possibly send personal messages to every single email in your email list? Well, you don’t. You automate the personalization.
Sounds like an oxymoron, but automated personal messages are the be-all and end-all of email marketing. And it’s not even as difficult as it sounds; in the past, if you wanted to automate your emails, you had to hire a software engineer and spend a significant amount of resources in making sure you had the right system to do it. Today, however, most email service providers (ESPs) do all the dirty for you, offering tools for personalized marketing campaigns.
To do proper personalized campaign, you need to collect some information from your email subscribers first. Gender is a must; just by taking it into account when contacting someone is a great way to create a personal creation. You should also segment your customers by location, purchase history, level of engagement, etc.
Another trick to make your email campaigns more effective is to incentivize shoppers. Incentivize is really biz-speak for bribing. If you offer discounts to email subscribers, many more will sign up. Appealing to the humanitarian side of people (by for example donating a small quantity to a charity for every email address collected) is also a good idea. There are many more ways to incentivize your customer base. Raffles are all the rage now. Loyalty programs are as old as the hills. Combine these and create an efficient campaign that will leave both you and your customers satisfied.
Finally, as always, the bottom line is that the success of every email campaign relies in the quality of the emails themselves. In the world of Internet marketing, content reigns supreme. But if you don’t have yourself the skills to craft an engaging message, don’t worry. Leaving the words to professionals is not nearly as expensive as it used to be. You can hire copywriters in a case-by-case basis very easily from one of the many essay-writing businesses cropping up lately on the Internet. The real challenge is maybe to choose one of the services. Thankfully, with the help of review sites such as UK Top Writers is not too hard to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Finally, remember that best business practice changes continually. Particularly with the meteoric advancement of technology, it’s easy to fall behind the curve. Make sure you are aware of the latest developments in your sector. Follow business websites like Small Business Trends and make sure you know what the competition is up to. With the current climate of constant change, even a sturdy staple of marketing like email campaigns can be shaken up.
Author Bio:Rachel Summers has been a social media manager for seven years, working for a variety of companies, both big and small, a leading custom writing service. In her freetime, Rachel also helps and advises a variety of small and start-up businesses on their social media strategies.