“Email is a dead!”

“Email is, like, so 2002!”

“Email is my gold mine!”

“Email is essential to our customer outreach!”

The quotes above represent the debate over the success of email marketing.  For some, it is a past-time of marketing because no one checks email anymore.  That is to be argued, probably the same way people say, “people don’t watch TV commercials anymore” or “no one reads direct mail” or “no one clicks on Facebook ads.”  While alot of people may have a strong opinion about the demise of certain methods, we can’t assume it’s all dead.  Not a big fan of Yellow Page advertising, but still, there are SOME people who still read those (although a very small number).

For some small businesses, email marketing is a lifeline to communicating with current and new customers.  You hear it on the radio commercials for Constant Contact all the time – it’s like email marketing is the new thing!  So I wanted to share some ideas:

  • BIG WIGS USE IT – Some of the biggest names in marketing still use email marketing (and use it effectively with good results) – Duct Tape Marketing founder, John Jantsch, shares his take on “How I Use Email Marketing” (and notice John’s poll results!)
  • INTEGRATE – use your email marketing to drive people to Facebook, to your blog, and ultimately to your website.  However, while its tempting to dump alot of connection points in your email, you also have to recognize your audience’s attention span.  Don’t give them so many links, articles and touch points that they don’t do anything
  • DRIP, DRIP, DRIP – now for some industries, I hear people talking about “drip campaigns” as a canned set of generic email content that is pushed out to the subscriber.  Yuk!  Who wants to read that.  What I mean by “drip campaign” is to share something valuable with your subscribers on a consistent basis.  Perhaps you send out emails weekly, monthly or even quarterly.  But they are a repetition that hits your audience with a consistent reach to keep you “top-of-mind” with them.  We have had several clients come to us and comment that they had been receiving emails from us for 6-9 months before they actually laid out any money with us.  The emails serve as a reminder of your potential to be their solution – and when they have a need, you’ll be the first person they think about!
  • STOP PROMOTING – actually what I mean is “stop promoting 100% of the time!”  There’s a balanced approach to all your communication (same applies to Facebook posts, too) – rather than being so self-focused and narcissistic, consider being a H-E-L-P-E-R:
    • H – drive people to a relevant resource on your HUB (there’s the “H”) which is your website – think about a good video or ebook
    • EEDUCATING your audience breaks barriers where constant self-promotion pushes people away
    • LLEAD and LAUGH; post content in your emails that challenge people and demonstrate your leadership; also humor works well
    • P – yes, you can PROMOTE, just do it in balance with the other things
    • EENGAGE – invite your readers to connect on Facebook and Twitter and actually communicate in their world (on their blog)
    • R – it doesn’t hurt to show a RELATIONAL side of your business – showcase employees, client-of-the-month, featured strategic partner
  • TRACK – email marketing service providers like Constant Contact afford you the opportunity to measure the success of your emails.  Play around with the subject titles, the time of day the emails are published and the length of the emails.  Test differing versions to see if you get higher open rates.  Stop using Outlook to send your emails (they are likely going into spam folders!)