Many small businesses have come to realize the potential of the on-line media as a marketing channel, mainly because it's one of the most measurable and affordable one. Consequently, social media became a buzzword among businesses who were following the herd, without caring much about whether a match existed between their audiences and their potential client base. For instance, if you are in the B2B sector, it does not make much sense to devote significant resources to Facebook marketing.
On the other hand, email is one oft-ignored channel of formally reaching out to your potential customers with minimal intrusion. Here we have tried to explore the reasons why email marketing can work for your business and also why you should prioritize it above social media.
Why should you use email marketing?
1. It's cost-effective
Most of the email programs in the market today are cheap (some are even free) and thus have a higher ROI than the traditional media channels. Also, in the absence of a minimum threshold on size of the intended audience, it's a preferred choice for businesses having a niche market.
2. It's easily traceable
Most of the popular email programs allow you to track metrics such as mail open rate, bounce rate, Call to Action (CTA) conversions, social media interaction instances etc.
3. Requires minimal effort to set up
Unlike most other channels, setting up email marketing accounts and campaigns require the least amount of effort, especially in comparison to social media networks where a lot of time is spent on setting up the account & understanding the different systems.
4. Can be personalized
Even with ever-evolving interfaces, it's almost impossible to personalize your messages according to your recipient on social networks. However, using emails one can easily modify any field of info in order to show a personalized email to every other user.
5. A useful tool for customer education
If you are into a very specialized business or use a sophisticated level of tech, you must be aware of the importance of customer education. It can be very difficult to communicate through media other than email to educate your customer about complicated products or systems. Emails can afford you the luxury of being as lucid as you want while drafting, so that you can get your message across unambiguously.
6. It can be automated
Email marketing allows you to schedule campaigns so that you can update your audiences at the right time. It's more helpful to companies having clients spread across different time zones. Scheduling periodic campaigns every week/fortnight/month can be more effective as it streamlines the process rather than just appearing ad hoc.
7. Requires lesser effort on the customer's part
Conversions are swifter as the channel that the customer chooses to respond through is the same as the channel of communication, thus requiring no extra effort to inquire more, or to make a purchase.
8. Leads to a shorter sales cycle
The effectiveness of an email campaign can be measured in just 1-2 days as compared to a few weeks or months in case of other direct marketing channels, which in turn leads to shorter sales cycles.
9. It can boost your sales figures
Although it doesn't have to look like a spammy sales letter, using emails as a way to reach out to your leads whenever there is a special offer, pricing or contest can give your business faster conversions.
10. It can complement your segmentation strategy
Can you deliver a different message to different sects of customers using social media? Well, this is where email marketing proves to be different from the typical one-to-many social networks.
11. Has a greater attention span and a longer shelf life
An email upon being opened has a greater possibility of grabbing the customer's attention as the number of emails one normally reads is greater than social media updates that he/she comes across. Also, the number of emails competing for a customer's set of eyeballs is far lower than social media updates beckoning them.
12. You are in control of the design
While drafting an email campaign, you don't have to worry about the number of characters, or the format of the media that you need to attach. You are the master of your campaign's design in every way and can do whatever you like with it to make your emails more interactive compelling, and informative.
13. Garnering Feedback
It's possible that customers are hesitant to post feedback on public forums, while they may choose to reply to your mail campaigns. This can promote a healthy feedback mechanism without affecting your brand image.
Email is without a doubt, a great way to connect, but unfortunately it has garnered a lot of bad reputation due to misuse at the hands of spammers. Though it still works well for companies who are building their own opt-in lists gradually.