Email Marketing: The Key to Getting Your Word Out
How many people do you know who have been using Facebook and Twitter for ten years and absolutely HATE them both? All of them? There’s a damn good reason:
Facebook and Twitter might be the greatest two companies ever invented, run by the worst people ever born. I’m serious. These schmucks promised one thing, then once everyone was suckered in – they changed all the rules and screwed everyone into the ground, sold off their privacy, stole their property, cranked down their reach (reach that a whole lot of people paid a whole lot of money to build), then traipsed off to Congress to lie to those fools about doing so.
The point is: These social media companies have it set up so it feels like your pages, your accounts, your ‘likes’, your contacts, your groups, your followers and your company are yours – but they’re not. You own nothing, even though you may have paid hundreds, thousands, or hundreds of thousands of dollars to build your social media empire – you don’t own a damn thing. It’s all theirs.
They own every bit of it: Your company, your fanpages, your likes, your photos, videos, blogs – you name it – it ain’t yours and they can and will take it away or deny you access to it at the drop of a hat. They can stop you from doing business – and ruin you at will. It’s true and everyone knows it.
The worst is how they crank down your engagement based on ever-changing rules and guidelines that seemingly happen every month. A typical post on Facebook, for instance, now reaches 4% of your audience if you’re lucky – an audience you probably were encouraged for years to build by an army of Facebook salespeople and you just thought you were going to retire, didn’t you? Uh-uh.
They just changed the rules. Why? Because they can. It’s a private business and just like you might react to somebody telling you how to run your business or what you can and can’t do with your property – they have the same rights, pal.
So, what to do?
I’m not suggesting you ignore social media, no, no, no, no. Social media is where it’s at, my friend – it drives media like crazy – but there’s something you can build that if you do it right – your message will get out to 100% of your list of followers. I’m not saying they’ll all buy an $800 inflatable hot tub from you, or even read your message – BUT – at least the message will get to them. I’m talking about a well-managed email list.
Email isn’t dead. It’s one of the few marketing channels we can use to build an authentic connection with the humans that keep our businesses alive.
Before your begin screaming, I know there is turn over and certain rules and regs involving email – but if it’s done right – it’s a brilliant and known quantity for marketers who are sick of social media companies constantly bending you to their will or stealing your private information and selling it to the highest bidder. So what is the right and wrong way for email marketing?
For most, emails probably aren’t as exciting as Snapchat or Instagram – in fact, my younger nephews think they’re just old-school technology for old-schoolers like myself. You know, old-school successful people. After all, email doesn’t offer filters or stories: Email is simply a standard way of communication.
But that doesn’t mean it can’t be a viable part of your marketing or personal branding. In fact, the majority of millennials and Gen Whatevers still check their email multiple times a day, even though they would like you to think they’re too cool for it (when I send them money with an email alert, my nephews always seem to get it really, really quick). This is because email, although not particularly flashy, is a staple in our digital diets. And emails can be exciting and interesting with the right tools.
Chances are, you’re already branding for your business. But are you building a personal brand? You should be, because it may be more important than you think. The community of entrepreneurs and freelancers is fast-growing, and anyone with access to the internet can build an audience by showing their expertise.
Your first question may be: why email marketing over social media? After all, some people believe email isn’t especially beneficial, but that just isn’t true. Not only can email provide great ROI, but nearly all adults have an email account. This means email has a broader reach than any other social media platform.
Did you know the average open rate of email is 22%? The average reach rate on Instagram is 10%, which means only 10% of your followers get to see your posts. And Facebook is worse, with only a 6% reach rate. According to Statista, 82% of people check their email at least once a day, and 50% of those emails are read on mobile phones.
In short, email is one of the best ways you have to reach your audience. How to use email marketing for building a personal brand
- Make it personal.
Segmentation is the key to successful marketing. You can use email segmentation to send out relevant content to each individual subscriber.
All of your subscribers have subscribed to your email because they like what you have to offer and say. They align with your company’s goals.
However, not all content is relevant for everyone. You need to segment your subscribers based on criteria like gender, location, and more to accordingly personalize and send your emails.
It helps you build a personal relationship with your customers, and they feel valued.
Once you’ve segmented, consider appealing to your segments in a way that illustrates who you are. Yes, you have a business, but how do you fit into that business?
If you’re building a female-run company, for example, consider explaining your company values to a female segment.
That’s not to say you can’t do the same for your other segments, but keeping your audiences in mind can provide the chance to curate highly tailored content. For instance, you might provide a link to an article about how you started your business and how other women like you can, too.
- Promote brand awareness.
Email enables you to put yourself in front of your audience and spread awareness about your brand.
You can compile a weekly or monthly newsletter that includes relevant information for your audiences. This is how your subscribers keep up with all the latest updates about your brand. Content plays an important role here—if you keep it interesting, consistent, and specific to their needs, they’ll be more likely to read your emails.
Every time you send an email, you’re promoting your brand, but it’s also a chance to promote yourself.
Instead of sending emails from your company name, consider sending them from a personalized send name (e.g. Jill at Campaign Monitor). Provide a personal anecdote or an interesting tidbit about yourself.
If subscribers can relate to you, they’ll be much more interested in your company.
- Build better campaigns.
One core benefit of using email is that you’re generating incredibly valuable insights on your subscribers.
There’s lots of email marketing software that gives you insights into various metrics. Using this software, you can know when someone opens your email, clicks through it, or opens attachments.
Open rate is the percentage of the total number of your subscribers who opened your email, and the click-through rate is the percentage of subscribers who’ve clicked on at least one link in your email.
When to Use Email Marketing
There are many ways to use email marketing — some of the most common including using the tactic to:
- Build relationships: Build connections through personalized engagement.
- Boost brand awareness: Keep your company and your services top-of-mind for the moment when your prospects are ready to engage.
- Promote your content: Use email to share relevant blog content or useful assets with your prospects.
- Generate leads: Entice subscribers to provide their personal information in exchange for an asset that they’d find valuable.
- Market your products: Promote your products and services.
- Nurture leads: Delight your customers with content that can help them succeed in their goals.
Email Marketing Benefits
- On average, email generates $38 for every dollar spent, which is a 3,800% return on investment.
- Two thirds of customers have made a purchase as a direct result of an email marketing message.
- Only 20% of leads that are sent directly to sales are qualified, meaning they need to be nurtured via email and great content.
- When it comes to customer acquisition, email is 40X more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined.
- Perhaps the best reason to use email marketing is that you own the channel. Outside of compliance regulations, there is no external entity that can impact how, when, or why you reach out to your subscribers.