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8th February 2016

Email Marketing Is a Powerful Way to Reach Your Customers

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Email marketing can be a great place to start if you’re interested in doing online marketing. It gives you an opportunity to share interesting stories, new products and new services with your customers, as well as price deals.

Lots of local businesses often choose to skip email marketing, focusing on newer channels like social media instead because they see email as ‘old hat’. But talking to your existing customers through email can be very effective.

Why use email marketing?

Good email marketing has much more going for it than some of the newer channels when it comes to sales and keeping your customers happy:

  • For every £1 spent on email marketing, a business will get an average £38 return (Direct Marketing Association, 2015)
  • Just over 70% of customers say they prefer businesses to talk to them via email (MarketingSherpa, 2015)
  • Two out of three customers have bought a business’ product or service online after getting email marketing from them (Direct Marketing Association)

These statistics – and many more – prove just how useful email marketing can be. With the right approach to email marketing, you can develop even better relationships with your existing customers and attract new ones, helping improve sales for your business.

Personalisation is key to success

One of the biggest selling points for email marketing is that they can be highly personalised. Unlike tweets or Facebook updates, emails aren’t broadcast to everyone – they’re messages just for your customer which land straight in their inbox. If they’re thoughtful and helpful, your customers will look forward to getting these emails and visiting your website to find out more.

You can personalise emails in lots of different ways. Email services, like MailChimp or Campaign Monitor, can send out multiple emails to lots of different customers. Through their service, you can:

  • Take a big list of customer emails and split it into different groups, then write tailored emails for each group
  • Address the email to each customer personally by automatically including their first name and last name
  • Ask customers to state what they’re interested in when they sign up for your email, so you can send them personalised and relevant information every time

Just like any marketing you do, it’s important the information you include in your emails is useful, relevant and interesting for your customers. Because email marketing is such a personal channel, customers will quickly delete any email that doesn’t mean anything to them – so it’s not a good place for pushy sales messages.

Talk to your mobile customers directly

Email marketing is also a very useful tool for communicating with the growing numbers of your customers who are using their smartphone to stay connected. Statistics show that 72% of people now check their emails on a smartphone (Econsultancy, 2016). Gmail, Google’s email service, has 900 million users – and 75% of them read emails on mobile devices (TechCrunch, 2015).

It’s very likely your customers, whatever their age, will use a smartphone or tablet at some point in their day. Combined with the personalisation options, this means email marketing is a powerful way to reach them.

Key questions to ask before you start email marketing

Here are some useful things to think about to start you on the right path to powerful email marketing:

  • How will you get people to sign up to your email list in the first place? You could offer a discount or free consultation to encourage sign-ups.
  • How often will you send your emails out? Start small and be consistent – once a month is enough to be interesting (and not annoying!).
  • What do you want your customers to do after reading your email? Your emails are a great way to get people to call you, look on your website, or pop in – so include a clear ‘call to action’(the next step you want them to take).
  • What can you share that’s interesting, relevant and useful? Helpful tips and ways to use your products tick all those boxes.
  • How will you let customers know what they’re signing up for? It’s essential you get your customers’ consent to email them, and they know what they’re going to get – this will mean they’re much more likely to stay subscribed.

Email marketing is a low-cost, high-impact way to talk to your customers in a way that’s relevant, personal and useful. For more ideas on using email marketing in your business, take a look at these articles:

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