As an entrepreneur, you’ve probably already come across the term “email marketing” – but do you really know what it is?
For anyone who wants to successfully build a business today regardless of what your product is, let me tell you that email marketing is an extremely useful and crucial tool. As the name suggests, email marketing is basically the use of email in your marketing communications and strategies. This might sound a little vague and broad so let’s delve a little deeper.
Email marketing includes all the emails that you send to potential customers, existing customers, and to the public in general. You can use email marketing for these purposes:
Promotional emails sent directly to existing customers to persuade them to buy your product again;
Marketing emails sent directly to potential customers to convince them to try your product for the first time;
Communicate with your market by letting them know what you’re up to, product developments, or exciting happenings in the pipeline
These are all meant to entice a customer or potential customer somehow and by providing them with relevant, timely information, and to get them to buy from you again. Email marketing is a useful tool in helping entrepreneurs and business owners just like you to generate a profit.
Email Marketing is Effective
We no longer live in a time when the best way to advertise your brand to potential customers was to place television and radio ads, or put up billboards along highways. Now the fastest way to your customer (and profit) is through their email. Remember that people now spend a significant part of their day on their mobile – this is where they learn about brands and spend money. It only makes sense that you get to them through their email.
But before you jump in and begin sending emails to people, it is necessary to sit down and think about your email marketing plan. Just like with every other aspect of your business, it is important to do the research and prepare so that you can get the most out of your email marketing strategy.
Despite the effectiveness of email marketing, I still see that there are several people who doubt if they need email marketing for their business startup. Let me tell you that without a good email marketing plan in place, you are missing out on a lot of potential customers. The fact is that people are checking and using their emails on a daily basis. Email marketing has proven to be as much as 40 times more efficient than social media marketing (although these two should complement each other but that’s for another post).
There are various kinds of transactional and marketing emails you can send that will all help your business. These include:
- Preview / teasers
- Social alerts
These are all effective in helping a startup engage with the target audience. Eventually these will all help you build a stronger connection and relationship with the customer.
If these emails do not make their way to the inbox of your customer, this can result in poor customer service and lost sales. In fact, one of the biggest mistakes of some businesses is to attempt cutting corners in their email marketing strategy and as a result, they end up in their customers’ spam boxes!
Email marketing is also more effective at communicating with your customers directly because when an email lands in their inbox the message is perceived as more personal as well as more official. Your customer is more enticed to open a message there so it is more effective for you to reach them this way. If you leave important marketing messages on social media, there are still chances that they might miss it.
One great example of effective email marketing is Amazon. After a purchase is made off their site, customers receive recommendations on what to purchase next via email. How can you resist a banner that says “30% off your next order” when you see this in your inbox? Everyone loves a good bargain, no doubt!
I also need to tell you another important reason why email marketing is so necessary for your business startup. Today, people no longer access their emails exclusively by logging onto a computer like they did decades ago. Emails are now accessible anytime, anywhere – this means that you can reach your customers and potential customers through cross-channel access (mobile phones, laptops, tablets, etc). Each time your customer opens an email from their mobile, for example, this can come with a mobile-enhanced link to your website so that you can optimize marketing activities around your customer’s behavior in real time.
Email Marketing is Affordable
While email marketing is helpful for businesses of all sizes, it is also the most inexpensive and effective tool that start-up businesses need to master today.
For those of you who have a tight marketing budget, I have some good news: email marketing is actually extremely affordable. There are dozens of email marketing programs out there that allow you to maximize your reach and marketing campaign even if you have a shoestring budget. I know that not everyone has a large marketing budget but whether you have $40 or $400 to spend a month on marketing, trust me, email is the way to go.
There are also several great email marketing programs that are free for a select number of recipients. MailChimp, for example, is one of the most popular and widely used email marketing services. They offer various plans, and their free plan allows you to send up to 12,500 emails to 2,500 subscribers. Depending on your business needs and marketing budget, there is definitely an inexpensive way to do email marketing.
Email Marketing is Simple and Customizable
Maybe some of you aren’t convinced yet because you feel intimidated about actually using these programs because you’ve seen some real fancy email campaigns sent to your own inbox. You might be thinking that it’s too complicated to do. Let me tell you something – email marketing can be as complicated and as fancy as you want it to be, although it doesn’t have to be elaborate in order to be effective. There are hundreds of personalization options available from several email marketing companies that allow you to customize your message depending on your resources, budget, and capabilities (and nope, you don’t need coding knowledge at all in order to execute seamless, elegant email templates to your customers).
All startups should prioritize email marketing and make it the backbone of its overall business strategy. With a good, well-researched email marketing plan in place, business owners can enjoy the benefits of having more engaged users, a wider customer base, and an enhanced reach towards new customers without breaking the bank. This is necessary because email marketing, when done right, can positively impact other aspects of your business including sales as well as social media marketing. In fact, email marketing brings extremely high return on investment if it is executed well.
So if you are still asking if you really need it for your business startup… if you want to grow and make money (who doesn’t?) then the answer is a big resounding YES.Tweet