Why Email Marketing Still Works

By Chad D. Lerch | Owner, Digi Marketing Pros
April 16, 2015

I have experienced the power of multi-channel digital marketing, and it’s a blast.

I love to drive traffic and sales through paid search (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO), social engagement, and email marketing. Each channel provides opportunities for growing your business, increasing brand awareness, and gaining an edge on the competition.

If you’re a startup, or an established business transitioning into digital marketing, email is a quick and easy way to reach targeted audiences— without needing huge technical skills or a significant investment. If you have to choose one channel to start your digital marketing efforts, consider email, it’s a great way to remind people why they liked your brand in the first place, and give them incentives to return and make purchases.

That, in a nutshell, is the beauty of email marketing.

Effective email marketing starts with knowing your audience and growing your audience. But how do you get started?

Start right on your website, where qualified leads should already be nibbling around the edges. Consider these tips to take advantage of the traffic you already have:

•Choose an email marketing service that fits your needs: The top options are MailChimp and Constant Contact. It will cost anywhere from $20 to $60 a month, depending on how large your list is and how often you plan to send messages through the provider’s server.

•Place email signup forms on your homepage, somewhere prominent like in the header, and make it simple to use. MailChimp and Constant Contact have API plugins that allow users to just enter their email addresses and click “submit”. The addresses are automatically imported to your marketing list.

•Add signup forms on every inside page and put it in the same place, so customers get used to seeing it. Use a short call-to-action in the API block, like “Get Exclusive Deals” or “Signup and Save.”

•You can also use APIs to install and email signup tab on your Facebook.

•Motivate social followers with incentives to sign up, like a free whitepaper, or a free sample, and encourage them to share your signup link with others.

I had a big win recently by hosting a cross promotion between two companies that share the same audience, but offer substantially different products; both companies offered attractive prizes, in exchange for customers sharing their email addresses. The product giveaway was housed on Facebook with a third-party provider, ShortStackApp, which collected the email addresses and chose a random winner after the entry period expired. With the partnering brands promoting it on Facebook, we were able to gather almost 4,000 email addresses in just five days.

Each brand introduced their built-in audience to the other’s products, and such a low cost it was silly. Not bad for a week’s work, eh?

Now, what about knowing your audience, the other key to starting off right?

If your website is hooked up with Google Analytics, you have access tons of great information about the people who are interested in what you’re selling. Analytics tells you where the traffic comes from, how long customers stay on your site, exit points, gender and age breakdowns, the types of devices they’re using, and more.

Use your Analytics to determine the best time, and even the best day of the week, to send email marketing messages, based on peak buying times highlighted in Analytics.

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