When you tell your business story, you need a medium to tell it. Traditional media include public speaking, drama and books. What can you use online? The truth is you must design an email marketing strategy. Email is a flexible approach and the only way to build a secure online business.
Many protest they can build a business around social media. The overriding reason why this is not best practice is email marketing is the only approach where you have complete control of customer information.
Bear in mind, email marketing strategies take time to implement. Make a start today and start to see results. But it takes time to design and build a system that works and requires minimal tweaking. The 21 advantages I list below, assume an email marketing system that works!
In future posts, I shall add information about the 21 advantages. Remember, every business is different. There is no single strategy that meets the needs of all businesses. Above all you need clarity about your business narrative; what is the story you need to tell?
Branding has little to do with graphic design. Your brand is your reputation; what people say about you in your absence. Visual and verbal representations of your business become captivating when people associate your brand with them. If your reputation is poor, the best graphic design in the world will seem negative.
Build Brand (1)
When prospects enter your sales funnel, they stay there if they find quality content. They may also tell their friends. Emails that contain or point to quality content are always welcome, build your reputation and so your brand.
Build Credibility (2)
The same content builds credibility because it shows you deliver. You invite prospects to journey deeper into your world. They pay for access to exclusive content and services. This depends upon the trust you build.
Look Professional (3)
The madcap chaotic world of social media is not always the best place to conduct business. Nothing beats a thought-through sales funnel. A funnel you own and control and adapt to changing circumstances.
Imagine a funnel. The wide end is its front end and corresponds to fresh prospects, interested people who have not yet made a purchase. Once someone makes a purchase, they enter the back-end, where you continue to deliver quality content and great offers. The whole is about building relationships with prospects and customers. This may be difficult, especially if you have a global market but it is not impossible.
Generate Calls (4)
Someone reads your email and takes interest in your services. It may be natural for them to make a call. How natural, depends on your business. Emergency services are more likely to receive calls than coaches or consultants. However, prospects are always more likely to call if they see a number and you encourage them to use it.
What would happen if you called everyone who joins your list? This is a great way to build relationships. However, it depends upon them giving you their number. Why would they do that? For overseas contacts you need Skype addresses or a similar service. How would you get this information?
Start Conversations (5)
It is easy to reply to an email. Encourage recipients to do so. Once you receive a reply, can you move the conversation onto the phone and/or a 1-to-1?
You can support communication between customers too. Be clear about the purpose of conversations and be certain they’ll actually happen before you make any promises.
Strengthen Relationships (6)
Let’s say you move prospects from social media to your sales funnel. With social media, they communicate with everyone else taking interest or just hanging around. They stay on social media when they enter your sales funnel, of course.
But consider the change. In your funnel, it’s just you and them. It is an opportunity to strengthen relationships. Your aim is to move them to where they see the point of buying time with you.
Improve Communication (7)
Always reply, even if they like a post on Facebook. Ask a question. They may answer it. Always try to deepen the conversation and probe for common ground.
Email marketing is a common and effective version of the sales funnel. Emails combined with just about any other media are a great way to build relationships and increase sales.
Increase Web Traffic (8)
Use email to direct followers to your website, when you add something new. You need two calls to action. The first is the subject line to your email – does it invite, or better compel, the recipient to open the email? Then you need a call to action to click the link to your website.
Once they are on the website there will be at least one further call to action, for example to sign up for or buy something. You can see why clarity and compelling content is essential at every stage.
Generate Leads (9)
This is one big advantage of email over social media. Emails can be forwarded to other interested people. First, you need great content and then you need to ask! Many people know others equally or even more interested in your offer. Or perhaps maybe interested – no need to be picky!
Promote Products and Services (10)
Some people think email is dead! If it is, how come social media depends upon it? You see emails every day drawing attention to posts, tweets and the like. You receive email reminders of events you have signed up for or notices of new products and services. Many companies send emails, perhaps on a daily basis, that remind you they’re still there.
Boost Sales (11)
You can go further. If you have a major product launch, use sequences of emails to raise awareness. You don’t need a massive list to do this. Use the promotion to grow your list.
Customer Relations Management (12)
Keeping track of your customers and what they have purchased or expressed interest in is another big advantage of email marketing. There are effective ways to manage huge numbers of customers on the market but start with low-cost (or free) services and grow your business over time.
Build Capacity (13)
Email marketing automates online sales. Develop a robust and effective system to extend your reach. Email marketing is scalable. However, other factors limit reach, such as staffing.
Like any method, email marketing introduces new technical issues. However, it also resolves some tough issues. Here are a couple.
Business Security (14)
Corporations own social media and they can (1) change the rules and (2) impose restrictions, if they think you’ve broken the rules. Therefore, be ready for anything that threatens your business. Keeping a list of customers and followers outside social media really helps. Social media feed into your list.
Compliance (GDPR) (15)
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is largely taken care of through your email service provider. Measures such as double opt-in, unsubscribe links and showing your business address helps you comply with standards automatically. Remember though, you need to do more on your website to be compliant.
In their early stages, new businesses seek early adopters and find adaptive solutions to the problems they encounter. Hence design of marketing is crucial during early years.
Some businesses go on to mass markets and so the design challenge moves from “how do we do this?” to “how do we remain true to our original business purpose?”
Marketing Strategy Design (16)
Email marketing has many advantages for the beginner. It is inexpensive, scalable and imposes a systematic approach from the start. It is highly flexible, not an alternative to social media but uses it strategically.
Design Products and Services (17)
Many online and offline products and services are highly compatible with email marketing. Your email marketing strategy influences decisions you make when designing products and services.
Use email lists to test drive ideas or test products in beta. It’s great to build something new, confident there is a market for it.
Most important of all, email marketing is how you communicate your business why.
Explains Your Business Why (18)
Help followers and customers understand why you’re in business. When they understand your why, they are more likely to buy from you. Use emails to take them further into understanding your business than you can on social media.
Help them understand how to help you achieve something they want to see happen.
Generate Anticipation (19)
People hooked by your Why, want to know what happens next. People excited about your business are keen not to miss out.
Educate Your Followers (20)
Take your followers to new levels of understanding using teaching via email. Also use email to point to new material on your website or blog posts.
Saves Time (21)
This is under the heading of transformation because a robust email marketing strategy transforms your life. It’s your choice. Use the time you save to build capacity or pursue other interests or commitments. You should find the latter happens as your business develops.
I hope I have persuaded you email marketing is worth considering as the basis for your marketing design. Even if you read the headings only, you see there are several powerful arguments in its favour.
Remember though, email marketing is not a technical fix. You need to design a system that works for your business. It’s not only the technical aspects that matter. You must get to grips with content. This is why I offer coaching, so I can help you figure out what works for your business. Visit new pages on my website about my coaching offer.
In the New Year I shall offer a workshop where you can find out more about email marketing, the various options for setting up your own strategy and how to set about producing content. Sign up below if you would like to receive notice of the workshop and other events designed to help you tell your story.
Also, in the New Year I shall produce a series of blog posts about each of these 21 reasons to use email marketing. You shall receive notice of my blog posts, as they appear, if you sign up below.