With Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Google Plus and Vine, there is a plethora of social networks to use when marketing your business. And it’s likely that right now a new social network idea is forming somewhere that will be ubiquitous a year from now. In this digital marketing gold rush world we live in, it’s easy to lose sight of the value of one tried and true communication method—email.
Even though other digital marketing tools make it seem old-fashioned, email still matters! And it has a significant track record of success.
Email by the Numbers
Consumers like email. 79% say that they prefer receiving commercial communication by email. There are several reasons for this.
- Many people, especially people in business, spend hours each day with email, so it’s already a preferred channel. They expect to use it for business.
- Facebook timelines and Twitter streams often seem cluttered. It’s easier to devote attention and time to an email—at the customer’s preferred pace.
- As spam filters get better and better, people know that worthless messages are being weeded out, so they tend to trust and be willing to deal with inbox messages.
Despite the proliferation of channels, email is still popular with B2B marketers, too. 59% say it’s the most effective channel for generating revenue. Why?
- Over 50% (Hubspot) of people read most of their emails.
- Open rates for email marketing messages run between 20% and 30%, which is several times higher than the views for the typical social media message (2-6% of page fans on Facebook and even lower for Twitter).
Best Practices for Email
Email is particularly well-suited for business that adopt the one-to-one marketing model (when personal relationships are important to a company’s success…when a handshake is necessary to close the deal). You can sit down at your desk and write a personalized message to an important customer in real time.
For better reach, regular emails (think newsletter – but give them a better name, generally speaking, people are tired of “newsletters”) are quite useful. They permit you to keep regularly recipients up-to-date on your business, and to give them a look inside the culture of your business. (We’re most comfortable with people we know well and understand, showing the human side of your business builds that comfort.)
Note: If you have a website or blog that’s updated regularly, you can re-purpose your online content to make sure potential customers see it.
Triggered emails, which are automatically sent when a website visitor takes an action on your website (like making an inquiry or downloading a resource), are extremely powerful. In fact, Triggered emails have a 119 percent higher click-through rate than other forms of “business as usual” email messages.
Such messages can be highly tailored to a customer’s specific needs (because you have a very good insight into what they’re interested in). Marketing automation systems such as Pardot or Sproutsocial give you the power to automatically follow-up. (To learn more about marketing automation and to find out if such a system is right for your business, click here.)
An Online Original That Can Still Do the Job
Email isn’t a social network like Facebook or Twitter, but it is one of the original forms of digital communication. In this case, older doesn’t mean worse – it’s still a powerful and effective way of reaching potential customers. Unlike many newer platforms, email has a decades-long track record of business success.
If you feel like email has dropped to the bottom of your digital marketing toolbox, or if the email you are sending isn’t getting the results you want, talk to the team at PRBrigade. We can help you out.