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2 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Email Marketing Right Now

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There are two major reasons why in today’s down economy you should use email marketing. First, use email marketing to steal customers away from your competitors because if you don’t, they will. Secondly, use email marketing to unlock the goldmine that resides in your existing customer base waiting for a reason to do more business with you.

Email marketing is a proven technique for reaching existing and new customers in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Email marketing can also be an effective tool in conjunction with traditional advertising and marketing campaigns. Long term studies show this marketing technique drives tangible results that impact the bottom line. Consider the following:

  • 66% of those surveyed said they had made a purchase because of a marketing message received through email. - ExactTarget, "2008 Channel Preference Survey" (2008)
  • 44% of email users said email inspired at least one online purchase and 41% said it prompted at least one offline purchase. - JupiterResearch's The Social and Portable Inbox (2008)
  • 63% of respondents admit clicking a link in a marketing email to learn more. - Epsilon (Oct 2008)

 

So how do you start using email marketing? Use the following guide to get started.

 

Generate leads from magazines, newspapers, newsletters, non-profits, etc.

A little known secret of the marketing industry is that just about every email address given to a newspaper, newsletter, magazine, retailer, or social networking site is available for rent. This often falls into the bulk email marketing category but using opt-in mailing lists have much better results. Determine which outlets and destinations your customers visit and contact the outlet’s advertising department to inquire about distributing marketing emails to their customer base. For instance, if you sell services in Fort Worth to homeowners with annual household incomes greater than $200,000 living in the 76109 and 76110 zip codes the local newspaper (Star Telegram) would be more than happy to let you send marketing emails to their customers. The typical price for renting email addressed varies widely depending on how focused the customer list is, but expect to pay between $0.10 and $2.00 per email address.

Generate leads from your existing customer base.

No one is more familiar with your company’s products and services than your existing customers and therefore you should be tapping into this customer base. For emails sent to existing customers (direct email marketing) it’s all about reminding them why they do business with you and giving them a new reason to do business with your company. Service and email customization are great ways to remind them why they do business with you. For instance, include their name at the top of the email (as opposed to a generic form letter). This level of personalization gives the email a warm and welcome tone. Customizing the email based on the customer’s preferences, product or service types, and order history is another great way to show the customer you care. For instance, your email could remind the customer of their recent XYZ product purchase and introduce them to the complimentary ABC product line. New products, services or special sales are also great excuses to reach out to your customers via email. Why not send your customers an email offering a limited time 10% discount on products and services bought within the next two weeks? It’s a great way to engage your customers in conversation (after all… who doesn’t love a sale) and can really drive sales when things slow down.

Email Marketing Guidelines

There are a few rules to consider when sending email marketing. First, your emails must conform to CAN SPAM, Federal regulation controlling what you can and can’t do with email marketing. Secondly, ensure your email content speaks to the customer and provides them with a compelling “call to action.” You want them to do something based on your email – so make sure it’s spelled out in simple and obvious terms. Also make sure your email is formatted for the intended audience – if your customers are likely to read email on a Blackberry or smartphone make sure it’s formatted for mobile email applications. Email marketing software has made the process of distributing emails much easier with the ability to store contacts, build email campaigns, track penetration rates, open rates, and bounce back rates, and measure overall campaign success. Lastly, make sure your email doesn’t include words or images that are likely to catch the attention of spam filters. Several tools can gauge whether your email is likely to end up in your customer’s inbox or spam folder.

Email Marketing Campaign Success

Email marketing is highly effective but finding the right combination of message, offers, customization and calls to action is a learning process. Get started with something simple and learn over time what works best with your unique customer base. Over time you’ll develop a picture of what compels your customers to action and sales will follow.

 

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