If I had to pick just one single marketing channel for online marketing I would choose email marketing in a heartbeat. Forget all the powerhouse social media channels out there. I want to kick it oldschool and power my marketing through email.
Keep it Secret, Keep it Safe
In The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf told Frodo Baggins to keep the One Ring secret and safe. Gandalf knew there were other people looking for the ring. People that wanted to do evil things with the ring. Many feel this same way about their email address. Their email address is precious. The average online user will very quickly follow, like, friend someone else without hesitation, but will take a few moments of consideration before entering their email address.
In the social channels most marketing messages will get lost. The Twitter stream, and the Facebook newsfeed can be a vast expanse where important message don’t always reach their target market. If you want your marketing message to be heard you have to blast it out over and over again and hope that people see your message and take action.
The absolute magical part about email is that someone must take action on your email. Whether they choose to read your email, or just delete it. Either way they must take an action. Within the social media channels your message gets pushed down the stream. Your message is gone and no one even noticed. Even if your email does gets deleted, for a brief moment the user took notice of your brand or business. The user looked at their inbox and made a conscious decision to either read or delete your email. The important part is they thought about your business. This is not the case with social, and this why I consider email marketing a very powerful tool.
Problem: People Do Not Want to Subscribe To Your Newsletter.
You ask me to follow you on Twitter – for sure I will. Like us on Facebook – absolutely. Now when you ask me to “Subscribe to your newsletter” I flat out say no. The fact is, you cannot just ask someone to subscribe and they will. You have to offer something in return. You can paste your web subscribe code near the top of your website, have a popup, or any number of things that will get “submit” button in front of someone’s face, but the fact is people will not subscribe just because you asked.
You need to entice the user to sign up. This enticement can come in many forms, and the success of this enticement will vary from business to business, industry to industry. A common tactic is to offer an eBook download. One of our clients who does personal training here in Victoria offers an eBook with tips to defy the aging process. Here at bWEST we offer An Introduction to Social Media for Small Business. If you are a restaurant, hotel, or retail establishment you could offer specials or a first shot at new products to subscribers. If you are coach or consultant you could offer exclusive content and advice to your subscribers.
Email: The Ultimate Marketing Machine
Once someone has trusted you with their email address, you must continue to develop that trust, provide value and deliver on the initial commitment you made when you asked for the email address. It only takes one deviation from your original offer, or marketing plan for someone to unsubscribe, so treat each email address you have been given as gold.