Social Media has undoubtedly been the dominant force of Internet marketers in the past 10 years. Users on Facebook and Twitter have changed the face of how advertising is being written, distributed and analyzed in terms of success. Communities of online chatters, sharers and re-tweeters are considered so important that most mid-sized and large companies employ a team of social media staffers intent on capitalizing on the traffic they can render from these portals.
And with good reason. The social realm is quickly becoming linked to search engine results through the new Google algorhythms that rethink what gets to page one of their results. Google pushes pages that a searcher’s friends have previously liked or shared. What Google has learned is that social sites provide a forum for trusted conversations between online friends. Advertisers can insinuate themselves into the conversation through the use of Pay-Per-Click advertising and updating statuses as a way to continually be “in the face” of Facebook users.
All this importance placed on social marketing has led many to ignore the original form of social interaction that they had previously relied upon to establish a conversation with their clients as well as potential leads. Email marketing is still a vibrant resource that has advantages over Sponsored Links advertising and here are the reasons why you need to maintain a direct link to your client base.
Email marketing targets your message
Traditional television and print advertising was limited in being able to reach audiences. In fact, most TV ads are designed to be overheard, rather than actually viewed. Many clients demand that TV ad agencies create unique soundscapes so that a non-viewing audience will still be attracted to them. The truth is that most people don’t watch ads at all and companies are scrambling to find ways of still using TV as a medium of communication. But its days are certainly numbered in terms of efficacy versus expense.
Email arrives where and when you design. Knowing that your readers are more active on the weekend means that you can deliver news items and blogs on a Friday, when they’re more likely to get opened. Tactical ads can arrive at the beginning of the workweek owing to the fact that they are more likely to grab attention. Understanding the buying habits of your clients ensures that you can tailor the message to suit that exact time of year, day and minute in order to better attract attention.
Emails can be read anywhere, anytime
Even though email marketing is old and established, there are new benefits that have entered the arena since email was introduced some 40 years ago. For example, because of smartphone use, users are less likely to be sitting at their desks when they open your email. The advantage of this is that you no longer need to rely upon the person engaging too deeply with your messages (only your subject line.) And in fact, the shorter the content the better. Especially when it comes to scanning procedures of a reader’s interest. Rather than being used as only a branding technique in the 90s, email marketing has emerged as a strong force for tactical advertising. That is, sending information that has a limited timely relevance such as a sale or a special one-time offer.
When you’re designing your sending schedule, think about the information that you’re sending. If it’s a lengthy piece of wordy news, this is better left for the weekend. Consumers who get emails during the day when they’re at work or out shopping are less likely to engage with lengthy content. Instead, send out informative emails with engaging subject headlines that are short and to the point. This will encourage the reader to “bookmark” for later what appears to be relevant news. The good news is that an email can sit in an inbox forever. Users will always have a record of what you’ve sent them. The bad news is, if it doesn’t get opened, there’s no point.
Supplementing your Internet marketing strategies
Inbound marketing methods suggest that the more relevant the content is to your audience, the more engagement you’re going to get. Using a email management system (like Hubspot, Marketo, or ActiveCampaign) is key to being able to stay on top of the pile of spam that your clients are no doubt receiving. You are not spam. You are a resource for your clients to access whenever they need you.
By providing premium content to your opt-in fan base, you are constantly reassuring them that you exist and that you are aware of what they need. Sending out an email as a reminder about webinars and new blog posts reassures your readers that you are still relevant.
Emails are one of the only ways to periodically keep in touch with qualified leads on your mailing list. You need to create an automated email list in order to keep the energy up in your marketing strategy. Be sure to test and consider your emails properly. Users know these are “mail merged” and impersonal, but they can still be attractive and bring important news to their inbox.
Get users to “Like” your email
Getting back to the importance of social media marketing, let’s not forget that you also need to have your email marketing campaign feed your social presence. Did you know that you could embed a social tag on HTML emails that allow users to “Like” any page that you designate? Traditionally users could only forward your emails to friends and family. But now it’s possible to have them share your email or your webpage via a simple click because of an embedded share button.
Emails can also contain a direct reference to a specified web page. What does this mean? This means that you can send out emails that are essentially a snap shot (at that specific time) of your website. Then you can automate your sending schedule. However, you only need to update that web page’s content. Why is this good? That message you’ve sent is already one step closer to getting your reader to venture to your site. You are ostensibly sending them your web page for their inspection. This also means that you have one less piece of advertising to design and write. Just make sure that the info on that web page is compelling and has a strong headline and call to action because it only takes a second for it to get ignored.
From right inside the sent email, it can be “liked” and “shared” (as can your webpage.) So even if a user sees your webpage content and chooses not to click through to it, they can still support the page with a simple click of a +1 button or ‘Like’. Now your webpage will be part of their news feed and will attract the attention of all those followers.
Bring Email back to the foreground
Despite the need for a competent inbound marketing agency to handle your social media activity, your agency should also be explaining the benefits of maintaining an ongoing email marketing campaign. You most likely already have your lists in place and are wondering what to do with them. A full service agency like ColdAd is very much aware of how to structure a direct email schedule. They can advise you on the best content to match your buyer’s personae. They can help design your webpages so that they will attract more attention when sent out as an email. As well, analytical data can be helpful in determining which messages are opened, which are clicked on, which are liked and so on.
To get you started, why not download one of the Award-winning email template designs by Coldad on the HubSpot marketplace. Each is specifically designed to target a specific audience and create a specific result. For example, the template for a reminder is useful for sending out short eBlasts about a specific event. This Mehran pack places a specific call-to-action button in the header to encourage a 300% rise in click throughs. For creating emails that have deeper levels of knowledge and information, this template allows you to send out detailed amounts of info to test high score prospects and encourage buying.
Have you already received success in your email marketing campaigns? If so, please tell us about your experience. If you’re still struggling with developing a successful campaign, contact us or leave a comment here and we will help to clear up the mystery. There’s no reason to let confusion interrupt the quality dialogue that you can create with your prospects through a properly managed email and lead nurturing campaign.