Ok. The title is dramatic. What we really mean is that your LACK of email marketing is hurting your business.
If you're not sending an email newsletter to your list regularly, you're doing them, and your business, a disservice. We get it though. If you're not using email, it's likely for one of these common reasons that we’ve heard before.
You have an email list but no time to craft emails to them.
You send emails sometimes...like at Christmas.
You’ve already earned all the money you want in your business.
No one has actually said that last one, but you may as well have because you’re leaving money on the table when you don’t utilize your email list.
But before we get to the nitty gritty of email marketing, consider this: even with the rise of social media, none of your multi-million dollar, national brands have stopped their email campaigns in lieu of adopting social media.
Think about that.
And think about the fact that though many of your customers may be glued to social media on any given day, there is another segment that prefers to receiving their marketing via inbox rather than having to refresh a social media feed.
So just how does sending an email newsletter add more to your business bottom-line? Email allows you to introduce new products and services, upsell or cross-sell those same products and services, and track each interaction your list has with the emails you send. That way you’re able to learn how to send better, more effective emails that your list actually wants to receive.
Keep reading below for the full breakdown, email best practices, and a short list of some of the most popular favorite email marketing platforms.
Reasons to Use Email Marketing
Introduce New Products or Services
Successful product or service launches call for awareness. You could spend money on digital advertising or spend time on social media platforms battling algorithms and you could also send an email that lands directly into your customers’ inboxes. Not only do emails provide front door access, but they can be shared (just like on social media) and easily retrieved by the reader. You also get analytical information from your email service provider that allows you to track opens, clicks, and shares. You can also target those on your list that may have missed your email the first time around.
Upsell or Cross-Sell Products or Services
If you aren’t familiar with upsells, it’s simply the sales practice of enticing customers to upgrade or purchase additional, more expensive items during the sales process or shortly after. For instance, if you go to the car wash for a basic service and they persuade you to purchase a package that includes a wax job, that’s an upsell. Or you go for a facial and the nice lady at check-in upsells you on a massage. That’s an upsell too.
Cross-selling, on the other hand, is the sales practice of offering customers an additional, but complementary product or service. An example of cross-selling is booking a pedicure and being sold on a manicure as well. Or you order a burger at your favorite burger joint and are cross-sold on the newest craft beer. The two go together so that’s a cross-sell.
We have all been subject to both the upsell and the cross-sell. They are common and effective sales techniques that can be implemented through email making them a viable technique for those who don’t consider themselves salespeople.
Here are a few ways to make it happen.
Send a follow-up email to customers soon after they’ve made a purchase. Send an email featuring a specific product or service and include the upsell or cross-sell on the actual sales pages.
Offer a BOGO (buy one, get one) of some sort. If customers buy one product or service they can get another at a reduced cost (this can be an upsell or a cross-sell).
Stay Top of Mind
Consumers are bombarded with information at nearly every touchpoint. So much so that even their favorite brands can get lost in the fray if they don’t make regular attempts to remain front of mind. Your email can be a regular reminder of what you have to offer, even if it’s not “on sale” or discounted in some way. Sure consumers like discounts and falling prices, but they also like consistency and familiarity and will often pay more for the convenience of both. In instances when you are not directly offering something for a savings, the focus should be on providing value like educational tips, resources, or access. Becoming a resource is just as important as offering a discount because it positions you and your brand as the expert options rather than the value option.
You Can't Rely Soley on Social Media
Though no one can deny that social media is a fantastic business tool as it provides both free and paid access to any number of people with a single post. And although the algorithms are quirky and annoying, there’s still something alluring and, for many brands, profitable. But what happens if social media breaks? What if Instagram becomes like Facebook where it’s nearly impossible to get organic traffic to your business page. What if Facebook shares drop (like they did earlier this summer ago) so significantly that Zuck decides to close up shop? How would you then reach and communicate with your customers? If you’re like quite a few small businesses that have placed all of their eggs in one social media basket, you’d be left playing catch up and missing out on revenue. But if you double down, choose social media, AND up your email marketing, you’ll still have a touchpoint for your customers even if Instagram deletes all of your followers again or Facebook slows organic traffic even more.
You need to have more than one way to connect with your customers, clients, and/or audience.
The Rules of Email Marketing
While your newsletter is an extension of your sales and marketing strategies, there are rules to building a brand and through email.
Show Up Consistently
Decide ahead of time how often you’ll make an appearance in your customers’ inboxes. Weekly is ideal. You can get away with bi-weekly. Don’t go any longer than once per month.
Don’t always show up asking for something. Instead, try to give more than you take. This helps your audience to trust you and view you as the expert. This is especially important for lesser known brands that don’t have huge marketing budgets that allow them to pull big, attention-grabbing stunts. Your potential customers have to come to know, like, and trust you before they open their wallets. It’s nothing to take personally, just understand that you have to bring something to the table in order for them to want to take a seat.
Use the 80/20 Rule
Be mindful of how often you’re directly asking for the sell. A good rule of thumb is the 80/20 rule, which means that 80% of your marketing provides value or education and the remaining 20% is full fledged promotional.
Use a Professional Email Service Provider
Do NOT send emails to a list of people using personal Yahoo or Gmail accounts. Not only does that lack a bit of visual professionalism, but it also exposes the names and emails of the people who are on your list. That’s a no-no. Instead, consider options like Mailchimp, Emma, or Constant Contact. These options offer protection for both your business and your list and provide analytical insight into how well your email campaigns perform. You can then use that information to create better emails that elicit stronger engagement and more business.
Still have questions about how email marketing can help to promote and grow your business? Leave us a message here.
About Prose & Pens
Prose & Pens helps businesses fill gaps in their written content to increase brand awareness and customer retention. Our secret? Conversational, fun-to-read content.