I had a sit down with my good friend and fellow marketing junkie Bosco Pereira. He asked me a few questions about Email Marketing. Here are the answers. There are 3 sets of questions broken down in 3 parts; basic, intermediate and advanced. I hope you all find these useful, enjoy!
1- What is email marketing?
The correct marketers definition: Email marketing is a strategy businesses use to build relationships and sell to new and existing customers through a series of emails consisting of content and offers.
The incorrect marketers definition: A strategy used to bombard everyone with emails, hoping to get a sale out of a blast.
2- How can email marketing benefit a business in today’s economy?
It benefits a business more than ever in today’s economy. It enables businesses to save money on aquiring new customers by effectively communicating with existing and potential customers through scheduled and strategic emails. The lifetime value of a customer is very important and even more important during tough economic times (mostly in US)
3- What are the basic necessities before you send an email out to your list?
You will need a list of customers and potential customers. A list of people who have been in previous contact with you. NEVER BUY LISTS! Don not become a spammer. Only email people who have asked to be emailed or people who’ve been in contact with you in some way You need series of pre written emails. Basically a game plan when it comes to your mailing. What are your goals with your list? short term and long term?
you will also need a good email marketing service. there are web based services as well as software. Online services are easy to use and set up. I recommend, Nailchimp or constant contact
4- What is an Opt in, why do we need one and where do you place an opt in?
Opt-in is a lead generated on your site, by someone giving their email and name, usually in return for a free product or subscription. You get this by putting a web form on your site. Getting an opt-in is important as it gives you the opportunity to start building a relationship with a customer (potential paying customer)
5- What should drive your email marketing? Content or Sales Offers?
Usually you want to only give content away. You want to build a relationship, and build trust with your list. Give them free,, relevant and helpful information. Once you have effectively done this then and only then can you think about giving them an offer.
1- What are the email marketing trends in 2011?
As for trends, I think in general more companies are doing a better job of giving value to their list. The continual growth of social media such as twitter and facebook have made companies more aware. The huge spike in mobile internet usage with, smart phones have changed formatting for emails.
2- How will email marketing evolve in 2012?
I’ve noticed some companies improving their email marketing. Some larger companies have been getting better at being more “human”
In general the hot new trends everyone always talks about will never overtake the traditional marketing strategies that have worked for 50 years. It’s human psychology, understanding this is most important.
3- What type of metrics do you need to have when doing email marketing?
There are many different metrics to consider when you’re talking about email marketing. The most important statistic is “open rate”. This is basically the percentage of people from your email campaign or “blast” who opened and read your email. This is critical information as you want to make sure all of your hard work doesn’t go down the drain. This usually can be directly related to how effective your subject line is.
4- What email marketing tools do you recommend for small businesses today?
Email templates, email marketing system, opt in web form, tracking
5- What are the common mistakes made by businesses today when it comes to email marketing?
Wow where to start. The most common mistake I have seen is companies in general who don’t have a human touch with their emai lmarketing campaigns. Companies who don’t personalize emails and give their subscribers value in their email. FIRST IMPRESSION AND THE EARLY EMAILS ARE VITAL. Another big mistake is trying to sell to soon and too often. This is not only ineffective but it can hurt your company. People will unsubscribe and never return. Also companies can be labeled as spammers if not careful.
1- Why have email marketing when you have social media platforms out there?
Email will never die. People view emails as a somewhat personal way to keep intouch. Emails are synonymous with security. For example, important information such as pay-pal info is connected to email. People are less likely to feel secure connecting important information to social networks.
2- Where is the future of email marketing going in 2012? How will evolve in the future
Basically the evolution of mobile internet and social networks will force new trends in the future. But as a whole I don’t think email marketing will change much. Email marketing is more of a people thing not a technology thing.
3- What are the current challenges faced by businesses today when it comes to email marketing?
There are many challenges for companies when it comes to email marketing. One of the most common ones is people viewing the companies emails as useless. Companies can lose customers and good relationships by poor email marketing. Basically how it works is a series of emails with little value will make people ignore (not open) emails or even worse unsubscribe. All companies should try to give as much value as possible. Clever tactics to get people to open emails would help.
4- What is mobile email strategy and why has it become the next phase of email marketing?
Mobile email strategy is pretty simple. It’s basically keeping in mind that many of the people on your list most likely have a smartphone. This is important to keep in mind as it means people have quicker access to emails, it also means people might delete or disregard unimportant emails quicker than usual. Whenever you send an email to someone on your list, put yourself in their shoes. ” Would I open this if I saw it on my phone ?”
5- What is an email marketing plan and does a business need to have one? Does one need to have an email marketing strategy?
Every company should have an email marketing plan, simply because you are basically losing a huge opportunity to generate revenue. Your customer are the most important people to you. And email is such an effective way to take care of them. Every email marketing plan should be thought out. You should have at lease 10 pre written letters to send out to your list on a schedule. You must ask yourself what your short term and long term goals are. You must schedule your mailings that co-relate with upcoming news promotions or new product launches. You must make sure that your emails are interesting and valuable. Everyone should have an email marketing plan, because if you lose your list with improper emails, you are missing out on potential revenue from your most important customer (your current and warm customers)