Social media channels are a vital part of a digital marketing strategy, as recently discussed here, but they aren’t always the most reliable way to reach your customers. Evolving algorithms change the reach and impressions made by your posts, and even when backed by advertising spend, they will only reach a small percentage of those who like or follow your channels.
Complementing your social media marketing with email marketing can solve that problem. Despite being one of the first digital marketing technologies, email marketing continues to prove its value in converting prospects into customers, and customers into repeat customers. Research from Smart Insights a couple of years ago, actually found that email marketing was the most effective channel, ahead of social media, SEO, and affiliate marketing.
The first step in email marketing is creating a list of emails to target. This can be done in many ways:
- Use a bot to scour the internet for addresses, though this is illegal under Australian law and would also result in a list with absolutely no value.
- Buy a list, though no matter how segmented and targeted that list is it’s still going to be of little value. Customers are both wary and weary of spam. If they didn’t give you their email address, they don’t want to hear from you.
- Build your own list. Sure, it’s slower than the above two methods, but it has a clear advantage: it will actually work.
We discussed loyalty programs in our previous post, and they are an excellent example of how you can properly get a customer’s email address. The key is to be offering something of value to your customers and potential customers. Simply having “Join mailing list” somewhere on your website isn’t going to excite too many visitors. Instead, entice people to join with a clear call to action that sets out the benefits and expectations of providing their details. Common enticements include free downloads, free white papers and eBooks, and product and event updates.
Provide the Right Content at the Right Time
Start by immediately emailing your new subscriber, according to how you acquired them. If it was via your loyalty program, thank them for joining and explain how the program works. If it was with the promise of free content, thank them and provide a link for download. If it was during the checkout process, thank them for their purchase and offer assistance with any other requirements.
In this initial email, in addition to the above, also explain a little about your business and how you plan on interacting with them. For example, tell them if you’re going to be sending monthly specials, or quarterly market reports, or weekly tech hacks.
Now deliver on that – with relevant and engaging content. Be boring and your customers will hit unsubscribe in a flash.
It is also important to match the frequency expectations you have established with your list. If you’ve promised daily updates and only email once a week, you will lose credibility. If the expectation is for a weekly mail out, and you start doing it more often, your customers will quickly become annoyed and unsubscribe. Both will diminish the value of your business in that person’s eyes.
This post has just scratched the surface of email marketing. Automation and analytics are the keys to maximising the value of your list. It is vital for eCommerce businesses to complement their social media marketing with email marketing, particularly for reaching existing customers. If you’d like help setting up either or both, just click the button below to book a no-obligation appointment with an expert from The Playhouse Group.
With decades of experience and as a certified Magento partner, The Playhouse Group can help your business maximise its online sales capabilities. Get in touch with our team and we can talk to you about this or any other eCommerce questions you may have.