Why Email Marketing is Still King
You have Twitter followers, connections on LinkedIn, and people who like you on Facebook—but how engaged are these people with your brand?
There’s at least one person out there who believes that it’s not these social media platforms, but email marketing, that makes the most sense when it comes to your business.
Scott Stratten, a small business owner and author of Unmarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging, has over 117,000 Twitter followers, but says that followers and likes are not worth as much as an email subscriber. Stratten’s advice is for people to pick one of the many social media options (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+ to name a few) and put time into it.
”The problem I see entrepreneurs making is they open an account on every platform and spend five minutes on each,” he says. ”That’s like trying to go to five networking events in one night.
”You’ve got to pick one … Social media is not being scaleable on every platform – it’s being great at a few.” —The Sydney Morning Herald
This is welcome news to someone like me who feels overwhelmed with the amount of time required to really engage with followers on all these platforms. Personally I use two: Facebook and Twitter. I also have a blog. I’m on LinkedIn, but don’t really use it all that much other than to read the headlines.
Stratten emphasizes that business owners shouldn’t rely entirely on social media.
A Tweet will last minutes, a Facebook status will last minutes – and that’s if it’s even shown in the news feed – but a subscriber has to do something with that message,” Stratten says.
”They’ll see it in their inbox and, to me, it’s much more valuable.’ —The Sydney Morning Herald
This is not the first time I have heard that email marketing is important. But why? Because with email marketing, you are creating a direct line of communication to your consumer.
Whether you’re just starting your new business, or attempting to expand a well-established business into more markets, email marketing could be a game changer. Aside from being a very green form of marketing, (no paper wasted on your part), it’s also extremely cost effective and easy to track and measure. —modernimage.com
Say you have a blog—if you have a list of subscribers, they will be notified every time something new is posted, prompting them to check it out. Without a reminder, many of the people who stopped by your site, checked it out and liked it, won’t remember to return.
The continual contact via email allows your subscribers to get to know you on a more personal level…[S]taying in touch and providing valuable information and helpful content at intervals that keeps them engaged while not being overbearing is a great strategy. —jimjones.com
You can be writing Pulitzer Prize-winning content on your blog, but if no one is reading it, what good is it doing? You need to work at converting your readers to subscribers to get a better engaged audience, and here are some ways you can do it…
Create great content that matters to your readers
When you write about what your audience cares about, they’re going to want to come back and read more. You can also find more readers by guest blogging on another site. It’s a great way to get your name out there and share what you are passionate and experienced about.
Make subscribing easy
Let your readers sign up via RSS or by leaving their email address. I don’t mess around with RSS a lot—and I want to have another way to subscribe to things I like. Filling out a short form with my email is easier.
Make subscribing beneficial
What do I get if I become a subscriber? Tell me! Whether it’s special deals, links to posts I might like, or whatever—make it worth it to the people you want to entice.
Engage with your subscribers
It’s important to engage with your followers, and having email subscribers makes it really easy. Ask them what they think about what you are doing. They might have some useful information and comments that will make all the difference in getting new subscribers.
You can also use your list of email subscribers to send out weekly or monthly email newsletters. These emails can be a wrap up of some of your best blog posts, along with new content found only in the newsletter. This lets your subscribers in on unpublished information that non-subscribers aren’t privy to. I get several email newsletters that I skim over each time they come into my inbox. Sometimes I find things I want to read, and sometimes I don’t—but at least the newsletter gives me an option and reminds me that the information is out there.