This is a pretty simple yes or no answer with this question. I find that many small business owners say yes to this question, but then share with me that their execution is weak.
They don’t use Email Marketing consistently, they are not consistently adding more prospects and clients to their list, they have not taken the time to learn to use it more effectively, there is not a sign-up form on their website, etc.
Should you add Email as a marketing channel?
Some people claimed that Email would replace direct mail marketing because the cost was so inexpensive.
Email Marketing was not meant to replace direct mail marketing, but it can definitely help lower some of your marketing costs and still be effective.
Always remember that you want to use as many marketing channels as necessary to effectively market your company.
Part of your effectiveness will be sharing relevant and interesting content with your readers.
I’m sure you have emails you receive from people that you enjoy reading, and others that you either delete or opt-out of their lists.
Part of being relevant is not pitching products every time you contact your clients and prospects. You can pitch products and sales each time, but at some point your clients and prospects may decide they have had enough propaganda.
Keep in mind this also pertains to your industry. If you’re a restaurant and you send out a weekly coupon or special, you may keep your email list alive and well by sending it out weekly.
What makes Email Marketing effective?
As a small business, your passion for what you do and the quality of your customer relationships are what separate you from everyone else. When you use Email, you’ll be able to reinforce those relationships and connect with your clients and prospects in a way no one else can-every single time you hit ‘Send.’
Email Marketing delivers bottom-line results.
Email Marketing offers you a fast, effective way to get your message out to clients and prospects and keep your organization top of mind. It’s a breakthrough marketing tool that’s just as easy to use as it is powerful. But it doesn’t end there.
Your Email Marketing should have the following tools available
Your Email Marketing tool should also make it easy to integrate your social media channels. So when you send an email to your mailing list, you’ll be able to connect with a whole new audience of potential customers via social media sites-and generate even more new business.
You want to make sure the Email tool you use makes it easy to get the look you want-fast. Many of the Email Marketing tools have email templates designed for every type of communication (newsletters, promotions, etc.).
Make sure you can customize your emails with your logo, images, colors, fonts, and more. You want to keep your brand identity consistent across all of your marketing channels.
Also, check to see if you can find business-specific template options that are easy to use.
Consistently promote and link to your social media pages by inserting Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn icons into your emails.
See if the Email Marketing tool has an Auto-Tweet feature to automatically post emails to your Twitter feed.
Make sure it’s easy for your clients and prospects to share your email message on their social media sites with a Social Share toolbar of some sort.
Make sure you can import and manage your entire contact list with ease. Some Email tools make this a major headache.
You want to make sure you can add people to your Email Marketing list right from your website. When you can add to your email list right from your website and Facebook page it makes your life easier.
When you look at Email Marketing tools, see if you can schedule welcome emails or commonly sent messages with their Email Autoresponder.
A reputable Email Marketing company will make sure that your emails get seen. Good companies will have a deliverability rate of over 95%. This will keep your emails out of Junk Mail folders.
A good Email Marketing tool will also have some kind of anti-spam checker.
They should also have a good reputation, and follow permission-based email practices.
Your Email tool should be able to track your results. If they have graphs of your email campaign results, including: Open rates, click-throughs, and bounces, that’s even better.
One other nice feature in your Email Marketing tools would be the ability to measure your social media success with how many fans ‘Like’ or ‘Share’ your emails on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Your Action Steps
Go find a good Email Marketing tool. The most important part to remember is that this is only one tool in your marketing plan. Don’t pin all of your hopes on just one tool.
Think of your various marketing channels as spokes on a wheel that are delivering your ideal prospects and clients to the hub in the center of your wheel.
Have a variety of spokes on your wheel for the most effectiveness, and use Email as one of your most effective tools.