While social media isn’t exactly a new invention, it’s really blown up in the past ten years or so, largely in part to the rise of the smartphone. And due to the widespread popularity of social media sites and mobile apps, many companies are taking to platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to build brand awareness and maximize outreach.
Social media marketing is both an effective and efficient means of appealing to large audiences quickly, easily, and without spending an inordinate amount of money. But does that mean that older forms of marketing—like mass email campaigns—are as good as obsolete? Not necessarily. Keep reading to find out why social media hasn’t replaced email marketing just yet, and how you can grow your business using email.
The Basics of Email Marketing
So, what is email marketing, and why does it work? Well, basically, email marketing is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: using emails to reach potential customers and create higher levels of engagement with your brand. There are a couple of different forms of email campaigns that you can use to interact with your customer base, and each one serves its own purpose.
Just because social media has benefited from the advent of the smartphone doesn’t mean that email hasn’t, too. In fact, people are checking their emails more than ever, thanks to mail apps. Image courtesy of Pixabay.
Most Popular Types of Email Marketing Campaigns
- Welcome Emails —Congratulations! You’ve found a new customer. Now, what do you do with them? Welcome emails are a simple yet effective way to build customer loyalty and keep them coming back to your business. Welcome emails present you with the perfect opportunity to introduce a customer to your brand, invite them to follow you via social media, and find out their email preferences. Be sure to thank the customer for their purchase or for signing up to receive emails from you, and if you can, give them some sort of incentive to make another purchase, like a coupon, free shipping, or some other kind of exclusive offer.
- Promotional Campaigns —If your business is running some type of promo, you want customers to be taking advantage of it, right? Promotional campaigns are probably one of the most commonly used forms of email marketing and for good reason: they work! Whether it’s a seasonal sale, a limited-time offer, or just a random deal, an email advertising a certain promotion is a great way to grab customers’ attention and generate profits. But if you’re the type of business that constantly runs deals, you don’t want to be blowing up your customers’ inboxes to the point that it’s annoying, so be sure to choose carefully which sales you want to promote.
- Triggered Emails —Triggered emails are messages that are sent automatically in response to specific customer actions, and they can be used for positive and negative actions alike (e.g., clicking a link or not clicking a link). For instance, if a customer looks at a certain item on your company’s website but doesn’t purchase it, you might opt to have this action trigger an email to remind them that they were interested in that item. Similarly, if a customer does make a purchase, it might trigger an email to show them some related items or additional products that they might want to buy.
- Periodic Newsletters —Okay, so newsletters aren’t a form of direct marketing perse, but they are a good way to maintain customer engagement and solidify brand loyalty. A newsletter series keeps customers up to date on what’s happening at your business, whether that be exciting news that you have to share or just a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on at your company. For example, if you’ve been working on a new product, you might want to write about that. Newsletters should be brief, informative, and, most importantly, fun to read! You don’t want to pen a long essay that customers won’t want to sift through, so just keep things straightforward and make sure to format the email in a way that’s visually appealing.
Proof That Email’s Still Very Much Relevant
Now that we’ve broken down email marketing, let’s get to the question that everyone’s asking: why does email marketing work? There’s a number of moving parts that go into answering this question, but these are the most influential factors.
- Individualization. Email is just inherently more personal than a social media post. Plus, with email, there’s more a chance that the intended audience will actually see it because unlike a social media post, you don’t run the chance of it getting lost in a feed with tons of other posts. (Now, whether the recipient chooses to open the email, of course, is quite another thing.)
- Preferred Form of Communication. Even with all of today’s communication technology, most people still prefer email when it comes to professional communication. It’s easy, it’s free, and, to reemphasize our last point, it’s personal!
- Direct Information. Convenience is usually a priority in e-commerce, and what’s more convenient than receiving coupons and sale advertisements directly on your phone or computer? Sure, social media posts present information in a similar way, but as we mentioned before, posts can get lost in a feed or someone might miss it as they’re scrolling. Plus, when someone’s looking at social media, they’re usually looking for a distraction rather than valuable information. A good email marketing campaign gives customers the information they want, and the link they need to utilize that information (i.e., your email campaign’s call to action).
Email and Social Media: Friends, Not Enemies
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that email marketing and social media aren’t at war—they’re fighting on the same side! In other words, you should be using both, not one or the other. Include your brand’s social media links in the emails that you send your customers, and make posts on social media inviting followers to sign up for emails from your company. These are both cost-effective, time-efficient ways to market your business, and you don’t want to miss out on either.