One of the simplest but effective (surest) ways to grow your business in this age is email marketing.
Almost everyone has an email address. In fact, there are people who have more than one. And thanks to swift internet connection, your mail can be sent and delivered within split seconds.
Also, mobile phones have made it easier to access our mails.
As widely used as this platform is, some businesses do not see the need to market their brand through it.
So, today we will be exploring what email marketing is, why you should give it a try, how to use it to grow your business.
Let’s get started.
What is email marketing?
Just like the name suggests, email marketing is simply marketing through emails.
It entails promoting your products or services to your customers by sending them mails. It’s that simple.
Why should you give email marketing a try?
Many small businesses subscribe to the use of social media marketing, advertising and other forms of internet marketing, but when it comes to email marketing, they are not so receptive of the idea.
And those who have the platform set up don’t even utilize it effectively.
There is a lot you can do with email marketing and yes, people not only subscribe to emails, but they also read them.
According to a study conducted by hostpapa,
- Only 61 of internet users access social media while a whopping 91 percent access emails, and
- 75% of online adults say email is their preferred marketing method.
- Email is the no 1 activity on mobile devices
Campaignmonitor says that 72% of consumers would prefer to receive promotions through their mail, compared to the 17% who prefer to receive them through social media.
And please don’t get me started on talks like “that is abroad; email marketing doesn’t work in Nigeria.”
Well, one of our major and most successful proprietary brands, BeauCrest, has email as one of its biggest marketing and sales (yes, money-making) channel.
For us, email marketing is actually our second biggest source of marketing and revenue – after paid advertising. (We have about 28,000 women subscribed to our list.)
So, if you are wondering if email is a good platform to reach your customers, even here in Nigeria – or anywhere for that matter, you already have your answer: YES!
Other reasons why you need to start email marketing for your business include:
- It is cheap, compared to other forms of internet marketing.
- It helps you grow a loyal community around your brand. (Trust me, our email list is far more responsive than our social media audience. Of course, no creepy algorithm to deal with in email.)
- It increases brand awareness.
- Promotional emails boost sales and return on investment. (Ask us about it!)
- It helps to establish customer loyalty.
- It is a great means for customer engagement.
With all these in place, your business is bound to grow fast.
How can you use email to grow your business?
Email marketing is not rocket science. You can begin email marketing today.
Here is a step-by-step process (you can follow) that shows you how we use email to build our most successful brands:
Build a list
This is the first thing to do. You can only send emails to an email list. And you don’t want to depend on a list you didn’t build by yourself — aka don’t buy email lists; they’re mostly never worth it.
So how do you build a list?
Give your customers a reason to want to sign up. Give them something valuable (an incentive) in exchange for their email address.
It could be an e-book, a checklist, a coupon, a physical product, etc.
Whatever it is, make sure it is something that your customers are interested in. We call that a lead magnet.
Get them acquainted with your brand
This stage is what we call indoctrination.
This step involves sending a welcome email. Tell them how glad you are that they have gotten onboard.
This could be an email that gets them acquainted with what you sell, what you do and how they can benefit from it. Also encourages them to be a part of your brand outside email, e.g., follow your brand on social media.
According to business.com, welcome emails generate 320 percent more revenue than promotional emails.
Do you still need more convincing?!
You do not want a silent email community. So, you need to post regular content.
These are not automated emails for new subscribers, and neither are they promotional emails aimed at selling (although if you understand the concept of “content marketing” you’ll know how to still sell with these non-salesy emails).
Send educating or informative emails, updates about products or services, emails about upcoming events (seminars, webinars, etc.), etc.
These are more like broadcasts. However, remember to keep it personal and engaging.
A good way to make your email personal is by using your subscribers’ first names within the email and also using personal pronouns, like “you” and “your”.
Over time, your subscribers get to know more about your brand and associate it with selfless value, and also begin to feel like a part of it.
(Now you understand why we resumed sending emails here at RenegadeCommerce!)
You don’t just overcompensate your subscribers with valuable content; you need to sell too.
Remember it’s a business you’re running and money needs to be made at some point.
You make money from your email list by sending occasional promotional emails to them.
The automated emails you send them after joining your list can also fall under this category. After indoctrination emails, you can begin to tie content back to your offer (product or service), or even do full-blown promotional emails.
After someone subscribes to BeauCrest, they start getting an email series over a period of 45 days (not every day though – just about 10 emails spread over that period) till they buy from us.
Every single email in this series contains an element of sale – from just including a link to our sales page in the “PS” section of some emails to sending strictly promotional emails.
(Note: promotional email = compelling email with the main goal of selling your product.)
You can also create promos during holidays, national celebrations, your brand’s anniversary, etc.
At this point, your subscribers trust your brand. If some see an opportunity to enjoy the solution you are offering at a discounted price, they jump on the offer.
Not all subscribers will buy during indoctrination or your automated follow-up series, but the reduced price of promo emails over time will encourage some of them give your product or service a try.
You can also launch new products with your email list, or make some quick money promoting a third-party product that you deem useful to your audience.
These are things we’ve done for our brands, and we can promise you that they work well.
(We launched our famous BeauCrest African Black Soap with our email list. The success helped us to know that it’s a product that would sell well. So, we weren’t surprised when we started spending money on advertising and were making profits.)
Create excitement after purchase
Never think that after a customer has ordered for your product or service, that is all.
You first have to trigger excitement in them around receiving your products. (These emails could be automated also.)
Let them know you appreciate their purchase. Keep on sending mails during the period they are expecting the delivery of your product.
Secondly, even after they receive your product, you don’t stop trying to excite them about their purchase.
The moment they lose excitement, they might begin to question their buying decision and buyer’s remorse, or even doubt, might begin to set in.
In these mails, reiterate why they bought your product/service in the first place, and then remind/assure them of the transformation they will get after using your product or service.
At intervals, ask them how it is working for them and if there are any complaints, suggestions or praise they might have for you.
This way, your customer stays excited about your brand and is willing to make another purchase in the future.
In conclusion, with email marketing, you can quickly grow a community around your brand, increase sales and expand your reach.
Gradually, your business begins to grow.
I won’t lie; it takes a lot of work, and consistency is the key. But at the end, you begin to see the fruits of your labour.
So, if you haven’t tried email marketing yet, now is the next best time to start.
Over to you…
Do you use email marketing? What other tips or strategies have helped you with your email campaigns?
Share them with us in the comments.
And if you have a question about today’s topic, put it in the comments too.