5 Reasons why your business should get better at Email Marketing — Lionesses of Africa

by Nkemdilim Uwaje Begho  

One of my mantras is “go where your customers are”…. and inboxes are one of those places you will find them! Studies have shown that people working in corporate environments easily spend between 4–6 hours every day doing their emails. Whether you are focused on a B2C segment within a specific income bracket or offer B2B services, do you really think that you are doing your bottom-line any favours by not prioritising Email Marketing if your target audience is spending this much time on their emails?

According to McKinsey, new customer acquisition is 40X more effective via Email than via Facebook and Twitter combined. Email Marketing is cost effective and one of the most reliable forms of direct communication. As long as you have the correct email addresses of your clients and prospects, they will receive your emails. Whether they open them and actually read them is another matter entirely, but we’ll come to that later.

In recent years I’ve noticed that Email Marketing is often treated as the step child and hardly ever gets enough budget. In reality it can actually achieve conversion rates that are arguably higher than other marketing programs, be it for landing new customers, growing your business or simply communicating what you have been up to, so that customers and potentials keep your brand at the top of their minds.

Here are 5 reasons why you should get better at Email Marketing:

1. Email Marketing gives you the ability to directly deliver targeted & personalized content through segmentation

From crafting the perfect subject line to selecting images that are relevant to your customer and writing valuable content that is helpful to your audience, Email is the perfect channel to drive engagement. However, before you start sending out Emails, you are going to need a mailing list of contacts with valid email addresses, which are segmented / categorised properly….oh yes that last part is the most important part, so go back and read that sentence again.

Some ways to segment are:

  • Create a list of the CEOs contacts — this helps keep the CEOs network engaged and up to date with what the company is doing, which can be very helpful when it comes to receiving recommendations and referrals, securing investments and new business opportunities.

  • Separate your actual customers from your leads — this allows you to send targeted information to each segment.

  • Segment your customers by the product / service they buy — this helps you send support information, updates on products / services, as well as emails that cross sell new products to a specific segment.

  • Separate your cold leads from your warm leads — in basic words this means separating those who have shown interests in your product / service offering at one point or the other, from those who are unaware of your offers. They are at different stages of the buying process and should therefore not receive the same emails. A cold lead should receive emails that discuss benefits of your product/service, while a warm lead could receive a special but time-bound offer to help with their decision making process.

2. Email Marketing promotes top of the mind awareness & brand recognition

Email Marketing is a great way to develop your brand identity and ensure top of the mind awareness, because it gives you direct access into the email inboxes of your existing or potential customers. Always remember that your customers are receiving tons of emails including their fair share of Email Marketing emails. So in order to stand out and make sure that your customers open and read your newsletters or email blasts you have to create relevant, creative and most of all valuable content for your customers. This will give you an edge over your competitors in the long-term, as well as gain you substantial market share. Consistency in brand tone, voice and messaging coupled with well written, engaging and valuable content will make your customers look forward to your emails. Even if they don’t always complete the required actions, you remain top of the mind with them and they will refer you to people who need your products or services, simply because they remember you.

3. Email Marketing boosts sales

I’m going to give you a reason and a tip for this one! This particular tip works for everyone — retail, subscription based or service businesses. Email Marketing offers a great opportunity for impulse buying, especially when you have sales promotions running. You can convince an existing customer to make another purchase and entice a prospective customer to contact you and buy. Existing customers often buy on impulse when they get an email letting them know about relevant products / services, which are related to their previous purchase. Your emails could feature items that if bought will enable the customer enjoy their recent purchases even more, offer a special discount for future purchases or simply say “Thank You” for their last purchase or for contacting you in-person or online. Make sure that your Thank You emails have information with amazing descriptions of your products / service offerings they had expressed interest in. For some guidance — Amazon does such a great job with this — worth checking out.

4. Email Marketing provides the right metrics to know what works for your business and what doesn’t

If you had a successful sale event and got 100 new contacts to add to your mailing list, before you put them into any segment group, ask yourself what prompted them to attend your event and what they bought? Reviewing new mailing list entries helps you get key information and metrics about your target audience, such as where they live, how much they spent, whether they are predominantly male or female or how old they are — this allows you to dig deep when segmenting.

Here’s a great example — After a sale event a client of ours had, we analysed the list and realised that most of the people who attended the event lived within a particular area. This information is very valuable to the client and helps us plan better for the next event, as it allows us to target this list as well as prospective clients who live within the same location through ads and other marketing activities. Some key metrics to consider that all mailer programs give you when you generate reports are the Open Rate, the Click through Rate and the Conversion Rate.

A good Open Rate means that your customers know your brand well enough to want to hear from you — avg. list Open Rates are between 10–30% depending on the industry, so don’t fret if your open rates seem low to you. The Click Through Rate (CTR) gives you a good idea of how many customers took the time to go through your email content and clicked on the links within the email. The average click-through rate across all industries is about 7%. Your email conversion rate is probably the most important metric to track, as it tells you how well the call to action in your email has performed and gives a direct indication how the email has affected your bottom line.

5. Email Marketing increases traffic to your website

Emails are a great way to get visitors to your website. With our clients we include relevant links to their websites or to specific pages or products on their websites within the email content. For example, an online furniture store could send out emails letting customers know about a new limited edition collection and link the content to the website or the product listing where customers can then purchase the pieces.

Without this email many of their customers and leads may have missed out on this great opportunity. Driving more traffic to the website will make sure that the furniture gets sold more quickly, instead of waiting for direct orders to trickle in. Make sure to include social sharing buttons in your emails to encourage your customers to promote your content across their own social media channels. 

Content is great but user generated content is king, queen and everything in between. Remember this, with email marketing, you can deliver targeted content, build your brand, out-do your marketing goals, boost your sales and foster strong customer relationships, all without breaking the bank. It doesn’t matter if you have 10 accurate emails in your mailing list or 10,000, you can always do your Email Marketing better and obtain amazing results. 

You can run your email marketing campaigns in house or outsource them to a digital agency so you spend less time worrying about the marketing details and are able to spend more time working on scaling your business and making it successful.

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