While a lot of attention is focused on the shiniest social media channel, be it Instagram, Vine, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or some variation of them, according to studies email marketing is still by far the most effective tool for sales. And there’s no way to get around it, sales are the ultimate purpose of any business that wishes to be self-sustainable. Social media is a much better tool for connecting with your audience (hence, the social part) so save it for sharing and customer service interactions.

According to these eye-opening and persuasive statistics from this article on Salesforce,(http://blogs.salesforce.com/company/2013/07/email-marketing-stats.html)

-64% of people say they open an email because of the subject line.

-7 in 10 people say they made use of a coupon or discount from a marketing email in the prior week.

-Emails that include social sharing buttons have a 158% higher click-through rate.

-For every $1 spent, $44.25 is the average return on email marketing investment.

-44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email.

From these we can see your business absolutely cannot miss out on capitalizing on the substantial power of email marketing. If you are lagging behind, let’s get it together and do an about-face, right here and now.

 

Email Marketing Must-Do’s

Maintaining the Connection

Put yourself in the mind of your reader and ask for every piece of content you send out, why would I want to read this? How is relevant to my life? Never stray from looking at your content in that light. Getting out of touch with your audience is DEATH because it means you stop offering them real value and cease being important in their everyday lives.

Value Provider

What exclusives or incentives are you offering your subscribers? Aside from knowledge that should be provided in this email of yours, customers have to be able to gain SOMETHING by signing up that non-subscribed readers don’t have access to. Otherwise, what’s the point of it? Some ideas are a free e-book or guide, first-access to a webinar or a scheduled appearance by the creator, a podcast, or a series of vlogs. Get creative, but stay useful.

Pretty

Most people tend to over think this integral piece. They see other websites and start to get worried, and doubts tug at their sleeves. Maybe it should have this button…or that ad…and that competitor uses one of those so maybe we should have one too…? This is where looking at your competition, instead of being a source of inspiration and ideas, can get you into trouble. You look at others too much and start straying from what you want and what’s important to your company. When you look at a competitor’s site, newsletter, app, whatever, look at the overall effect, and not the individual pieces. What do you like about it? What don’t you like about it? Move from there with your plan. Stay simple but always yourself, never a copycat.

 

Advantages of Email Marketing

Intimate

Congratulations! You have made it to your customer’s inbox, the holy grail of marketing. Do you know what a special unicorn you are? Now, just don’t mess it up. Brian Clark, founder and CEO of Copyblogger, always knows just what to say. He maintains that while some people view email marketing as outdated, it is still incredibly invaluable because it instantly makes the interaction between business and customer more personal, “…because it moves the conversation about your business to a more personal environment — the in-box.” or as he says “from conversation to commerce.” You definitely want that.

In Control

Email is what you call “permission-based” marketing, meaning your customer gave you the green light to appear in their inbox. To amplify your impact and their satisfaction with your service, you should also have options on HOW your customers receive your emails, be it daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or based on topics they’re most interested in. The trick is to not make it too complicated, because after all, you don’t want to turn them off and get unsubscribed completely. But customers are happier and more comfortable when they can choose how they receive what your business is offering.

Trackable

Another great advantage email marketing offers over its competitors is it’s huge potential for trackability using metrics and analytics. You can easily see helpful details such as who received the email, how many people actually clicked on it, who forwarded it to their friends or family, if it was shared on any social media channels, who unsubscribed or any new customers who just signed up. You can see the ripple effect of any and every email your business sends, and this puts you in the unique position of being able to adjust your processes accordingly, meaning your business is constantly growing and shifting.