I love social media. I make lots of money from social media, so of course I would love it. And I can show you lots of ways to use social media to connect with your customers and build deeper relationships. But I still love one of the tried and true ways of marketing… email. I know that there are many people who say they hate email. But take it away from them and see what happens. I believe that email is still the de-facto preferred communication tool today. I know in business environments that certainly is the case. In my offices, email is the only thing that we can ensure that everyone uses so email is what we use to distribute critically important information.
Here is what I know about email:
1. Just about every service on the internet still uses email to deliver news, information, account information, etc. In fact, most websites that I have accounts with allow me to use my email address as my login. Everything that happens in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Foursquare, and so on, comes to me as notifications through email. And if I want to retrieve a password, guess where it goes?
2. Everyone has an email address, if they are online. When you sign up for internet service at your home your internet provider gives you an email address. And I literally don’t know anyone who has a job and a computer who doesn’t have an email address. If your customer is online, they have an email address.
3. There are more smartphones sold in the United States than ever before. I have even seen statistics that show that almost 50% of consumers in the US today (or more) have a smartphone. And smartphones have email capabilities. So more and more people are checking email on their phones because they don’t want to wait to get back to their computers to check it.
4. If you provide value via email to your customers, they will embrace it. I get stuff delivered to me via email all the time from companies and services that I want to receive stuff from. Those organizations who don’t deliver me value will see me unsubscribe. But as long as you deliver value, you can use email to market to your customers. The trick is delivering that value and not delivering so much that you are annoying. How much is annoying? It depends on what your customers will accept, and you’ll have to figure that out.
5. There are many free services on the Internet that provide free email marketing services, so you don’t have an excuse anymore not to try it. I use www.mailchimp.com and love it.
So what do you think? Do you use email marketing? What kind of success (or failures) have you had? Let me know in the comments below.