If you are wondering who “she” is, I’ll come right out and admit it – it’s me. To make you feel a little better, you should know that there are other professional opinions that side with me on this topic. Two-thirds of marketers worldwide rank email as the most successful digital marketing tactic, according to CMO and reported in Digital Media. This doesn’t mean it’s right for you, but it’s clearly working for somebody!
I talk to many small business owners who ask questions about email such as “does anybody read email anymore?” and “don’t people feel like you are sending them junk?” and my favorite, “I don’t have any ideas of what to say in an email.” These are all valid questions, and the short answers are “yes,” “it depends,” and “let’s have coffee.”
Remember that it always makes sense to start at the beginning when choosing your marketing methods. The choices today are varied and tempting, but it always comes down to the same question – where is your audience spending their time? No matter how much you think Twitter is the coolest thing ever, if your customers want to touch and feel something that arrives in their (physical) mailbox, you should be sending them mail with postage affixed. If your people read email, send them email. If you don’t know, ask them. Doesn’t that sound simple? Don’t make it difficult.
According to Pew Internet, 92% of American adults read or send email. How many of these people open EVERY SINGLE EMAIL in their inbox? My guess is nobody (OK maybe somebody hasn’t heard of SPAM yet – but it’s doubtful). The facts are, people still read email, and they scan, filter, and make decisions very quickly about whether they open and read them. Again, don’t make it difficult. If you have any customers or prospects who use email and want or need any information from you, email is still a viable marketing method. And, yes, it plays well with social media and traditional marketing methods.
If your target market uses email, keep these things in mind:
Good subject lines increase open rates
Days and times matter (to some audiences)
Personalizing emails increase engagement
Content is still king- give them what they want/need to know
People are busy- make it short and sweet