All the cool kids want you to focus on social media these days to solve your digital marketing woes. If you would just tweet more or post to Facebook more or have a few more ads you would see the power unleashed.

There is power out there, yes, but there is an enormous amount of power that you’re sitting on right now that you are probably not using. Email. I know, we get hundreds of email every day, but email wins over social media when it comes to conversions and ROI (especially for e-commerce).

email still dominates social media
Custora Report 2014

In a world of 140-character limits and pictures of small lizards, delivering substance to your customers is hard to do, but stands out when done correctly.

Think about this for a minute: you have someone’s direct email address. They have opted in to hear from you. They have given you permission to send them a direct communication. As a business, this permission is something you don’t really have anywhere else. Sure, they might like your Facebook page, but that also assumes they are checking their Facebook feed when you post something.

Doing email marketing well takes effort, which is why I think most emails get immediately deleted or never opened. There are some really powerful tools out there that I’ll go into later like MailChimp or Constant Contact that make sending emails so much easier, but I don’t think it’s the sending that is where most get stuck.

I believe it’s in the purpose of the email that we need to step back and consider a few things:

Why are you sending this email?

  • Is it just something you do once a month so you make sure you can cross that off or do you have something of value that I am going to gain by receiving this?

Why should I open your email?

  • Are you giving me something of value? If I don’t open your email will it matter?
  • Are you just selling me more stuff or giving me something special?

Would you open your email?

  • Send yourself a test copy…are you drawn to open it? Send it to your friend and get their feedback (someone not in your office).

Don’t just use email when you need more sales. Build your base with value, tips, tricks, stuff that you would tell them in person, your “secret sauce”. Make it worth it for me to open your email. Make it unique.

Photo credit: zieak

With over a decade of experience, I have managed online marketing for a wide range of industries including biotech, high-tech, financial, higher education, non-profit, manufacturing, hardware providers, and startups. My specialty is helping business make the right turn with their online efforts focusing on lead generation and analytics.

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