Mobile devices. Social media. Video email.
These have been some of the biggest changes in the email marketing space over the last few years.
But irrespective of the changing landscape, one thing has remained the same.
Email marketing is still an extremely effective way to achieve the top 3 business objectives — increase sales, drive website traffic and generate leads.
As this MarketingSherpa survey suggests, email remains highly effective as a marketing tool.
Email’s effectiveness at achieving business objectives
Is Email Working Hard Enough for You?
What I’d like to focus on today though is the role that email marketing plays with the next 3 most common business objectives – nurturing prospects, building brand awareness and improving customer retention.
The practice of lead nurturing keeps a prospect engaged by periodically delivering content that is relevant to their stage in the buying process. It keeps your brand top of mind for when they are ready to buy.
Email is a very effective tool for lead nurturing because it can be automated so that you’re able to send the right content to prospects at the right time. It is also highly measurable so you can track the movement of prospects as they progress through the buying process.
For tips and advice on how to use email marketing to nurture prospects check out this Email Marketing Summit of Australia 2012 presentation on converting a prospect into a sale with email.
Building brand awareness
When someone subscribes to receive your email marketing messages they are effectively inviting you into their inbox.
So provided you continue to send email content that your subscribers want to receive, they will be in a positive state of mind when exposed to your brand in their inbox.
Most brands send at least a monthly email newsletter which is a good start. But there are many other ways that email can be used to build brand awareness.
A fear of over-emailing prevents a lot of brands from exploring email’s fullest potential. This is a valid concern but as long as your email marketing provides value to subscribers you’ll be able to build brand awareness without annoying people along the way.
For inspiration and examples of how leading brands are using email marketing check out the Vision6 e-guide on the Anatomy of an Email.
Improving customer retention
The key to retaining customers is to maintain and strengthen their trust in your brand.
One of the best ways to do this is to share knowledge and add value to customers outside of just selling your wares.
Whether it’s with newsletters, product updates, new resource announcements, event invitations, competitions, or post-purchase surveys, the best brands use email as a tool to communicate and engage with their customers in a variety of ways.
With that said, it can be daunting to know exactly what content to send. But as I said above, as long as your email provides value to subscribers then it is hard to go wrong.
If you’re stuck for ideas with your email marketing content, remember that there are plenty of sources for good content and inspiration.
Email marketing is a proven and successful tool for helping achieve the most common business objectives.
The fear of over-emailing and a general lack of content holds a lot of brands back with how they utilise email marketing.
But with a little inspiration and a commitment to sending content that is valuable and interesting, email marketing can work even harder to help you achieve more of your business goals.
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