Email Marketing Essentials

Return on Investment ROIDid you know that email marketing has the highest return on investment (ROI) of all forms of interactive marketing? Research by the Direct Marketing Association shows that year after year, the ROI for email marketing is higher than any other channel.

Despite reports to the contrary, email marketing is far from dead and is in fact a great way to extend the traffic you are getting from search and social media. Include it in your Internet marketing mix and you will be pleasantly surprised when it starts showing up as a top traffic driver and source of conversions in your analytics reports. In this blog, we’ll look at the basics of email marketing—how to create email that recipients want to read and the best practices for email marketing. People really respond to outreach that’s opt-in (meaning they signed up for it), and a regular touch in the form of an email newsletter full of helpful or thought-provoking information (or deals available only through the newsletter) are sometimes just what a potential customer needs in order to convert to a loyal customer.

Visits to your web site are like sales calls. Your opt-in email newsletter campaign should be considered a follow-up to these. At the very least, add an email newsletter sign-up form on your home page and send out one email newsletter a month.

If you spend one hour each month writing and sending a quick email to your customers and prospects and you get just one project or sell a handful of products as a result, your efforts are worth it. Sell a couple more products or close some service deals, and you will be amazed when you calculate the ROI for your email newsletter efforts.

Direct sales aren’t the only benefit to making an email newsletter a part of your online marketing campaign, however. When you keep in touch with customers and contacts, you have the opportunity to brand yourself as a thought leader or to make people really happy with special deals. The branding impact alone is worth the effort if you use your newsletter respectfully (in other words, don’t send out spam!) and share something useful with your customers. The key is creating a unique value proposition (UVP) for those who sign up to receive email from you. You must make people want to receive your email by demonstrating that opening and reading it is worth their precious time.

Photo credit: RaHuL Rodriguez / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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