It doesn't matter what you're marketing. Whether it's widgets, or coffee, or professional services, the reality is that one of your most valuable (and under-utilized) weapons in your marketing arsenal is your email list.
It's true, even as Americans complain about their email inboxes, your email list is still king. More than twitter followers, or Facebook friends/likes/followers, the most valuable tool in your social marketing toolbox is your permission-based list of email addresses. Here are 5 reasons your Email list is probably your most important marketing tool.
1. EMAIL HAS A FAR GREATER REACH
According to a recent McKinsey & Co survey, email marketing is still 40 times more effective at reaching your target consumer, than Twitter or Facebook. Part of the reason? There are roughly 2.9 Billion people using Email. That's almost 3X as many people as use Twitter and Facebook combined. For most businesses, the chances are far greater that your target client has an email, then a social media account.
2. EMAIL ALLOWS YOU TO CUSTOMIZE THE CLIENT INTERACTION
Email marketing gives you a far greater ability to create customized campaigns based on the interactions of your customers and potential customers. Using software like MailChimp, MadMimi, or even more sophisticated tools like Hubspot or Infusionsoft, you can create intricate campaigns based on the type of email address (inbound lead, customer, referral, etc). This gives you far greater control of your marketing and sales message, then you can accomplish on social media alone. By personalizing, and customizing your email interactions, you greatly increase the opportunity to close new business among your target audience.
3. EMAIL IS PERMISSION-BASED
Sure, Twitter and Facebook are somewhat permission based. They both rely on people to "follow" or "like" your organization, but a follow/like is far less of a commitment to you then a potential customer that gives you an email address. That person is asking you to provide them with valuable content and messages tailored to their needs. That level of permission is indicative of a much higher quality relationship than someone who simply clicked "follow" on Facebook.
4. EMAIL IS MEASURABLE
Social analytics has come a long way, but the measurement tools for email are still far ahead of anything you can use for social media. Using some of the tools above, you can tell exactly who is opening your emails, what they do with them (click on your links), and what they do when they then visit your website. Email also makes it easy to "test" different campaign messages, and measure the response, in real time.
5. EMAIL IS PERSONAL
No matter what people say about their email inbox, the reality is that it's still the place where your potential clients communicate the most. It's easy to skip over a twitter feed, or go days without checking on Facebook, but the average American checks their email as much as 14 times a day (according to some surveys). The reality is that email is where the message actually gets to your potential customers. The reason email marketing is still King, is that it's still the digital medium most likely to actually end up seen by your potential customer.
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