Email Marketing – There’s Still Life in the Old Gal

by James on August 13, 2010

Active seniors excercisingEmail marketing has gone out of fashion. For many marketers it was never a serious contender for budget and now, with the new shiny thing, Social Media, omnipresent, it doesn’t even cross their minds. This is a shame.

Email marketing, when executed effectively, is still an efficient and worthwhile medium to deliver your message to your customers.

Lets look at five ways you can use email marketing to grow your business:

1. Cross sell using email is an effective use of the channel

Use emails, in conjunction with a segmented customer database, to deliver relevant sales messages to the customers who are most likely to purchase.

Don’t underestimate the importance of data segmentation. Sending your offer to all your customers will likely annoy most of them and, over time, this will cause them to mentally turn you off. This means, even if the offer were highly relevant to their needs, they won’t see it. If you send a highly specific offer, only to the people likely to find it relevant, you will see excellent response rates and, instead of annoying them, they will see the information you’re sending as evidence that you value their business.

2. Up sell is another effective use of email

Send an up sell offer via email just as they have made the initial purchase or after they have had a chance to experience your product.

Both are good times to suggest they might like a little something extra. “Would you like fries with that?” works in email marketing as well. Just like McDonald’s, consider the fulfillment channel as a touch point where you can up sell your customers. Consider what does with its confirmation emails, “Other customers who bought X also bought Y.” Current customers are much more likely to buy from you again, especially is you ask them to.

3. Don’t forget to use email to resell your customers

I got an email recently reminding me to replace the water filter in our fridge. Not very glamorous perhaps, but a very effective use of email marketing. Often all your customers need is a little nudge to encourage them to take action. And this is such an obvious thing to do, it is often overlooked.

4. Email marketing is an efficient way to test new products

Before you go to the expense of adding something to your inventory, offer it to your email list. See how they respond. See who responds. Split test the price. There are lots of things you can test using email and, rather than waiting weeks or months to see if something is catching on, you will know within hours or days if your new widget is what your customers are looking for.

5. Use email to encourage your customers to advocate on your behalf

Cold prospecting with email is generally not very effective. It’s difficult to properly segment your lists so your message will be irrelevant to most recipients. I don’t generally recommend this approach to prospecting. But you can encourage your current customers, especially your best customers, to advocate on your behalf. Make a forward button a prominent feature in your email template. Provide an incentive if you can or simply ask them to help you out. If you are providing a great service, if your product brings value beyond its price, customers will be happy to share the news.

So there you have it. Five simple things you can do right now to use email marketing. So get to it. Take advantage of the old gal, there’s still some life in her and, while your competition is busy trying to figure out how to make their Facebook and Twitter presence generate some sales, you can be growing your business with one of the easiest, least expensive marketing channels available to you.

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