When it comes to retaining and cross-selling to your existing customers, email marketing is a stand out performer.
In the last 15 years I’ve implemented direct marketing campaigns of all shapes and sizes. Letter box drops, inbound phone sales, annoying telemarketing and door-to-door sales, content marketing and social media campaigns and of course, email marketing. And I’ve had all kinds of budgets, big and tiny.
When it comes to retaining and cross-selling to your existing customers, if I had to choose one technique only, email marketing without hesitation would be a clear winner.
And there are few reasons for that …
1. Email marketing has a low upfront investment
Getting up and running with email is significantly lower than print marketing and high commission direct activity. And that’s huge upside for small business in particular.
Your initial and ongoing costs can be broken down into two main groups:
- Template design and development.
- List creation/growth planning and implementation.
- Training on DIY email marketing tools.
- Email marketing software subscription (depends on your list size).
- Campaign setup and delivery.
- Creative development for emails.
- Copy for emails.
There are some great partners to help you get up and running with the above on any budgets. And with a little training you can take care of a lot of them yourself driving down costs even more!
2. It’s a low barrier to adoption channel
Whilst setting up and running your first email marketing campaign might be a bit daunting, every subsequent campaign will get faster and easier to complete. Once you are up and running, email campaigns can be imagined and created in hours. Anyone reading this article is fully capable of running their own email campaign.
3. It’s scalable
Given email is 100% digital, scaling a breeze. Whilst you will pay a little more if your list is large, the effort required to send an email to 1,000 or 1,000,000 people is exactly the same. (A spelling mistake might be a little more embarrassing in front of a million people however :))
4. It’s adaptable
When you’re starting with email you might want to keep things simple, like a basic newsletter once or twice a month. As your skills (and hopefully sales) improve, you’ll begin to look for more sophistication with your email campaigns. As long as you have a good list, then adaption is more incremental than having to reinvent the wheel every time you want to do something new.
5. It’s measurable
Measuring the impact of email isn’t perfect, but it’s a lot better than some of the alternatives. You can track people who click the links in your emails right through to what they might do on your site. You won’t just have the information for the last email you sent either, you’ll have it for every single email you ever send them. This gets really fun when you start looking to level up your email campaigns.
6. It’s immediate (if you want it to be)
The great thing about email is that when you hit that send button, people start to receive your email in their inbox within minutes. This means, particularly for direct activation emails, the rewards (sales) come fast. No more waiting days for letters to arrive in letterboxes!
7. It’s controllable
Whilst you can immediately appear in people’s inbox you can also use scheduling to improve the performance of your emails as well. You schedule an email for a specific day and time or you can schedule them for the individual recipient’s most appropriate time too.
8. It’s intelligent
As email is so measurable, you know things like who opened, clicked and ultimately bought what (or not). You can use this for specific follow up and cross-sell campaigns. For example; you click a link in my newsletter to an article showcasing ‘the most amazing business card designs ever’. From this, I can pretty confidently infer you’d like a better-looking business card and make sure that a special offer for one is the next email I send!
This is when email marketing starts becoming really cool! Yes in a slightly nerdy way.
9. It’s personal
Nothing digital will ever topple the personal nature of a face to face conversation, but as far as digital goes, meeting someone in the inbox is a pathway to a great long term relationship. Yes, inbox providers like gmail want to send our email to hidden tabs, however, for the most part, emails still arrive in an intimate and private place. When your email arrives, it’s a battle for attention limited to only other arrivals. Something much easier to win than the million distractions on Facebook.
10. It’s accessible
We’re accessing email more often and on more devices than ever before. Email being lifted from behind the monitor coupled with its immediacy has created new opportunities for customer activation in real time. It doesn’t have the limitless potential to virally spread like social marketing, but it can inspire people to take direct action on short notice.
11. It plays nice with other marketing channels
As freelancers or solopreneurs the notion of any marketing already sounds like hard work let alone the concept of multi-channel marketing. But that’s okay. When your businesses is firing and you’re ready to step up to more complex marketing, the scalability, adaptability and affordability of email means is always ready to play nice with other marketing channels.
Ok, email marketing sounds great … where do I start?
Being great at email isn’t about taking one giant leap, it’s about making small steps in the right direction. Your first step should be focused on building your list. Without someone to send your emails too, there’s little point in creating them. I’ll share more on how to do that later.
In the meantime, got any questions about email marketing? Feel free to ask them in the comments below!