As a publisher, there is no question of the potential that social media holds for lead generation. But with any good marketing strategy, it’s important to find the balance between focusing on each single component of the plan and stepping back to look at the big picture. Recently, we’ve been talking a lot about social media, so today, let’s take that step back and get a little perspective, through the lens of email marketing.
Social media is the shiny, new tool of the marketing world. It’s in the spotlight. People are intrigued by it, motivated to experiment with it and of course enamored with its potential—all with good reason. Yet, the effect of the spotlight means also that other more proven tools are in the shade, and at risk of rusting. Email marketing is arguably one of those tools in the shade, but despite the lack of attention it receives right now, many would agree, you shouldn’t let it get rusty.
In fact, there are a lot of people who warn against the propensity to focus marketing resources more on social media than email marketing.
To start with, a recent report from iContact finds that “83 percent of small and medium-size businesses say email is important or critically important to their overall marketing strategy. The report also notes that businesses are spending more of their marketing budgets on email than on any other tactic.”
There are a lot of reasons why people believe email is so important and effective, here are a few of the most compelling:
- If you think about it, in many ways, email is more targeted and personal than social media. It’s going to people’s inbox, not to their public forum—which will often glean more attention from your audience.
- Email marketing campaigns are still very cost effective and typically have a higher ROI. Which leads to;
- It is easy to track and analyze your ROI (even more directly than social media). Click and open rates give you important information.
- Members of your email list have given you explicit permission to contact them, and therefore, emails tend to be more trusted than social media channels.
- Trust comes from security, and email is certainly the more secure, documented way to communicate with your audience.
- With email, you have a more formal, professional style of communication, which sets up a higher quality interaction in which readers are already primed for a business transaction.
- Email marketing allows you to cultivate and own a superior contact list.
- Technology allows email to easily sync with other methods of marketing and builds engagement in concert with other online tools.
Not convinced? Check out two nifty infographics, for more specifics:
Intelligent email Marketing that Drives Conversions illustrates a study that shows email outperforming both search and social media for average add to shopping cart rates and average conversions per session.
Email vs. Social Media Marketing includes some important recent numbers:
- Email marketing spending increased by 60 percent in 2012.
- Email marketing delivered a return on investment (ROI) of 4,000 percent over that same period.
3 Starter Tips for Email Marketing
- Make sure your SaaS CMS includes eMail Newsletter Integration and Management, so you aren’t reinventing the wheel every time you want to tweak your content, place it in an email format or send to your list.
- According to a report by Experian Cheetahmail, Send emails between 8 p.m. and midnight, and on weekends, when click rates are highest.
- Remember that email, social media and other marketing tactics are not mutually exclusive. Leverage their overlap to grow your list of quality leads and convert them to buyers.
Now that we’ve taken a step back, hopefully, you can utilize this perspective and these tips to move forward.