Email Marketing Is Still The Best – Especially For SMBs
But first, let’s address a common myth: the death of email. People have talked about it for years now, and yet we continue to find more and more uses for it. Email marketing is still the most economical and the most powerful marketing tool for a majority of businesses. Marketers consistently ranked email as the single most effective tactic for awareness, acquisition, conversion, and retention, more so for SMBs.
What Makes Email Marketing So Important?
The more we try to find a better alternative to email, the more we realize that we already have the solution that just needs to be used better.
In this post, we’ll learn why SMBs should embrace email without hesitation and start to take more advantage of it. I will address some questions that might have you considering alternatives below.
1. Why not train people to be productive with email?
Over 205 million emails are sent every day and the number is only growing. If email is dead, why are people still using it? It is true that some tools and apps can replace some of the functions of the email, but email is a multi-functional tool; you don’t just use it to communicate, you use it to market, perform project management functions, provide sales support, approach new leads, fix appointments, design your calendar, collaborate with the team, and so much more.
Instead of using a multitude of tools – one for sales support, one for project management, one for communicating etc. (which is quite far-fetched for an SMB, given the budget limitations), you can perform all the tasks using just email, and you can further enhance the performance of the email through add-on tools and extensions.
Say you run a sales team. Instead of every member maintaining a separate contact list, you can use features such as shared contacts to maintain a centralized contact list of your leads, which is hosted on email.
The problem is more with the way we use email rather than email itself.
Did you know that 58% of adults check their emails the first thing in the morning? Like it or not, email has seeped into our very lives and has become an integral part of it. Given these facts, SMBs can safely assume that email is here to stay.
2. Why won’t text message work just as well for me?
Consider this. If a bunch of salespersons started tailing you and asking you to try various products the moment you walk into a store, how would you feel? Quite annoyed I am guessing. Why? Because they are not letting you shop in peace and are stepping into your space.
Facebook, texts, and Whatsapp are considered private spaces – meant only for friends, colleagues and family. While email maintains a careful professional distance, that is not the case with other means of communication. For SMBs, cold outreach, for example, is an important business development strategy. And if not done right, it can end up blowing away incredible opportunities. In fact, 66% of small business owners say that finding new customers is a top concern.
Email is not so personal that you end up annoying people. Nor is it so distant that you end up getting ignored. This makes it a wonderfully balanced tool.
Anyone who has an email account can send an email to any one of the billions of active email addresses – be it on Gmail, Yahoo, AOL or Outlook. Interoperability is one of the greatest features of email – and that is hard to find in any other instant messaging apps. For example, you can’t use Facebook Messenger to tweet someone, can you?!
3. Aren’t there better, newer methods, to use for marketing than email blasts?
Sure, there are newer methods to market, but email’s advantages such as immediacy, simplicity and familiarity, almost always outweigh the advantages of other methods.
For instance, you might think, I could just conduct a webinar to generate leads, so why bother to do email marketing.
Here are a few reasons why:
- Attending a webinar requires effort from your prospect, while opening an email and reading an email is an extremely simple task.
- Email is more immediate. The gap between registering for a webinar and actually attending it is ample time for a prospect to change their minds.
- Putting together a webinar is relatively more expensive and time-consuming, hence is not a cost-effective option for small businesses.
- If you don’t have authority online, your webinar won’t have the desired effect. This is not the case with email.
Also, Email marketing helps you reach out to a large number of prospects at the rate of a few pennies per message. In the age where startups are trying hard to flourish with limited budgets, this is a cost effective solution.
4. Will email serve me well even in this mobile era?
In the age of mobiles, email marketing is a brilliant strategy. Here’s why:
Sending email newsletters is the easiest way to enter into the mobile space of the customer. Like I said before, people will not welcome the idea of you sending them Facebook messages or text messages, because it is their personal space. That limits the opportunities to enter their mobile space. But with email, you can easily and efficiently do that.
For instance, using email marketing for mobiles is better than using SMS marketing.
- Texting might cost customers sometimes, while email is completely free.
- Emails have more space to craft a compelling marketing message compared to texts.
- Emails are available on all mobile devices not just phones, unlike texts.
A few other important reasons why SMBs should embrace email
- Email is sort of the social security number for your online life. Enter any website or online account, and your email id is the key checkpoint for the website to identify you.
- Over the years, email has stayed pretty stable ,while many other communication tools wade in and out, such as the Windows live messenger.
- It is relatively more resistant to hacking than other platforms. There have been more cases of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts being hacked as compared to emails.
For most small businesses (or any business for that matter), the problem lies in the way we use email. Email, equipped with the right tools and extensions, is more powerful than any other communication tool that has ever existed on the internet.
Instead of us trying to find a better alternative to email, we should rather focus on learning how to use email better.
Lead/Featured image: Copyright: ‘http://www.123rf.com/profile_feelart‘ / 123RF Stock Photo
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