We all saw the memes* last week of Bernie Sanders at the Inauguration of President Biden, right? Off topic, this is my favorite; but they were good and I started to think of how our news cycle and, in fact the election, was largely guided by memes and decided I needed to have one of my own. So here it is.
….and here’s why.
All the cool kids are doing social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok, is Snapchat still a thing? But if you think it has surpassed the old dinosaur of email marketing, you are way off base.
Even though new technology springs up every day (and disappears the next, take a look at the Google Graveyard) having an email list is still one of the best ways to generate leads, build awareness, make sales.
You own it!
Unlike Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or any other social platform, your email list is yours, and yours alone. Remember when little Timmy decided to take his baseball and go home because he was not winning? Well, what do you think Mark Zuckerberg and the like are doing with social media? They win with their customers (and you are not their customer, you are their product), by feeding them what Zuck wants. If you are selling cruises and Facebook decides that people want to see space vacations—you lose. That’s not the case with email.
Return on investment is through the roof!
According to the Direct marketing Association, in 2020, the return on investment from email marketing campaigns can be as much as 4,200 percent. In other words, for every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return is $42. Think about that for a minute next time you spend a few hundred on Facebook ads. When you look at the costs, you can see the numbers. My list is 15,000 strong and I pay $1700 a year to AWeber for the emailing service. I send a monthly email to clients and prospects and in 2019 (because..2020..what can I say), I converted $438,000 in sales from those emails alone. Figure roughly 12% commission and my $1700 investment returned $52,000. Of course I need to back out my time and salary for the marketing effort and also some other tech costs, but you get the idea.
You build your reputation!
People like to buy from people they like. Mike Marchev has said this time and time again. Add in trust and reputation and people are more than five times as likely to buy from that person or company. Start building that trust as soon as they sign up. Welcome them, highlight your strengths, and make sure they know what to expect from this subscription. There is nothing worse than signing up for an email for red licorice and getting blasts for car parts! And remember, the email broadcasts are not intended to sell, but to inform. Let me repeat… the email broadcasts are not intended to sell, but to inform.
Who you gonna call?
Nearly 4 billion people use email every day, and this number is expected to rise to 4.5 billion in 2023. 90% of them check email at least daily. So, who would not want to be in front of that group? You have an addicted audience ready to read your message. If you craft a relatable, interesting, and useful message (remember, not a sales pitch), you will be top-of-mind with your prospects and when their spouse or partner says ok, “who we gonna call?”…the answer becomes obvious.
A great tool for building!
Once you understand the power of direct email marketing, it is only a small step to use it to help you grow that base. If you are looking for a great street taco in your town, where do you go? To a friend that has eaten at a bunch of great taco food trucks? Or to the website of one of the 10 taco trucks that claim to be the best? Of course, you go to a friend. Provide great content in your newsletter and make sure you let your subscribers know that you want them to share and forward the newsletter. Some services have a “forward to a friend” feature, but I find the most effective way is to simple ask. Create a paragraph that says, “hey, we want to work with other great people like you, please share this newsletter with your friends.” So simple but it works. When I had a storefront agency, you would be shocked at the number of groups we did just by asking a client who was booking a single trip “hey, do you have any neighbors or friends that might like to join you?” It is not top of their mind unless you put it there.
But be personal!
One of the beauties of social media is the way they can target you. Have you ever gone toa website and then found a zillion ads on Facebook for that same product? You can do that with email broadcasts as well, but not to the same degree. If at all possible, get some information from your subscribers—first name, last name, and town is a great start. And begin with “Dear John. I hope the winter is treating you well in Minot.” Immediately you are more trusted because you are speaking as a friend and not a random company addressing an email to “Dear resident”. Once they begin to interact with your email, study the reports and see what interests them. Re-target them. If you mention something about a particular Cabo San Lucas, segment those people and re-target them with some more detailed information about that destination. Craft your next message with something like “A client just called and asked about Cabo, so I dug into some photos I took last time I was there and remembered what a great time we had when we stayed at the Waldorf Pedregal and thought they’d be fun to share.” Boom! You have just re-targeted them with something they are interested in. You have shown them that you are trustworthy in sharing real photos and not marketing fluff. And most importantly, you, Cabo, and the Waldorf are now top-of mind.
Using an email list instead of relying on social media’s constantly changing rules and algorithms is the best way to control your destiny. This year, take time and focus your energy on effective email marketing campaigns and make them a priority. We’ll check back in 2022 and see how it went!
* Memes. Completely off topic and apropos of nothing, but when I first saw that word seven or eight years ago, I was able to figure out the definition. Apparently the pronouciation was an issue. I was talking to my kids and mentioned that some of the me-mes were funny. They all cringed and have never let me forget!