Email marketing; Scourge or Saviour?

Today email has changed the face of modern communications.  We have the ability not only to open and read our emails at our desk or on our laptop but with mobile technology, our email accounts (and we’re sure to have more than one) can live in our pockets.  Smartphones and netbooks mean we can take our email wherever we go.  And who knows what the new iPad will do for it!


So how has all this affected the power of email marketing?  Well, firstly there has been a significant change in the way smart marketers are using email.  There will always be the spammers, happy to spew out millions of emails a week with completely non-relevant subjects to every possible address on the planet.  However, new technology and greater access to it now allows everyone the opportunity to harness email as it should be used, following that well-worn marketing mantra of Right Message – Right Person – Right Time.

With a stronger move towards the powerful concept of Permission-based Marketing, good marketers out there are looking for ways to get appropriate messages in front of potentially interested customers.  More than this, we can learn about our customers too.

Email marketing, used properly, can become a cornerstone of a solid marketing strategy.  It can be used to attract new customers, as well as maintain effective contact with existing ones.  It allows us to deliver the right message in a timely way and, most importantly, to the right individual.

Other reasons why email marketing is still among the top tools for SMEs include:

Speed; there really is no other way (with the exception of SMS Marketing perhaps) of getting a marketing campaign running faster.  You can release a campaign in the morning and start making sales in the afternoon.  You also get very fast (real-time) statistics that allow you to fine-tune your marketing campaign as you go.

Split-testing; I can’t believe there are still people out there who continue to run the same adverts week after week, month after month, with no plan to test them.  This really is CRITICAL and split testing is the easiest way to achieve this.  If you’re not aware of how to do this, FIND OUT and stop wasting your money (look out for a blog on this soon!).

Return on Investment; because email marketing can be so much cheaper than other forms of marketing, if you USE IT PROPERLY, you’ll see an amazing ROI.  It’s no longer about ‘spray and pray’ it’s all about getting the mix right and being highly targeted.

So what is the magic mix?  Well I’m going to give the game away at my next seminar on Email Marketing but here’s a sneak preview of the elements that I’ve found have a massive impact on results:

Get good data – This really is rule number 1.  You will want to collect and source data in the right way and if you’re buying/renting data then use good suppliers, there are many out there.  Quite simply, no other factor will increase results as much as good/relevant data.

Use a good email system – Forget about trying to manage your emails through standard applications like your Outlook account, you’re wasting your time and money.  A proper email marketing tool will give you amazing power and control over your campaigns and help you to build progressively.  Try the PUSH Email Marketing System (see www.nialadams.com).

Know how to play the game – Understand how email marketing works and what the ‘rules’ are.  These are really quite simple (when you know them!) and will help you double, treble or more your campaign results.

Get strategic as well as tactical – Ensure that you build your email marketing into your overall sales and marketing plan.  It will never work effectively for you if you just do it occasionally and with little thought or attention.

And lastly…

Always remember to use email to appropriately – It will help you to build your community and maintain contact with it.  Stick to the guidelines and you’ll ensure your emails are seen as positive communication, not intrusive and annoying.

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