Today’s inbound marketing agency has a variety of tools at its disposal. Websites, content marketing, search marketing and social media are great, but how does email marketing work as part of an inbound marketing program? Is it even an inbound marketing tactic?
The answer is—yes!
If you understand the new buyer journey, how people make purchase decisions and how your marketing needs to align with that new process, then you quickly see where email marketing, in its various forms, fits into an integrated inbound marketing program.
Email marketing is truly a lead-nurturing tactic. What we mean by that is email marketing is excellent at making sure your leads (the people interested in your company) stay connected and engaged with your business. One of the greatest characteristics of email marketing is its price point and its ability to be automated. This makes it one of the most efficient and easiest tactics to execute in our inbound marketing tool kit.
With the click of a button, we can speak with thousands of people for just pennies a piece. Perhaps even more exciting is that these people have asked to be contacted, they have opted into your community and invited you to send them information on a regular basis.
But this is where it gets complicated. How much do we send them and is what we send them going to establish their perception of our company? If you email them sales and promotional information, they are going to shut down. Just as you would if a sales person came up to you in a store, unsolicited, and started telling you about all the great deals available to you.
Even if you are sending them highly educational information, you can't send them content like this every single day; you must switch it up. Planning out your email marketing is critical to creating a remarkable and educational experience for your clients and prospects.
There are a variety of email marketing techniques that we use for our clients.
Educational Emails – These consist of a single topic that is discussed briefly in the email and then links back to a client’s website for the reader to receive more information. Your prospects are only spending 20 to 30 seconds reading any email—so content any longer than this runs the risk of getting ignored. Remember, the goal of any email marketing program is to drive readers back to your website.
Newsletter Emails – These consist of short snippets of educational information, usually three or four items, and typically this information is derived from a client’s blog. Often we select the most popular blog posts and email short synopsizes out to prospects in the hope that these people want to subscribe to the blog. Moving prospects from an email subscription to a blog subscription is positive, because the blog comes out more often and is actually more likely to be shared.
Lead Nurturing Emails – These are also referred to as workflow emails. They are personal emails that come from someone at your company and look more like Outlook emails than the designed template emails used in either of the other email examples. These are set up in advance to go out at regular intervals and are triggered by key events. For instance, if I download a whitepaper, I would get a series of three lead nurturing emails, one every three days, introducing me to additional educational content that’s directly related to the whitepaper I requested. The emails may be triggered by upcoming webinars, e-books or tip guides.
One of the major advantages of email marketing, and one of the reasons we like it so much, is because it’s easy to quantify the performance of the emails and it’s easy to drill down into each element of the email. An element of Reality Marketing is that everything we do is quantifiable.
With email marketing, we measure the effectiveness of the subject line, the content in the email, the landing page on the website and the offers on the email or the landing page. We also measure our engagement rate with our audience as a whole by tracking opt-out rates. If opt-out rates are rising, then we may need to adjust either our frequency or our content. Even those lead nurturing Outlook-style emails are quantifiable down to the click. After all, marketing is a science these days and everything should be measurable.
Start Today Tip
If you aren’t executing email marketing in some form, you need to add it to your program today. If you aren’t executing like we outlined above, then consider making these upgrades to your program. It’s like having virtual sales people talking to all of your prospects at once, saying exactly what you want them to say, when you want them to say it. If you think about it like that, it’s something every effective marketing program needs to help your business get found, get leads and drive revenue.
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