Social media is the hottest digital marketing tool on the block. And with good reason – social media is a powerful platform for engaging with your tribe (and finding that tribe in the first place). So do you really still need an email strategy?
We’re not advocating for the “be everywhere all the time” approach that Grant Cardone and Gary Vee shout about from their soapboxes. But email is an essential tool for bringing your audience onto your own turf and rewarding their attention to your brand.
Email marketing is tried, tested, true and reliable. Here’s why:
You’re encouraging people to opt in– it’s not forced on them.
In fact, you can’t, thanks to GDPR, CAN-SPAM, CASL and other international privacy legislation that guards businesses and their audience. Double down on the authenticity of creating conversations with your clients and everyone wins.
Social media is the first date; email marketing is the committed relationship.
It’s tough to really get to know a brand over 280 characters (though it’s an improvement on the old 140). Social is enough to say “how you doin’?” with a wink and a finger-gun, but it isn’t enough to ask, “No, really. How are you?”
Social media is farmed on borrowed land.
If Zuckerberg shut down Instagram and Facebook tomorrow, what would you do? Less intense but just as worrisome, what if their algorithms decided to shut your page down without warning?
You can control how the story told and when it’s told.
Algorithms don’t change daily but we can’t blame you for feeling like it. Today, a social platform may show your post chronologically. Tomorrow it’ll be based on relevance. The day after that, the first post your audience sees may be the one their best friend likes the most.
59% of marketers said they see the most ROI from email.1
On social media, not only are you combatting algorithms for your place in the spotlight, but you’re also hoping the audience is checking social. According to the 2018 Adobe Consumer Email Survey, 50% of consumers 25 years or older would prefer to be contacted by brands via email, while only 7% would like to be contacted by brand via social media channels.2
The fact is that people really do like email – if you’re doing email right.
Here’s how to start your email marketing strategy:
- Build the right list. Growing your list is important, but not as important as growing the RIGHT list. Your email marketing will be worthless if it’s not full of the right people. (You can’t sell sand to a Floridian!) Be sure to use email marketing software like MailChimp, too. Using a third party tool made for email marketing ensures your email is delivered with all due diligence. There are options available for every list size and budget. MailChimp is great as a starting point because it’s free for less than 2,000 subscribers.
- Remember that slow and steady wins the race. Start with your goal in mind and work on serving your community every day. What do you want your emails to achieve? Whether it’s to entertain, sell, inform, or something else, your brand should live and breathe that message on all platforms. Use social media to encourage your followers to see the benefit of joining your mailing list. Make it clear to them why they should they give you the gift of access to their inbox. And don’t even think about buying a subscriber list. Ever. ?
- Plan out your communication strategy for how you’ll engage them and when. Use automation in your email platform (MailChimp does this!) to schedule out triggers to make your new subscriber feel the love. Then be sure you deliver what you promise. If you commit to a weekly email cadence, you better get that email out come hell or high water.
- Pay attention to unsubscribes. “Everyone” is not your audience, but if you’re growing your list, and you shift something in your strategy (like contacting people more frequently or changing the content within your emails) and you start to see an uptick in the people saying “no, thanks!” to your new direction, it’s time to pull back.
- Listen to your audience. Look at your analytics to find out what they’re clicking on in your emails. Give them more of that. Craft subject lines that make your audience want to open your carefully crafted email. David Ogilvy said, “On average, five times as many people read the headline as the read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
- Place significant value on reader attention. That inbox is important real estate. If you’re not giving your tribe something worth reading, you’re doing it wrong.
You may be reading this while nodding your head, but also secretly panicking that you don’t feel comfortable taking all of this on yourself. We’re here to help. Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be happy to make recommendations on improving your overall marketing communication strategy.