When the United States Postal Service created a nationwide postal network in the 1840s, mail became an important tool for marketing. Connecting with people through their mailboxes allowed businesses to offer customized marketing messages to specific segments of the customer base. It is likely that much of the mail you now receive contains some kind of marketing message. Catalogs, brochures, coupons and political appeals all pour through the postal service on a daily basis. (See also Direct Mail Marketing)
“Lead generation is about personal connection. At our office, we have created out “Top 50 program” where we designate the top people in our network who have the greatest potential to bring in one piece of business. From there, we look to meet with our contacts once a quarter face-to-face to learn more about their lives and develop a deeper relationship with them. We also host exclusive parties and events which we invite out “Top 50” to including movie nights, parties, etc. Leveraging your network is a great way to generate leads and in order to get those you need to build strong personal relationships with them.”
The pervasive nature of email is clear. 91% of Americans use email every day, so there is a 91% chance that your email will be seen in some form. Social media marketing does not provide that rate of exposure to a target market. Email conversion rates are three times higher than social media according to McKinsey & Company. Since the end goal is to convert into sales, this number is meaningful.
When it comes to marketing your business, it’s important to be where your consumers are. Email use is thriving and is used by 95% of online consumers. 91% of consumers reported checking their email at least once a day (Exact Target). In fact, it’s not uncommon for consumers to check their email dozens of times each day. Using email marketing to promote content and your products and services is a great way to drive more traffic to your website and is a highly effective tool for nurturing leads through the buying cycle.
According to a study done by Lithium Technologies, 65% percent of users who ask a brand a question on Twitter expect a response within 2 hours, with that percentage rising to 72% if it was a complaint. By proactively listening for those mentioning your brand on social media, you can insert yourself into conversations in real time and capitalize on a countless lead generation opportunities that you’d be missing otherwise.
According to Campaign Monitor, birthday emails are some of the most effective emails you can send, with a 481 percent higher transaction rate than promotional emails. Other milestones you can celebrate include your subscribers’ sign-up anniversary or your company anniversary. When combined with a special promotion or offer, these emails can drive much greater clicks and conversions.
If you only ever send fancy formatted emails, text-only messages may be worth a try. According to HubSpot, even though people say that they prefer heavily-designed emails with numerous images, in actuality, simpler emails with less HTML won out in every A/B test. In fact, HTML emails tend to have lower open and click-through rates that correlate directly to how many HTML elements are included. This is likely due to email programs such as Gmail filtering promotional emails out of the main inbox and into a different tab where they may not be seen by users. Plainer emails can be great for event invitations, blog content, and survey or feedback requests. But even if you don’t send text-only messages, simplifying your emails and including fewer images could be enough to boost your open and click through rates.
“When doing SEO, focus on building links back to your site from sites that are relevant to your business. If you’re selling houses, then getting a link to your site from a blog on Realtor.com is going to drive your site up in the Google search rankings. Whatever you do, don’t perform shady backlink building practices, such as buying 500 backlinks for $20 on Fiverr. SEO won’t produce leads for your business immediately, but over time your organic lead flow will increase, which will drastically improve your ROI on your business. “
The self-directed buyer’s shields are up, and they are ignoring your messages. Developing a relationship to cut through the noise is critical. Not all leads that go to sales are ready to buy, so you have to make sure that you have in place a solid lead nurturing strategy to continue to build awareness and affinity for your brand while your prospect is self-educating. Through paying attention to your MOFU efforts through tactics such as lead nurturing, you can continue to have a relevant conversation with prospects long after your lead generation efforts.
The two examples above are of Brain Pickings’ weekend newsletter (to the left) and Fast Company’s design daily newsletter (to the right). These emails are always packed with useful and entertaining information, a sure sign of high clickthrough rates and an engaged audience. On the top of each newsletter, you will spot a call-to-action which invites people to either donate or subscribe.
Here’s an example: Let’s say we are marketing a conference. We have a plan to send five emails leading up to the conference to drive registration. Once a recipient registers for the conference, we need to remove them from the list! We don’t want to keep sending them the “register today!” emails once they have registered, right? They need to go to a different list, a list of registered attendees.
With Pay-per-Click (PPC ) ads you pay for each click on your ad which is displayed on a search engine such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing, or on a website. For PPC on search engines, your ads show up as sponsored results on the top and side of the organic search terms. PPC ads are a terrific way to draw attention to your latest content or service offerings. They are also highly targeted so they can generate very high quality leads. Advertisers bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target markets and your ads will display when a keyword query matches your chosen keyword list.
If you design emails on your own email platform, you’ll need to be proficient in coding and willing to spend a lot of time making sure that you’ve got it exactly right on every email. But with an email marketing services provider, you can rely on the templates to keep everything lined up and coded correctly. Don’t forget that about half of all emails today are opened on mobile devices. Email marketing services help make sure that your email will render correctly on every device.
Email marketing is an important marketing tool for any small business. Let’s get that on the table up front. Although it may not be as glamorous as social media marketing platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram, it has proven to be more effective for delivering conversions and higher ROI. When small businesses are looking for a cost effective, shareable, measurable form of marketing, the benefits of email marketing place it right at the top of the list.