Why bother with email marketing?
Last week we talked about how to significantly increase the open rate on your emails with eleven tips for email marketing. I’ve also shared five ways to legitimately grow your email list. But isn’t just having a great social presence good enough - why do you need an email list?
When I released the new RV podcast I had amassed an email list of over 7,000 people over time. This legitimately crafted list was all mine and I determined when it was sent and to whom it was sent. Unlike with social media, your email list is yours to control and belongs to you.
Now it’s always good to nurture your recipients with true and relevant value before you ask them a favor like helping you launch a podcast. I hope I have delivered value to those people in the past and this is the first big “ask” I have ever done like this.
Mood swing independent
When Facebook or Google have their next inevitable mood swing it could take you a while to adjust your marketing to suit their whims whereas having an email list is a constant. It allows you to share your message and deliver value to your subscribers as you would. You won’t have to figure out how they did their changes so you can be relevant again.
The content of your email isn’t distracted by advertisements, other people’s posts, news flashes and requests for friends. Nope. It’s all you, baby. It’s a personal communication between you and your recipients.
So your message is concentrated like that earth soap you bought for the laundry. And this is another reason why it should deliver value. If you’re going to specifically ask for someone’s undivided attention, you had better have a reason that they interrupted their day just for you.
Which is also why so many emails get unopened, ignored, and why so many email lists get unsubscribed from.
With some limitations, when you use an email provider as described in eleven tips for email marketing, you can see approximately how many people opened your emails. This statistic isn’t about clicks or how many people accidentally happened upon your web page looking at just the wrong Google result. Nope.
When someone opens your email it’s because they want what you are delivering. You have convinced them that you have some value for them and the time they’re about to take is well worth it.
So a very good subject line or a compelling opening is critical to getting the results you want and delivering the value that justifies your recipients’ opening the correspondence.
There are limitations on this ability to track. Essentially your email provider sends a tiny little one-pixel graphic even if the email is pure text. When someone opens the email the sending provider’s server sends them that graphic so they know the email has been opened.
But there are many people, particularly in the corporate environment, that specifically do not receive graphics in emails. So your email server won’t realize that your recipient has opened the email. This is a big part of why the open rate isn’t always accurate. But at least it’s underreported instead of inaccurately over reported so there’s that.
Also, some people’s email subject lines are so complete that the recipient doesn’t even need to open the email at all. So your subject line may actually dissuade someone from opening your email and getting the full value of the message.
The subject line and first paragraph are a delicate balancing act to be sure.
It’s at their convenience
Have you ever seen something posted on a social media platform and you were really intrigued by it but then you blinked and it was buried with all the other junk on that same social media platform? Where did that post go and why can’t you find it?
This is how messages get lost. Unless your clients are really good at working social media, or care a lot, it’s really, really, really easy to lose your message. And that’s if they’ve even seen the message in the first place!
Whereas your email is just sitting there with that incredible subject line patiently waiting for your fans to open it. They know where it is. It’s not getting lost. And they can search their email inbox if they do get lost.
Yeah, yeah, you can also search social media. I know. But nobody does. I know bloggers who have made a living out of reposting the same blog posts over and over in discussion forums because nobody bothers to look at something that was posted alllllllll the way back yesterday.
This is part of why Facebook is serving up those memories. They’ve got this incredible treasure trove of content, an enviable amount, but it’s just taking up space on their servers so they’ve sorta figured a way out how to use it. Sorta.
Now the bad side
Let’s face it, we all get way too much email, much of which comes from lists we’ve signed-up for. Sure, Uncle Fester’s School of Light Bulb Illumination was cool when we signed-up that drunken night, but it’s no longer relevant.
Furthermore, some studies say that younger people aren’t paying attention to email at all in many cases. Yeah, they had to get a Gmail address when they got an Android phone or an iCloud address when they got their iPhone so they still have it.
Still, people do still use their email and if your correspondence continues to have value, that’s the key to success.
There are a number of articles I’ve linked to here if you haven’t already seen them. I hope I continually am providing value to you in my emails and, of course, I appreciate the referrals.
Oh, and here’s an article about email marketing to peruse.
Also, here's an article on email marketing statistics.