This is a Guest Blog post by Emma-Julie Fox. To submit a guest blog post to Brandsplat, click here.
With the popularity of social media and its prominence in SEO today, one wonders if email marketing is still useful when social media seems to be a one-stop shop for PR, marketing, SEO and traffic generation.
People also have a general aversion to spam lurking within their email, and the abundance of it is frightening. Besides, who still reads email when they can get in touch with their friends through social media sites? Actually… a lot of people!
The fact that people need to have email addresses for work, means that a majority of paying consumers are very accessible via email. In fact as per a 2010 study, 94% of online users access and use e-mail! A more recent 2013 report suggests that 55% of marketing professionals agree that e-mail marketing is one of the most effective marketing tools.
It is agreed that social media has its own statistics to boast of, but when it comes to B2B marketing, most marketers swear by the quality of leads they get through e-mail marketing! As per a Software Advice Survey, 40% of B2B marketers said they got high quality leads through e-mail marketing.
Email Marketing – How does it work?
Before email marketing can begin, a website needs to acquire email addresses from potential clients or customers. How they get them is up to the website. Some would offer visitors the chance to receive monthly newsletters. Others offer a free E-book to download, but only if the visitors fill out a form and give their email address.
The website or the business behind it will then design an email that’s basically also an advertisement for the website. These emails usually contain graphics, images, calls to action, all combined to make an attractive package.
E-mails can also include attachments, like the promised newsletter or limited-offer discount coupons. Whatever it is that’s contained in the email, it is there to invite people to click on the links provided and visit the main website.
The emails are sent by bulk and sent to every email address gathered. Needless to say, that email list needs to be large enough to justify the entire email marketing effort.
The goals of email marketing, among others, are:
- To make consumers become aware of their products and services.
- Make the business and the website a thought leader.
- Do PR.
- Generate traffic.
- Gain conversions.
Email Marketing’s Place in SEO Today
Email marketing is very helpful for businesses that sell merchandise and services. You’ll find, for example, that many websites selling general merchandise like clothes, furniture, gadgets, and services like SEO and virtual assistance invest time and resources for email marketing.
They are very straightforward with their message and there’s no deception. If they are selling something or offering a promo, they state it immediately in their email. In fact, as per a 2012 Blue Kangaroo survey, 7 in 10 people admitted that they had used a discount coupon offered through a marketing email!
There’s little worry that these emails will be flagged as spam because the recipients have been given the choice of whether or not to receive them. They have, in effect, asked for these emails, and the fact that they did sign up is a concrete demonstration of their interest in whatever the website is offering.
Unless a website steals the recipient’s email address, the marketing emails should be welcomed. This is one of the best things about email marketing.
Skipping Steps in the Conversion Funnel
For the consumers’ part, email marketing is useful because it lets them skip several levels of the conversion funnel and go directly to the final stage of purchase. They are presented with product information, service description, and business background. If they are interested in what’s being pitched, all they have to do is click on the link and continue with the actual purchase.
Normally, online shoppers would go to search engines and look for websites that sell items they are interested in buying. Many would go directly to online market websites like Ebay, Amazon and CafePress. Since there are many online sellers on social media sites, consumers also look for sellers there.
By contrast, email marketing presents the merchandise to the consumers and saves them the time and effort of scouting for suppliers. They don’t have to look anywhere else, and that’s very convenient.
This is an advantage that marketing officers should be able to convey to website visitors. By showing how much they can benefit from signing up for regular emails, a website can encourage consumers to volunteer for it. (It won’t hurt to hint that surprises and discount offers are in store for email subscribers.) If you can achieve that, your website’s email marketing can be very successful in fulfilling its goals.
About the author: Emma-Julie Fox writes for Pitstop Media Inc, a top rated Vancouver SEO company that provides services to businesses across North America. If you would like to invite the author to guest post on your blog please contact www.pitstopmedia.com.