The email newsletter is still relevant today because it remains one of the best ways to get your customers the information they need. If you’re trying to push sales but still save money, remember that creating an email newsletter costs you absolutely nothing ― $0. And even though you may have to pay to get the contacts, consider the expense worth it: An email newsletter is a valuable asset in your “marketing tool belt.”
Part of a successful marketing strategy is effectively communicating with your customers. Most of today’s marketing plans are strongly associated with digital marketing, which almost automatically translates to email and social media marketing, but email newsletters as an afterthought.
In today’s marketing climate, every business (more than likely) already has a Facebook and/or an Instagram account, so why wouldn’t why wouldn’t marketing via these channels be a natural progression? A recent survey at CoffeeMarketer.com revealed that businesses don’t put as much attention into their email marketing as they do in their social media marketing.
And the reason is simple: accessibility. If you’re hosting an event, you can simply create an event on your business’ Facebook page and invite everyone who’s liked your page. When offering specials on a product, simply post a quick status update on your Facebook page or a snazzy picture with the pertinent details in the caption. Your customers want to know about your company’s latest deals and events. So, with a platform that is so easily accessible by both you and your customers, you may be asking yourself…
With Facebook & Social Media, Why Do I Even Need Email Marketing?
And you are right to ask that question. So, when you’re planning your digital marketing campaign, consider these marketing truths.
Free Guarantees Don’t Exist, Except For…
When posting on Facebook or any other social media platform, you have no guarantee that all of your followers will see an event, update or sale unless you pay for it. And even then, the amount you pay will greatly determine how many of both your potential and present customers will see it. You also can’t specify a location unless you pay. Your customers must be actively liking all of your posts and sharing them, or you have no way to guarantee the audience you want to reach will even see your post. So, if you’re going to pay anyway, why not pay for a guaranteed audience? With email marketing, you are guaranteed that your email is going directly to your customers’ inbox and that costs $0. Paying for an email marketing subscription tool, even as little as $10 a month, and you receive a service that is more than functional.
Part of your customer relationship is making them feel valuable. That’s why you offer deals, take time to get know them personally, and, ultimately, give them the product they want. Your marketing should feel the same way. With social media, you’re limited to talking with an audience, and you can talk to them directly if they interact with you in any way, which, don’t get us wrong, is important. But in email marketing, you can personalize every single one of your emails. When you have gathered the right data from your customers, you can send them the information they want. You can automatically personalize the email by using their name, sending a free promotion on their birthdays, and even congratulating them on their anniversaries.
Get the Right Analytics
If you’re a digital marketing newbie, then, analytics may seem like rocket science. And to be frank, some of it is. With social media and, specifically, Facebook, it’s almost like learning a new language, and who has time for that? However, if you use the right email client, you can receive simple, easy-to-understand data to learn whether your marketing is effective. You can see…
- How many people opened your email.
- How many people clicked on your email.
- How many emails bounced.
- And how many people unsubscribed.
With simple data like this, you will learn if your customers are: (a) interested in what you’re doing; and (b) if your emails are clear enough. From there, you can discover whether you should continue on your present path because it’s working or try something else. It’s that simple; you don’t have to understand how to create the right Facebook audience or follow Facebook’s advertising rules.
Where to Begin
Or, maybe you already recognize the value in email marketing, and we didn’t have to convince you. Maybe we have just nudged you to get your email marketing campaign up and going, but you really don’t know where to start. You may be asking yourself:
- “How do I get people to sign up?”
- “How do I set up my own email?”
- “Which email client should I use?”
Let’s break these questions down one at a time.
But, first, Let’s pause.
Before you begin any new marketing strategy, it’s always a good idea to ask yourself a few key questions:
What’s My Purpose, and What Do I Want to Accomplish With My Marketing Plan?
When going into any marketing plan, having a clear vision is invaluable. That’s why it’s important to answer these questions and establish your parameters.
Ask yourself questions such as:
- “Will I be sending out a monthly or weekly newsletter?”
- “Will I be sending out regular promotions?”
- “Will I be sending out updated menus and information about new drinks?
- “Do I have any new coffee beans, or should I perhaps feature a coffee a month?”
Figure out your marketing plan, and you’ll feel much better about the next steps.
So, let’s dive into what it takes to create a successful email marketing campaign.
Do I Need an Email Marketing Management Tool?
Technically, no, but a few email management tools exist, such as MailChimp or HubSpot CRM that offer free versions, which contain list management tools and control the specific number of emails you send out every month. Technically, you can track all your clients’ data yourself, but once you start getting into thousands of subscribers, you will quickly get overwhelmed if you try to do it alone. Pay for a basic plan, like with ActiveCampaign, they’ll provide list management tools, personalization tools, automations, and segmentations that give the amount of control necessary to create and maintain a successful email marketing plan.
Getting People Sign Up
Requesting email sign-ups is a daunting task at first if you’ve never done it before. The easiest way is placing a physical sign-up sheet at your checkout or at any event where you appear.
Asking people for their email addresses may sound a little redundant when people can just follow you on Facebook. But remember the end goal: Give your customers the information they want and guarantee they will get that information. If you don’t feel comfortable asking straight up, then provide a sign-up incentive, such as half-off a specialty drink or a BOGO at sign-up. Ask for birthdates, too, so you can email a promotion on their birthday. Small offers like these make signing up customers easy.
After you’ve selected your email client, ask visitors to sign up on your website. Always be upfront with both website and in-person visitors about the types of emails you plan to send. If you send out an anniversary email, for instance, then clearly state its purpose. If you plan to send out a once-a-week newsletter, a promotion of the month or anything else, state your plans clearly. You have no reason to hide the experience you want to give your customers. Be clear and concise.
What Should My Sign-Up Sheet Look Like?
Simple. Make your sign-up sheet as simple as possible with clear expectations as to what the recipient will see. Ask for your visitors’ email addresses, first and last names, birthdays, phone numbers, and zip codes/towns.
Why Am I Asking for This Info?
Let’s break this down item by item.
EMAIL: This one is obvious. You want to send them emails. Yes. Yes, you do.
FIRST & LAST NAME: This is for personalization, so can you can automate your email processing. Names in your emails give them a personal touch. And if the person ever emails you, you have a name for reference.
BIRTHDAY: As previously mentioned, plenty of promotions are available for birthdays. Although this strategy may have lost some of its magic over the years, it’s still a way to keep yourself relevant in your customers’ lives.
PHONE NUMBER: This may or may not seem obvious to you.
You want your customers’ phone numbers, so YOU CAN SEND THEM TEXT MESSAGES! Texting is one of the most effective ways to market. A program for this may be expensive, but it’s worth it. IF you plan to do this, send texts sparingly and then only for your biggest promotions. And when you request phone numbers, make sure your customers know what you plan to do with their number; otherwise, they may not wish to supply this sensitive information.
ZIP CODE/TOWN: Either works. One of your greatest assets in knowing your demographic is knowing where your audience lives. Knowing their location gives you a better insight into how you target your campaign budget. You may be collecting zip codes through credit card transactions, and that’s great. Just know, technically, for privacy reasons, you can’t utilize that data for any type of marketing.
And there you have it. If you any further questions about e-mail marketing or anything mentioned above, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!