While there are some marketers who will argue this point, I am not one of them. But email marketing absolutely can be effective if you learn how. Here are 10 misconceptions about email marketing along with my advice on what you should do instead.
11. I can’t use email marketing with my business
Believe it or not, there are some businesses out there that consider themselves too “high-end” to use email marketing. They might believe that their brand is better off without the extra help of an automated email system, but the truth is that most all of these fears are unfounded.
Email is a great, inexpensive marketing opportunity for a wide variety of businesses. In fact, if you’re in a niche market then email is your best shot at standing out from the crowd–after all, if you don’t have an e-newsletter then your prospective customers won’t even know that you exist!
10. Email marketing doesn’t work
You know that email is a powerful tool for brand building, customer acquisition and retention, but you’re not sure how to use it effectively. This “doesn’t work” misconception is common among business owners with little to no experience in the area of marketing or who aren’t very tech-savvy.
Email is NOT an old email marketing platform that is no longer effective. On the contrary, email marketing has never been more potent than it is today–in fact, many businesses are seeing double digit returns on their campaigns.
Why? Email marketing meets all of Marcus Sheridan’s criteria for a successful business:
It creates urgency and scarcity It builds trust It serves as a compelling call to action
So how should you use email marketing? Create an email experience for your customers that is varied, personalized, informative and interactive. Send one-off specials, discounts to specific demographic groups or product recommendations based on prior interactions with the customer.
9. Email newsletters are boring and no one reads them
Everyone knows that they can sign up for your email newsletter, but few people will take the time to do so. If your emails are boring and haphazardly thrown together, then no one will open or click through them anyway.
There’s a fine line between being informative and entertaining–but it’s an important line to walk. If you consistently send boring emails, customers will unsubscribe and stop opening them in the future.
An effective newsletter is written in a friendly tone, with plenty of personality and visually appealing design elements. But it should also be succinct and focused so that your customers can quickly scan it for important information or key offers.
8. Content must be boring in order to pitch products effectively
You know that all content is not created equal–in fact, if you don’t differentiate between your various types of content then no one will take it very seriously.
You can still send out fun or entertaining emails that effectively promote your products and services, as long as they’re relevant and timely. The key is to use a targeted approach: if you’re promoting a new line of beach towels then an entertaining email might not be the best way to reach customers who are interested in camping gear.
7. I don’t have anything newsworthy to say
You definitely have something to say, but you don’t think it’s newsworthy enough for your own email newsletter.
One of the most effective ways to grow your email list is through the creation and promotion of a “newsletter”. But what is a newsletter? Generally speaking, it’s an ongoing series of emails that will:
Feature one of your products or services Help your customers achieve something Inform them of new product releases Encourage repeat purchases
So if you think about it that way, then every email that you send–whether it’s a contest promotion or a thank-you note for customer loyalty–is essentially a newsletter. And as such, it should be newsworthy and interesting enough to garner a response from your readers.
6. I have too much competition
Competition is always a concern, but it’s not as significant as you might think–especially if you have the right kind of competition. There are still plenty of businesses out there that don’t use email marketing, so if you present an effective strategy then your net return for any given campaign will always be higher than the cost to implement it.
In reality email marketing is a highly saturated market, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of opportunity out there. The key is not fighting your competitors–it’s differentiating yourself from them and targeting your ideal audience . With an effective strategy and a bit of luck, your audience can represent as much as 80% of all customers and sales with the lowest total marketing and advertising costs (and you’ll still see a healthy profit margin).
5. I don’t have enough time to do it properly
If you have an hour or two each day for email marketing then you can create a successful campaign, but you’ll still need to plan things out. If you don’t dedicate the appropriate amount of time before and during each campaign then it can feel like an overwhelming burden–and who wants something like that hanging over their head?
Email marketing is time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With a little planning and a team effort between your various departments, you can divide and conquer all of the work involved. That means that one person is responsible for writing copy, another person is responsible for planning the design elements, and someone else will coordinate with other members of your team to fulfill any special requests or long-term projects as they come up.
4. Email marketing is a waste of money
Believe it or not, some businesses try to avoid email marketing for this very reason: they’ve never done it before and they’re afraid that it will be a waste of money.
In fact, email marketing can be an excellent investment if you have the right strategy in place. If you commit to a multi-month or annual campaign that focuses on one of your most popular products or services then the potential net return from email marketing will always outweigh your investment by a significant margin.
3. I don’t have time to write effective subject lines
At first it may seem like writing an effective subject line is impossible, but once you realize that it’s more about being intriguing than informative then you can work on crafting a subject line that will help your campaign perform better.
Your email’s subject line does not have to inform your customers of anything–in fact, it probably shouldn’t! Imagine walking into a clothing store and seeing nothing but signs that read: “Men’s T-shirts,” “Women’s Tee Shirts,” and so forth. Just the same, your email recipients should never have to read a subject line that explicitly says anything about what you’re trying to sell them–instead, they should base their decision on something else entirely (perhaps how unique or exciting the title is).
2. I don’t have time to create good content
It’s not enough to simply send your customers an email every once in awhile–you actually need to make it interesting! But how can you do that if you’re too busy with other aspects of your business (or life, for that matter)?
There are plenty of effective strategies out there that can help you save time while creating interesting content. For example, if you use an email marketing platform like MailChimp , then you can take advantage of their free resources to make things easier. There are also plenty of tools out there that allow you to create landing pages quickly with minimal effort, or even automate your campaigns by including dynamic content.
1. I don’t have the budget for good design
If you’re starting out with your email marketing, then it’s possible that you won’t have a significant promotional budget. Instead, you’ll need to rely on things like clever copywriting or well-designed templates to help differentiate yourself from bigger competitors who do have an unlimited budget at their disposal.
It’s true that you don’t have the budget for highly advanced email marketing software, but what you do have is time–and if you’re willing to invest in some professional-quality templates then it will be easy to create the same kind of high-quality aesthetic that other businesses are using.
Would it be helpful to know about who I will be sending this email to?
Yes, knowing the exact demographics of your recipient could help you better design a template that meets their needs. For example, if you’re going for a younger demographic then including social media sharing options and short, concise content might work well. However, if your audience is a bit more business-like, including a subject line that’s intriguing and a template with a clean design could work well.
How do I get more subscribers?
If you’re having trouble growing your email list, then there are a few different options out there. For example, if you have a fan base on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest–it might be possible to create a unique sign-up code that your audience members can use in order to subscribe through those platforms as well.
Or, you could also consider adding social media sharing buttons to your emails and/or website in order to entice users to share with their friends. Finally, if you’re a part of a forum or online community–then consider adding a signature line with your email address at the bottom of each post. Those who want to stay up-to-date will have no problem signing up.
Is it possible to create engaging content without spending any money?
Yes–it’s possible to create engaging content using things like word of mouth and good social media strategies. You can also promote your products on popular forums or even through social media paid advertising.
What other ways can I utilize email marketing?
There are many different ways that you can use email marketing to help further grow your business! For example, if you sell jewellery online then creating a mailing list powered by companies like MailChimp will allow you to send out special offers on holidays while still ensuring that your emails don’t end up in spam folders. You can also use email marketing for getting feedback, gauging interest, and promoting new products that are still in the pipeline.
How can I create high-quality content without going over my budget?
There are other strategies out there other than just using an email marketing platform to help you create quality content on the cheap. For example, if you’re trying to create something with an infographic feel–it’s easy to make your own using free tools like Canva.
Alternatively, if you want short explanations that are very clear then you might want to consider creating a video. Check out sites like fiverr.com for quality low-cost options (and make sure you read the fine print in order to make sure their service will fit your needs).
As A Rule
In the end, it’s your email marketing that will determine if you’re a success. Don’t let these misconceptions get in your way- take them as opportunities to learn more about how people read and interact with emails. Comment below for any thoughts on this blog post!