Why email marketing should be at the top of your agenda in 2020

Did you know that email marketing is one of the most effective, if not the most effective way of delivering new sales for your agency?  So, if you don’t have a list, this should be the top of your marketing priorities in 2020.

Email marketing has been around for a while, it’s not some trendy marketing fad that will come and go.  And it promises to continue growing even further in the future. If you happen not to have tapped into its wealth of possibilities already, then let me give you a few reasons why you should do so in 2020.

Why Should You Invest In Email Marketing

Setting up the systems and running your own email marketing campaign certainly is an investment, so should you bother?

Well, let’s have a look at a few key stats provided by Campaign Monitor and HubSpot:

  • The ROI of email marketing for every $1 spent was $44 in 2016. That’s a 4,400% return on investment!
  •  Automated emails generated 320% more revenue than non-automated emails in 2016.
  •  Email marketing delivered 174% more conversions than social media marketing in 2016.
  •  73% of millennials prefer email for communications with business.
  •  Over 50% of respondents check their personal emails over 10 times a day.
  •  99% of consumers check their email at least once a day.

  • You can find plenty of other fascinating stats like this, but the points listed above should give you a solid idea of why email marketing is worth considering as a key sales & marketing strategy in 2020.

    With that said, doesn’t all this sound too good to be true?

    The Challenges Of Email Marketing

    The catch with all the figures above is that such results do not come overnight. A successful email marketing campaign requires financial investment, plenty of time, and a clear plan, not to mention that you have to deal with a couple of challenges.

    Firstly you need to choose an email marketing platform to work with. While not the most difficult step, choosing the right automation platform is key to having a successful email marketing campaign since it alleviates many of its challenges.  If you are not clear about what Email automation is you can learn more here from this excellent guide from Campaign Monitor.

    Then you also need to be mindful of privacy protection laws like the GDPR in the EU or the CAN-SPAM in the US. Such legal acts actually require that email marketing be permission-based – that is, your subscribers need to grant you explicit permission for sending emails.

    Thirdly, you have to actually build a list of emails to send promotional emails to. You can find online sellers offering email lists for what seems like a good price, but these often come from questionable sources and with very low return on investment/engagement since they didn’t sign up to your list (so they will feel they are being spammed). So I don’t recommend this approach but instead, recognise that the best email list is the email list that you’ve built with your own efforts.

    A crucial point that many beginner email marketers do not realise is that you cannot successfully promote your blog, services, products, or whatever you want to promote with just occasional emails. Those business owners who claim that email marketing doesn’t work most likely haven’t had a systematic approach toward their email marketing campaign.

    Consistency Is Key

    So to be successful you need to be consistent and systematic in your approach.  It’s safe to say that the lack of consistency is the main reason why people fail to build a list of engaged and enthused ‘fans’.

    Your email list is one of the most valuable internal assets so you should invest time in building it and engaging with it.

    And the key here is consistency.

    Think of the sales funnel of your email marketing campaign as a KNOW – LIKE – TRUST process. Simply put, you need to create awareness first (KNOW) and then need to get your audience to LIKE and TRUST you before expecting to make a sale. It’s highly unlikely that someone will buy from you immediately upon appearing on your email list and receiving one email!

    If you send an email once a year or once a quarter, your sales funnel will not work. As I said earlier, the lack of consistency is the main reason why people fail with email marketing. The three-step funnel works only if you regularly send educational, value-add and helpful emails to your subscribers. So you need a content plan and a calendar of value-added content that you know will engage your audience.


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    Aside from building trust, you should be sending emails regularly because your audience’s needs change over time and only a tiny percentage of your audience will have a need for your service when you mail them.

    Keeping Your 'Sand Timer' Filled

    To highlight this point, let’s say you have 1,000 subscribers. If you send them all 1 email you will be fortunate if 5 of your leads happen to need your services when they receive the email.  So you could expect to eventually win 5 sales. The remaining 995 subscribers will be indifferent to your email because they don’t need your services now (i.e. they are not suffering from the ‘pain’ right now that your services can solve for them). So, what are you doing to stay engaged with the other 995?

    Now because you are building a TARGETED list of your ideal clients in your email list (read all about defining your customer avatars here) the other 995 will undoubtedly need your services in at some point in the future. This means that you have to be in front of your target customers when they have ‘pain’ that you can solve!  I liken this to a ’sand timer’: every time you communicate with your audience you refill the sand timer yet if you haven’t communicated with them before the sand timer runs out then they will forget about you.

    So if you are consistent and send out emails regularly, then you will hit 5 other people, and then 5 more. Furthermore, your older customers who have purchased from you already will become repeat customers and advocates.

    This is what the power and challenge of email marketing are about. Email marketing isn’t merely about winning one-time clients – it is about building trust, nurturing your customers until they are ready to buy from you, and establishing long-term connections that are much more valuable than one-time interactions.

    Delivering Value - Don’t Sell

    Finally, one serious mistake email marketers often make is pushing too hard on sales-oriented emails. Needless to say, your goal IS to make sales, but you will put people off if you make your emails too sales oriented. Think about the person who sends you a connection request on LinkedIn and immediately you have accepted you get a sales email from them. I don’t know about you, but I would never buy from this person and I usually remove them as a connection.  The same applies to email marketing. Nurture first and build trust before trying to sell.

    Instead of pushing your products, tell your customers personal stories and share case studies.  Give them useful tools, tips and approaches. Encourage them to chat and share their challenges with you. Trust me, if you build customer relationships this way, you will be at the top of your subscribers’ mind when they need a solution to their problems.

    What’s The Role Of Email Marketing Platforms In All This?

    It’s a challenge to manage an email list with thousands of people and regularly deliver educational or promotional emails to them.

    This is where email marketing automation platforms come into play.  In part 2 of this blog, I am going to share with you some of the best tools to consider and provide you with a few tips on how you could organise your email marketing campaigns.  I am also going to offer you’re a great freebie so look out for the 2nd part in 2 week's time.

      Rob Da Costa

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