Email marketing is not for everyone, but chances are, it is right for you. Today, the only reason you would not want to include email in your marketing plan is if your target market does not have access to a computer, and even that's beginning to change with easy access to the new mobile phones.
Just a few years ago I would have suggested that you avoid email marketing if your clientele was composed of children or senior citizens. Not today. Almost everyone has access to email. And if they don't have a computer of their own, they certainly have a friend or family member who accepts emails on their behalf.
If you're not using email marketing as a major component of your marketing mix, now is the time to start, and here are nine reasons why.
1. It Puts You In The Drivers Seat
As a professional Internet marketer I can tell you it's a lot easier to get people to visit your website than it is to get them to come back. The vast majority of visitors to your site will not return unless you invite them back with a compelling reason to do so. Email marketing is how you invite them back to your site, and you can invite them whenever you want.
2. It's Easy To Get Started
Email marketing is easier today than at any other time in the history. There are some wonderful services and tutorials that can help you generate leads and stay in touch with your customers that did not exist just a few short years ago.
Not only that, but if you decide that you don't have the time or don't want to learn how to do email marketing yourself, there are virtual assistants all over the world who are very capable of writing and sending your emails for you. And they do a great job at a reasonable price.
3. It's Affordable
There are three ways of going about email marketing.
1. You can do it yourself from your computer for free, but this is generally not a good idea for a lot of reasons. If you have more than 50 people on your list, you really need something more professional.
2. You can hire an email marketing service to host your list and help you run your campaign. This is a great solution starting at about $15/month for a list of up to 500 people and they will take care of all the back-end technical issues.
3. The third solution is to purchase and install email marketing software on a dedicated server. This is a little more pricey, but if you have access to qualified technician and you don't mind investing $500-$1,000 up front, this is a very good long term solution particularly if you plan on building a list of 10,000 or more.
Depending on your budget, the number of people on your list and your technical capabilities, one of these methods is going to work best for you.
4. It's Fast
Think how long it takes to type a letter, prepare an envelope, apply postage and have your message delivered. It takes days. And if you want to have it delivered next day, your only other option is to send it via FedEx or UPS or Express Mail with the Postal Service, and that's not cheap.
Email is instantaneous. It travels at the speed of light. So if you have a marketing idea that comes to you in your sleep, you can role out of bed and send it to your list before you wake up. Now that's fast, possibly dangerous, but fast.
5. It's Measurable
This is what I love most about email marketing. You can measure everything. You can determine who received your email, who opened your email, who acted on your offer, who passed your email onto a friend and who opted out of your list. You can't do that with standard mail and you can't do that with radio, TV or any other form of advertising.
6. It's Automated
Imagine spending an afternoon or a day creating an entire email marketing campaign and having it automatically start the moment your visitor signs up on your website. Now imagine this happening 24/7 for as long as you're in business without ever having to look at it again.
Once you create your campaign, the software does the rest. You can automatically send everyone who signs up on your list a series of messages that move them closer to the sale while generating trust and branding yourself as the expert in your field.
7. It's Flexible
You can do things with email marketing that can't be done in any other way. You can send audio, video, text, photos, surveys, computer files and more, all in the same email if you choose to do so.
If you use TV, radio or print, you're limited in what you can do with that specific media. With email marketing, you can mix it up and keep your prospects interested.
8. It's Green
What kind of a conscientious human being would I be if I didn't mention that email marketing is good for the environment? It doesn't destroy the rain forest in Brazil or impact the living space of the Spotted Owl or Bald Eagle here in the United States. It doesn't pollute the water or throw radioactive waste into the atmosphere. And it doesn't contribute even a fraction of a degree to global warming.
Email marketing just does what it does best, with the full blessing of Al Gore and Ralph Nader. You can't get greener than that.
9. It's Effective
The most valuable thing email marketing does for you is it works. It positions you as the expert in your field, it builds credibility and trust, and it sells your products and services day in and day out. Email marketing is a winner no matter how you look at it.