If you asked any marketing novice what the purpose of email marketing was, it’s likely that they would say one word – selling. So many brands think that by firing out a few thousand identical marketing emails, each with a blatant ‘buy now!’, ‘click here!’ message, they can instantly boost sales. However, it rarely works this way and surprisingly, email marketing isn’t really about selling. So, for those having little success with email marketing, this obsession with sales could be the reason why.
What else can you offer your customers?
Think of email marketing as a conversation between you and your target audience. It can’t just go one way, with you pushing products and services all the time and customers simply being expected to buy. You have to offer something more, to show your customers a ‘human’ side to the brand – or you’ll be seen as a spammer and your emails will be ignored, deleted, blocked or blacklisted. Just as importantly, your target audience will start to dislike you if you’re only trying to sell to them all the time.
To engage your audience, to get them to remember your brand and to associate it with more positive emotions, it’s time to offer something more. You can start with a simple newsletter, with an update on brand or relevant topical news and perhaps containing a special offer. You can create or share videos, images and other content, which they can then share with their friends.
Engagement, brand awareness and loyalty
All of these activities that aren’t directly about selling can work wonders for engaging your target customers with your brand, creating awareness and helping your brand to stick in their minds. It also helps to build up loyalty if you’re seen to be giving something back – sending them entertaining content to share with their friends, interesting news or features to read on the morning commute or special offers to save them money.
What you know, but the recipients of your emails don’t, is that all of these activities are actually still about selling. This is because ultimately, increasing brand awareness and loyalty will bring more customers into contact with you and many will at some point buy your products and services.
Lead generation and nurturing
Email marketing can be a long game requiring a lot of patience, especially if you’re marketing to B2B customers. You may have to send lots of emails, engaging customers and holding their interest until the crucial time comes when they’re ready to purchase. It sounds very time and labour intensive, and it is, but if you’re thinking about the future sales of your company as well as just the here and now – it can be well worth the effort. You’ll need skill, patience and a long-term marketing strategy, but this is what you need to do if you want to compete with your rivals.Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community