With so many ways to reach out to your customers and prospects, from social media to direct mail to content marketing, you might think plain old email marketing is a thing of the past. Think again: Despite all the marketing options out there, email just might be your single, most effective choice.

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Here are three reasons why:

 

1. Email is customers’ preferred way to receive communications from businesses. According to Marketing Sherpa, 60 percent of consumers say email is their favorite way to receive updates and promotions from companies they’re interested in.

 

2. Email attracts new customers and helps retain existing ones. Email is 40 percent more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter. It also ranks as, by far, the most effective method for both acquiring and retaining customers, according to eMarketer.

 

3. Email drives sales. Most (69 percent) U.S. adults say a company’s email has influenced a purchase they’ve made, Marketing Sherpa reports.

 

Not only is email marketing highly effective, it’s also affordable for even the smallest businesses and easier than ever to implement. To maximize your email marketing results, try these tips.

 

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Segment your email lists.

You can slice and dice your lists based on any information you have about your customers—past interactions with your business, purchasing behavior, location, etc. Then send emails tailored to each segment. Marketers report that segmented email campaigns lead to a 760 percent increase in revenues (No, that’s not a typo).

 

Personalize emails.

Emails that use the recipient’s name are more likely to be opened. You can also create emails that reference customer details such as a previous purchase or items the customer has viewed on your website.

 

39764468_s.jpgTest, test and test again.

With email, it’s easy to see what’s working and what’s not. Do A/B testing of everything from your subject lines to your preview text to the color and size of buttons. Also test various frequencies for sending emails, including time of day and day of the week. Customers may want to hear from you more often than you think: 90 percent of respondents in a MarketingSherpa survey say they want to hear from businesses they’re interested in at least monthly, 60 percent want to hear from them at least weekly and 15 percent want to hear from them daily. For best results, give customers multiple options to choose from.

 

Optimize mobile devices.

Almost 90 percent of emails are read on mobile devices, and more emails are opened on mobile devices than on desktops, according to Kahuna. If recipients can’t read your emails on their smartphones, they’re going to delete them. Beyond making your emails readable on mobile devices, also make sure that any actions users take lead to a mobile-friendly landing page.

 

SIX TIPS TO GAIN NEW CUSTOMERS

 

Create email-specific landing pages.

Marketers report that this is the single most effective email marketing tactic, according to research published by the DMA.  If you can’t create a specific landing page for each individual email, at least make sure that links in your emails direct recipients to a page on your website that makes sense. For example, if you want someone to “Shop New Arrivals” on your e-commerce website, that button should go to the page with new products on it— not to the general homepage, where customers will feel lost.

 

Incorporate transactional emails.

These are emails that are triggered by some type of transaction between the recipient and your company. Welcome emails, order confirmation emails and return receipt emails are all examples of transactional emails. Transactional emails have eight times the open rate of marketing emails overall. Increase their value by including a call to action that drives additional customer interaction. For instance, a return receipt email could include a link to browse your website for new products to replace what was returned.

 

About Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO and Co-founder of GrowBiz Media, a custom content and media company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship, and the blog SmallBizDaily.com.  A nationally known speaker and authority on entrepreneurship, Rieva has been covering America’s entrepreneurs for more than 30 years. Before co-founding GrowBiz Media, Lesonsky was the long-time Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine. Lesonsky has appeared on hundreds of radio shows and numerous local and national television programs, including the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, The Martha Stewart Show and Oprah.Lesonsky regularly writes about small business for numerous websites and for corporations targeting entrepreneurs. Many organizations have recognized Lesonsky for her tireless devotion to helping entrepreneurs. She served on the Small Business Administration’s National Advisory Council for six years, was honored by the SBA as a Small Business Media Advocate and a Woman in Business Advocate, and received the prestigious Lou Campanelli award from SCORE. She is a long-time member of the Business Journalists Hall of Fame.

Web: www.growbizmedia.com or Twitter: @Rieva

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