Sensis recently released the results of its annual study into how social media channels are being used, after surveying 800 consumers and 1,100 businesses in Australia. A total of 69 per cent of Internet users have a social media profile, with people using it more than ever as a connection tool. Fifty per cent do so daily, with just over a quarter checking in more than five times a day. For almost half (49 per cent), social networking is one of the first things they do each day and this behaviour has been growing steadily since 2012.
With the increasing infiltration of social media in our day-to-day lives, almost every business has a social media presence. However, the real question lies: how effective is the average company’s social media marketing strategy?
Sure, businesses might be on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter however are they being used as part of an effective social media marketing strategy? These channels are often draining resources while failing to bring in new customers. After all, social media is time consuming when done properly.
As social media has really taken off in recent years, many businesses have simply tagged it onto their existing marketing strategy. Surprisingly, a lot of companies think about social media but many have the tendency to overlook a proven form of advertising that’s stood the test of time: EDMs or email marketing.
If you have been dedicating more and more resources to social media recently and are not quite seeing the results you were hoping for, here are five reasons why an EDM might be that missing piece of the puzzle you’ve forgotten about.
1. It’s cost-effective
Have you been experimenting with Facebook and Instagram advertisements? While this form of advertising may be cheaper than traditional methods, the costs still mount up. This is especially the case if your ads or promoted posts aren’t hitting the mark and generating new customers. Once you’ve built up a reasonable email database (businesses should offer people an incentive that is of value in return for email address details), you have got a real opportunity to tap into and market to your database. Best of all, it is absolutely free to do so. With many easy-to-use email marketing tools available to businesses, EDMs can be sent and managed quite easily.
2. It’s direct
Majority of mobile phone owners are linked up to their personal emails. This means people are connected 24/7. Instead of competing with the crowd and noise across social media, EDMs see you reaching your customers directly. Experiment to find what works and what doesn’t, but once you start getting the hang of your customer’s behavioural patterns and communicating to them in a personalised manner based on their interactions with the product or service, you can easily convert these leads into repeat customers.
3. It’s a channel where trust can be built
If you’re able to send a potential customer an email, that’s because they have given you their email address, which means your product or service interests them on some level. Email marketing is a great relationship building tool – sending out consistent emails will see people starting to expect messages from your business. An effective email marketing strategy sees companies providing value to their customers – not adopting a sell, sell, sell approach. Experiment with the types of content you send (i.e. whitepapers, infographics, images, timely updates) and email subject lines too – after all, this is what will determine if someone will actually open the email. However, it is critical to note that the content shared with customers over email should be personalised, and be of value to their interests and needs, in order to maintain trust and repeat readership of communications.
4. It’s easy to track and measure
Of course, it’s critical to track and measure everything to determine effectiveness and identify areas of opportunity. With email marketing and the right tools, it’s easy to track open rates, sales conversions and patterns. When something doesn’t work, change it up. Once you do find the right formula, it will work for you again and again.
5. It’s effective in reaching the right people, at the right time
Every now and again, you will come across someone without a Facebook or Instagram account but almost everyone has an email address – even those who are not tech-savvy. This means that an email’s reach is significant and shouldn’t be overlooked.
Ultimately, if you get your email marketing and EDM strategy right, you will drive people across to your website and social media channels in any case. Once people have an interest in your products and services, think of social media as a continuation of the conversation. It is another way to engage with your customers, and interact across a variety of channels and platforms. Through an integrated approach, you can be reaching your customers meaningfully via multiple touch points in any one week. BFM