WHY ARE WE STILL USING EMAIL FOR CONTENT MARKETING?
Why is email still so popular as a marketing tool?
Mostly, because it continues to work.
Isn’t email just spam?
There is still a lot of spam out there and the best marketers know never, ever to endorse a spam approach. It doesn't work (well not exactly true - spammers do get a tiny response rate and that's why they have to send out millions of emails. But that is not the approach anybody sensible advocates).
Targeted campaigns work
How do you target your campaigns? First step is to use a segmented list. The key to successful email marketing is to send the right email to the right person at the right time. It is the utopia of context, if you like.
The truth is that all customers are not the same. Customers are all at different points of the buying cycle. They are located in different places (so some buy remotely, and some come into your shop / office / depot). And they have different amounts of money to spend. They are young, middle aged and old. And they are buying to solve different problems.
What information do prospects need?
At the start of the sales cycle, customers are looking for information. Lots of information. And at a pretty basic level. They just need to get a feel for what is available, what features are new, which features are important, how much you should be paying...
Whether buying a known brand is important or not, whether you want to buy at the lower, mid or high price point...
They are really digging about.
Later, when they've processed this, consumers might be looking for more comparative data. They might like to understand how one product compares to another. They want to know about prices. They need to know about the value proposition. And they might then want to know about offers currently available. Do suppliers change their prices if you buy earlier?
Wouldn't it be good to influence this process?
Frankly, it would be brilliant (if it were done subtly, so it didn’t come across as too overt or unsophisticated). You would be able to present the right information to your prospect at the time they want it. That would make a difference.
How has buyer behaviour changed?
Much more of the buying work is done by the purchaser on the internet before they let the seller know what is going on. How do you deal with this? You have software to track who comes onto your site, and you entice them to give you their email address so you can track them (sounds a tad sinister) .
Once you have that, you can make some educated deductions about what part of the process they are in by what they are looking at.
At that point, you start to send out an email or two. But you also provide more information which would be interesting. And by what information they look at and the webpages they then browse, you will know where they are in the cycle. You make deductions from their behaviour and as you know more, you can give the right sort of information for his position in the cycle.
You can start a 'nurturing' process which moves them further down the buying cycle. You take them right to the point of the decision. And even after they have purchased, you keep sending them emails so that they become brand advocates (and hopefully they sing your praises on lots of social platforms).
And beyond that, you keep them happy and interested in your company because you will want to sell them something else in the future.
Like old-fashioned direct mail, your opening rates will not be huge. Your response rates will be small too. But you will have enough to tell you that this is a good way of driving new enquiries. It will be a successful methodology in the long run - you just need to keep at it...