Bring up the topic of email marketing and some people start to squirm. It’s no wonder. We’ve all had our fill of spam. We’re way past being tired of inboxes that are full of stuff we didn’t ask for and don’t want to sort through. Some of us have even been unfortunate enough to have picked up viruses through unsolicited emails we’ve received. Fortunately, spam filters have made life a bit more tolerable for many of us.
So, can something with so much negative baggage really have a place in your marketing mix? Absolutely! But you have to use it right. And the biggest question is are you using email to push information out or are you using it to pull interested parties in?
Email is a terrible prospecting tool—for all of the reasons mentioned above. If you get an email from someone you don’t know you’re probably going to trash it—if your spam filter doesn’t catch it first. People don’t trust unsolicited email—and with good reason. This is using email to push (unsolicited) information out.
But email can be a wonderful nurturing tool. It’s a great way to stay in touch and pass on helpful information to people who know and trust you. If you’ve had someone download a white paper or special report off your website, they probably gave you their email address. They’ve basically told you that they are willing to engage in conversation with you and that they trust you. You can (periodically) reach out to them again with additional information or offers. This is using email to pull readers in and allow them access to more information—if they want it. Just don’t wear out your welcome by sending too much, and always give them the option to unsubscribe at any time, for any reason.
Email can still be a powerful marketing tool. But like any tool, you have to use it properly.
Are you using email as part of your marketing mix? How? What works for you?