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A couple years ago, I had the luck to attend a popular marketing conference in Nashville.

Some of the South’s savviest folks in advertising, e-commerce and design were there. These were serious professionals who built careers on building small businesses into trendy brands, like Taigan, Callie’s Biscuits and the Goo-Goo Cluster. So I was bewildered when the conversation always came back to email marketing. It came up in every presentation. I mean every single presentation! Tips flowed like sweet tea on a hot summer’s day: when to send emails, what kind of images to include, what to say, how to integrate it into your brand. I checked my info packet to make sure I was at the right conference. I was. For some reason, the brightest minds in marketing couldn’t stop talking about email. But why? So I started to do some research and testing of my own, and found when done right, email can be a powerful tool to profitably grow a business. Here are five key ways email marketing can help you.

#1. Email Marketing Works on Economies of Scale

We as business owners spend between 9% to 10% of our revenue on marketing and advertising – and often it’s heavy on the advertising costs. Many companies have great success with direct mailings, web ads, sponsored Facebook posts and Tweets, but these advertising forms require you to pay as you go and disappear once the user has moved on to something else. To sell more, you have to spend more. Email marketing can economize on your advertising cost.

With an email address, your cost per contact actually can go down when you use it more than once. Yep, it can get cheaper and here is how that works. Let’s say you spend $2.50 on Facebook ads to get someone to subscribe to your email newsletter. So when you send out only one email, it still costs you $2.50. Now take that same email subscriber and send them 100 emails over the next year. Your cost per email is now $0.025. If you’re saying, “wait a minute what about the cost of creating the email, mailing service, template design…”, then remember that the cost of the email campaign will be spread across multiple users.

Make it work for you:

  • Sign-up for an email service such as Emma, MailChimp, Constant Contact or others. Element 74 can even sign your company up with the right solution on the Emma platform.
  • Collect emails. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. In fact, the less there is to fill out the more likely a subscriber will sign-up. You can have a sign-up sheet at your business or a pop-up box on your website.
  • Add a join-our-email-list box to existing customers forms
  • Offer some kind of “carrot” like a discount, contest, free E-book or nothing at all. Test it to see what gets you the most/best quality subscribers.
  • If you are currently using Facebook ads to drive traffic to your website, try Facebook’s lead generation ads designed to collect email addresses from would-be customers.

#2. Talk Directly to Your Most Interested Customers

A major worry many marketers have is, “Are people in my target audience actually seeing my advertising?” This is one major concern when you are paying by the click or impression. You need people to be serious about buying. One nice thing about email marketing is that the customer has to show an interest in what you offer, or they wouldn’t be signing up in the first place. Common reasons qualified buyers sign up to receive emails include those folks planning to buy a product like yours, someone looking to switch to your brand from a competitor, or simply those who feel a connection and just enjoy your brand. These are great candidates to become solid customers who will frequently open your emails and engage with your brand. Luckily your list of customer email addresses doesn’t need to be long if you have quality customers. For one company I work with we were able to double sales on CyberMonday with just a list of only 150 people.

Make it work for you:

  • Ask past customers to sign-up for an email newsletter. Typically this is where most companies see the quickest growth because past customers might be looking for reasons to make a return visit.
  • For new leads, use a confirmation email they get when they sign-up to tell them more about your company or give them a special offer just for signing up.

#3. No Better Way to Make an Impression

I’ll probably never be able to afford a Super Bowl ad. Sigh! And you might not ever be able to afford one either. For a 30-second spot during the big game, it can cost as much $5 million. While a lot of people will see the ad, at that price, you can’t keep doing it for very long. In fact, McGraw-Hill surveyed 10,000 businesses from a range of industries and found while only 2% of sales are made on the first contact 80% of sales were made on the fifth through twelfth contact. The key point is that while reaching a lot of customers can be cool, being able to follow-up multiple times with customers is profitable. So what is the easiest way to have a scalable way to follow-up with customers? You guessed it…email marketing.

Make it work for you:

  • Establish a regular calendar for when and what your email campaign will showcase. You can write all your emails for the month and have them scheduled to be sent later.
  • Automate your emails to complement customer buying patterns and open shopping carts. This is something that is more complex and may require programmers like my friends at Element 74.

#4. It’s Not Spam. Really!

While at the conference in Nashville, my biggest obstacle to seeing the benefits of email marketing was my own bias that most company’s emails were kind of spammy. I’m actually in the minority. According to, 77% of people prefer emails to receive promotional content, while only 4% prefer Facebook. If you make each email as inviting as possible to your ideal customers, they will open them regularly. The big challenge is to find the right mix of helpful or human interest topics and marketing content. This is something you can achieve by understanding your customer and tracking what types of emails perform the best.

Make it work for you:

  • Ask existing customers what they would like to see in your emails.
  • Test different types of content and how they each perform.
  • Vary the type of content, products/services, and offerings to take advantage of natural sales cycles throughout the year.

#5. It Fits Your Company As You Grow

Email marketing is one of the few marketing forms that you can do whether your sales are $1,000 or $1 billion. It can be as simple or sophisticated as you need it to be. As you may have noticed above, it takes very little to start email marketing. Based upon my own experience in email marketing, all it really takes to begin is an attractive, clean template with a logo at the top, alluring photography that shows off the products well, a few key lines of text to inform the customer, and email addresses. Once you get past the beginner stage you can try things like sending automated emails based on a customer’s unique shopping habits and pop-up forms. For very advanced email marketers, you can try things like dynamically changing the emails content based on a shopper’s preferences. The sky is truly the limit.

Make it work for you:

  • Get an attractive, clean template that matches the spirit of your brand.
  • For beginners, start planning your first email campaign.
  • If you’re experienced at sending email campaigns and would like to get to the next level, work with professionals like the ones at Element 74.

With these quick insights, I hope you are now ready to seize the opportunity that email marketing provides. If you would like to find out more about how email campaigns can become part of your company, connect with the professionals at Element 74 . They can help you find the best email marketing solution for your company.

Claire Bruce

About the Author

Claire Bruce
Claire is a former Element 74 Project Manager and contributing author for the Element 74 blog.

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