Two graphs that might shock you...
At first glance, there appears to be something not quite right about the two graphs below.
When you look at what is the most active, most prolific and most engaged with communications medium on the Internet today - it can't still be email?
Surely there is a mistake!
After all, aren't Twitter, Facebook and Blogs the current "big things" and isn't Google+ the "next big thing"?
But the truth is that when you look at the number of accounts held - email still trounces Facebook by 400% and Twitter by 1,000%!
Number of accounts by online marketing medium*.
And the difference in numbers is even more acute when you look at daily activity, as opposed to accounts held.
Even after excluding spam emails (106 billion per day) there are 188 billion email messages every day, as opposed to just 60 million updates on Facebook, 140 million tweets and 3.3 billion website searches.
Email activity trounces it next closest rival (website searches) by a whopping 67 times.
The difference is so vast that to graph it correctly the orange line on the graph below would have to be almost 10 times longer than the width of this column.
The difference is profound when you compare daily activity rates - so large in fact that we can't even graph it correctly. Email absolutely dominates daily communication activity*.
When it comes to communicating with most audiences today, especially a business and commerce audience, we believe email really is the next big thing.
How can we say that, when email has been around for so long?
It's simple, we get to review and overhaul the marketing of hundreds of companies each year.
And despite the fact that the majority of these are already good businesses - making money, growing and thriving - only a small minority are using email broadcasting, and even fewer are using it effectively.
When we show clients how to harness the power of email marketing, improved results are usually fast to arrive, significant and sustainable.
It is a vastly underestimated marketing super-tool.
We believe the graphs above reflect some really important points...
1. Email broadcasting can be more valuable (in generating sales revenue) than your website and your PPC marketing combined.
2. Email broadcasting is the best way to double (or more) revenue that you get from your existing lead generation activities such as Google AdWords, Direct Mail, Advertising and so on.
3. Email broadcasting beats virtually every known online and offline marketing strategy going when you work out your ROI (return on investment).
4. As long as your message is relevant to your list and your communications schedule is based on quality communications (articles, valuable information, relevant case studies, new product information, event announcements) your prospects and customers love to hear from you.
5. Email Broadcasting is the best way to create sales, new sales opportunities and leads from your list, to keep clients buying and to revitalise lapsed customers.
6. It gives you reach that other mediums cannot (look at the number of accounts held, and consider the time and attention paid each day by billions of people to email messages).
7. It is super low cost (around 1p to 2p per email - around 60 times cheaper than Direct Mail), and highly measurable.
These graphs should do two things to you.
First, they should amaze you - when you compare the "buzz" around the latest "must have" social media marketing strategies with the lack of "buzz" about email, you can see in a flash that something is not right.
Social media gets the buzz, but email is by far the widest reaching and most active online communication medium.
One is all froth, the other is substance.
Second, they should jolt you into action - if your business has not mastered email broadcasting as a powerful way to turn your database into profitable revenue - you need to attack it with a passion.
Forget Twitter, Facebook, even your Blog - master the science of email marketing and reap the rewards.
10 Essential Tips to Successful Email Marketing...
1. Your List - begin collecting email addresses from all of your prospects and clients and adding them to your database.
2. Your Website - create an attractive offer on your website to encourage visitors to give you their email address in return for a valuable report or guide.
3. Newsletter Signup - create a compelling Newsletter Signup page on your website to further build your list.
4. Choose an Email Broadcast supplier - do NOT send emails through your normal email account as you could quickly become 'black listed' by ISP's (Internet Service Providers) - compromising your everyday email account.
With a professional (ideally UK based) supplier you get high delivery rates, an easy to use interface and valuable reports on links clicked, emails opened and much more.
5. Create Quality Content - do not make the fatal error of focusing the email content on yourself, your business and your news. Instead, focus on the customer's needs - offer solutions to their problems, ideas articles, valuable information, how to's, inspirational case studies and success stories.
6. High Frequency - if you want to build a stronger relationship with prospects and clients then one of the most effective ways to do this is to send valuable (to them) high quality content on a frequent basis.
Some of the most successful email marketers send 50 to 200 emails a year. Many of our clients are sending 20 to 50 a year with excellent results.
7. Single Article Newsletters - don't save three or four articles for each email - send each article separately as soon as it is ready. This allows you to 'touch' your list more frequently with a lot less effort on your part.
As soon as you have something good to share - send it. If you don't have anything to share - wait until you do (keep the quality and value high).
8. Repeat Your Most Successful Sales Emails - intersperse your articles with sales emails (those that make a direct request for a meeting, order, to request a quote etc.).
Once you have a sales email that is working well, keep on repeating it on a regular basis (monthly, every few months) until it stops working or you find a better version.
9. Use the Data to Learn - with Direct Mail you only get to measure responses. With email marketing you learn so much more as you get to learn from your 'near misses'.
You will learn what content people like by how many people click on the links and forward your email to others, you'll discover what your 'open' rate is (how many people read your email) and this allows you to tailor future content around the emails that your list likes and responds to best.
10. Get the Balance Right - we see some email marketers who only send sales emails. That's like running a TV channel that only plays Ads - viewers will switch over in droves.
We see some email marketers who only send articles and news - that's like employing sales people who never ask for the order.
You need to strike a balance between the two - good content and the Ads. Create compelling articles and provide great information and benefits, and your list will appreciate your emails and put up with every second or third being an Ad.
Believe me, a well written client-focussed email newsletter sent to your clients is a wonderful and powerful tool for keeping close to them, ensuring that they know what you're doing for them - and letting them know you want to listen and respond to their needs.
You know, many of the people complaining today about how hard the economy is, are often the same people who are not communicating with their list (invoices, statements and overdue payment letters do not count).
Emailing is the best way to do that today. Period!
'Marketing for Profit' Workshops
We cover Email Broadcasting extensively during Workshop 3 of our upcoming Marketing for Profit workshop series.
Book and discover more here...
*Graph data source www.ReadWriteWeb.com