Email marketing was perhaps the original online marketing in a sense. We can learn many lessons from social networking and social media marketing and apply them to our email subscription strategy. In many ways, email marketing is very similar to Twitter and Facebook marketing.
We could consider email marketing as the original online marketing strategy. It was only a few years ago when marketers would bombard users of a specific demographic set until they would click through, or buy. The advent of social media marketing is actually a maturation of the original email marketing. Bombarding has been seen as spam for a long time before social networking, and now we are treating our own email subscription lists with more care and intimacy. The same rules of social interaction apply with email marketing. Here is a look at how the best email marketing strategies are used.
- Subscription. Spam is not good. No one likes to get spam emails, and no one likes it when they cannot get off a list. The only people that should be getting our emails are those who have specifically asked for that information.
- Relationship Building. As with social networks, we need to treat our subscribers with care. We don’t want to be pushing out sales talk and offers. We share our knowledge and entice each of our subscribers. Again, this replicates our attitude towards sharing platforms.
- Simplified Data. Only a few years ago, getting data from email campaigns was the area of specialists who handled these campaigns. Now we have many options for gathering data, and many email management tools available for us. An excellent example of this is using shortened URLs inside our emails linking to specific content. We can use those URL shortening tools to gather information specific for a piece of content, and specifically for an email we have sent out.
- Regularity. Email marketing is not a one off blast out to as many people as possible. It is about keeping those who are in our subscription list regularly updated on useful information. Again, to do this, like all online marketing, social or not, we need to have regularity. Too much, and they will not be interested in us, and too little and they will forget us. With so much going on in everyone’s email inbox, we need to stand out from the rest. This can be compared with Twitter marketing (and now Facebook marketing) in a sense.
- Encourage Interaction and Intimacy. Sending out an email should be designed to inspire the viewer and get their attention. We have learnt to talk to our users, and to build a relationship with them. Each email needs to lead a user on, and get them to take action. Even when we are presenting and article or new content to them, we should not include that in the body of the email, we should encourage them to click thru onto that page.
- Opt Out Option. Having the option to opt out is essential. Without this, we are branded as spam even when we are not. Opt out options should be easy, and not require multiple steps through a complicated web design. If someone is not interested, we should not try and force them to stay with us.
Social media marketing has certainly influenced the way we think about email marketing, and Internet marketing alike. Email marketing is no different to any other group we are trying to influence, and essentially we are trying to get them to follow us.