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What Is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is a form of marketing that targets customers where they are spending their time: online and in their email inboxes.

Author: Jeremy Harrison

Updated: September 15, 2021

As a small business owner, you have a lot to keep up with. Email marketing is probably not high on your list of priorities, but may be it should be. eMarketer calls email marketing a “workhouse,” and its studies show that it’s the most effective tactic for both B2Bs and B2Cs.

Let’s cut through the rhetoric and get to the most important things you need to know about email marketing.

Email marketing 101

Email marketing is a form of marketing that targets customers where they are spending their time: online and in their email inboxes. Sure, social media is making a lot of noise in the marketing world, wisely convincing businesses to utilize platforms like Google+ and Facebook.

However, a whopping 91 percent of consumers say they check their email at least once a day. By marketing to your customers through email, you can get your messages in front of live readers who are ready to take action.

Simply put, targeting consumer inboxes is a form of marketing that adapts the email platform for commercial purposes.

How can you use email marketing?

Synergy in marketing can culminate with email marketing, combining multiple marketing strategies like blogging, social media, website, and even print/radio/TV ads. A targeted campaign that uses all of these strategies to point consumers to a landing page with an email opt-in form, where you can gather the email addresses of fairly motivated consumers, who are—at the least—looking for more information about your products or services.

With email, your list-building efforts pay off when you can then develop email content to serve multiple points along the marketing funnel, such as:

  • Already-interested consumers.
  • Consumers just beginning to find out more about a potential solution to their problems, which your products serve.
  • Consumers who are interested in learning more about your company and its brand.
  • Potential customers who are almost ready to buy.
  • Repeat customers.
  • Loyal customers to whom you can upsell and cross-sell.

The sky is truly the limit for email marketing in terms of how your business can segment customers and distribute marketing touch points to address every step of the buyer cycle.

Targeted emails

Need some ideas to get started with email marketing? Try these strategies:

  • Send regular email newsletters to spread brand awareness and repurpose content you use on other platforms.
  • Create a digest of information that highlights the “most important things” you’ve published in the last week or month.
  • Send one-time offers to a targeted list of customers.
  • Nurture leads through a series of emails specifically designed to encourage consumers to take a specific action at the end of the messages.
  • Send action-triggered messages that respond to steps consumers take. One example involves sending consumers a thank-you email for signing up on the opt-in form, or an informational email for contacting your business.

Whether you’re a local business, small business, brick and mortar business, conglomerate or virtual business, you need to grab hold of the MITs, which includes email marketing. By some estimations, email marketing offers a 4,300 percent return on investment. And that’s a most important thing to grab hold of and put it to work for your business.

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