We also said that we should toe the line when it comes to spamming.
So, it is time to explore a new marketing strategy that works in this new technologically driven world.
We are never out of options, as far as marketing is concerned because we have direct marketing. But let's take a look at how an old strategy like direct marketing can be implemented into this modern consumer-focused world.
Rewind a decade or two, direct marketing was extremely expensive to implement. Not only do we have to hire people to come up with a professionally designed marketing material, we need envelopes, stamps, courier fees, etc. In terms of telemarketing, we need to set aside budget for our potentially huge phone bill. For door-to-door marketing, you need your leaflet, brochure or whatever it is that you want your potential customers to read and see.
With the internet now, the cost is reduced if not completely eliminated.
Email marketing is a branch out of the direct marketing strategy tree. Quite literally, everyone has an email address now so, we can't ignore this strategy especially if you're in the consultancy business.
We can quickly, safely and intelligently use email marketing to position ourselves as a leader in our respective industries. And because email marketing is a direct and quite personal method, we cut through the crowd of competitors who are fighting for the same customers and ENGAGE the customers (we do not use emails to sell directly to our customers. This is simply another turn off) because the reigns of control should continue to be in the hands of the consumer and we let them decide on their own, when they want to find out more information about what we have to offer.
A restraint on push-selling through email should be practiced because of one very important point. We do not abuse the permission that the owners of the email address have given us to communicate directly with them.
To delve a little deeper into this topic, let's take a look at some diagrams below.
From the diagram above, you can see how email marketing can act as a filter so that it brings you targeted traffic. Why? So that you can get a higher conversion rate, of course.
Let's take a look at the diagrams individually.
Generally speaking, we would classify traffic that comes in through search engines, advertisements that we have placed, from social networking sites, blogs, Youtube videos, etc as general traffic.
Each of these sources of traffic have their own way of bringing traffic to your website (which I will talk about one by one in the near future in other newsletters...especially social marketing).
When we say 'general traffic', we are talking about people who come to your website, sometimes by chance, sometimes intentionally. They may or may not be looking for what you have to offer. They may or may not care about your products or services. If you try to sell them your products or services this way, the chances of selling them something is dismally low.
Let me bring your attention to the first diagram and I would like to point out three serious problems with the equation.
1. The traffic is too general because there is nothing there to act as a filter for 'general traffic'
2. If you do not make the effort to capture information about your new potential customers and save them into a database, you have no avenue of presenting them with new products, services or promotion in the future. What you have to do then is to continue looking for new traffic to tell them about your new products or services. Which also means that your cost of marketing to your products or services will keep increasing?
3. If you don't capture their personal information WHEN you have the chance, you've literally passed on the chance to build a close online relationship with your customers. In the business world, relationship is everything.
The most important thing to think about is how business people from the old world continue to do business with a closed mind. They continue to print brochures and flyers and handing them out.
They do not see that in the new world, we can easily cut across the crowd and easily get permission-based email database to build a database of potentially interested people.
Imagine the cost of printing flyers to the tune of 10,000 and compare that to the cost of sending 10,000 emails. Does the difference in cost make sense to you?
And you know what is the most amazing thing of all about the comparison? While there is no way for us to gauge the response that we get from people who receive our flyers, there IS a way to calculate the feedback, effectiveness and Return of Investment, location of the response, etc through email marketing.
In diagram 2, the email marketing software comes with a filter for general traffic and confines them to targeted traffic so that when you have something new to sell or promote, you don't have to spend countless hours looking for new traffic.
Let's assume that you have 10,000 email addresses in your database. You do not have to worry about having NO customers! It is just a matter of how many of them responds to your emails.
If ever you wanted to conduct a survey on a new product or service, use the same database. With the same marketing strategy, you cut through the crowded advertising war zone to deliver your message directly to your customers. We have, after all, their full permission to deliver the email message to them.
The very moment that they fill up the mailing list subscription form and send it to you, they have given you explicit permission and shown you their interest. Hence, you do not have to worry about spamming them either.
In fact, the wonderful thing about email marketing is that we give them an option to leave and say 'no, thank you'. With that freedom, the consumer's control is intact and they will like the fact that we respect them for their opinion and preferences.
The problem is that people are generally weary and frustrated about receiving spam in their inbox. And that is why we have to develop a strategy; otherwise, there is a strong chance that our email marketing strategy backfires.
That, I will leave for my future newsletters.