WHAT IS EMAIL MARKETING?
Email marketing is sending messages to a group of people or a person through email. The sole reason for email marketing is to inform your customers or potential customers about your services, updates, offers or discounts. Email marketing is mostly used by companies or organizations to interact with their customers while promoting their brand.
Technology has evolved that email marketing is not only for desktop users but also for mobile users which means that there are more people to reach.91% of internet users check their email at least once a day on their smartphones. When it is done properly and you can connect with the audience the right way, you will see an ROI.
Email marketing is a must especially for businesses since it allows you to design emails depending on your target audience. There are so many benefits of email marketing that are going to be discussed below.
Why Your Business Needs Email Marketing.
- Increases Traffic Website-Email marketing helps in increasing traffic to your website. This is so because when people receive your email and your content has caught their attention, they will want to know more about your company or services. This will make them click a button that links to your website(you are supposed to have one). This button is called a CTA(called to action) and is supposed to be attractive and appealing to the eye to convince the reader to click it.
- Increases brand awareness-When your potential customers see your emails regularly, this gradually increases your brand’s awareness. Even though they might not need your services at that particular time but they will always have you in their mind. So when the time comes that they need your services, you will be the first company that they will call. The only thing that is required of you is consistency. Consistency is key, it’s not just a one-time thing. You are supposed to send emails to your subscribers regularly.
- Cost Effective-One of the benefits of email marketing is cost-effectiveness. It allows you to reach a large number of people without spending much as compared to other marketing strategies such as commercials on TV, billboards, etc. Unlike the mentioned strategies, your emails are delivered to the right people, these are people who are interested in your services. The only thing required for a company is to hire a content creator and pay for email marketing automation services which are usually not that expensive.
Strengthens relationships with customers-It’s more than just promoting your brand, it’s also about building and maintaining a relationship with your customers. This can be done by sending wishes during the festive season or wishing them happy birthday which is a way of showing them that you care about them or giving tips once in a while. It should not always be about your business when you establish a strong relationship with your audience, you will always be their first choice.
- Email Marketing can be accessed anywhere-With mobile phones slowly replacing computers, your emails can also be read anywhere and at any time. You should make sure that your emails are designed for mobile phones. Your layout, text, and images should fit the mobile screen. People tend to read their emails more on their mobile phones than on computers. It is estimated that more than 70% of people check their emails on their mobile phones.
- Content can be shared– The good thing about email marketing is that you can design it in a way that can be shared on various social media pages. This way when your subscribers want to share it on their social pages they can easily do that. This means more people will be aware of your services or products which could lead to more customers.
- Builds Credibility-When people continuously receive your emails, it makes it easier for them to want to work with you since people prefer to work with or buy products from companies they are familiar with compared to companies they know nothing about or have never heard before. You should always have in mind that your content should be of help to your subscribers or provides useful information. This will keep them interested in your company.
- It’s Easy to start-Email marketing is not difficult to start. Luckily, there are so many tools that can be used in creating emails. Using these tools to design your email will not take you more than two hours. All you have to do is choose a design that you think is best for you and how you are going to place your content. You get to design your email just the way you want it to look like.
- Know what works-When you are running an email marketing campaign, you can know how well they are performing through metrics that you are given. This will help you to know what your subscribers are interested in and what they are not interested in. So the next time you want to run an email marketing campaign, you know will how to go about it since you know the type of audience you have and their interests which lead to you having more leads.
- A good way of starting a conversation– Email marketing is a good way of starting a conversation with your audience and introducing yourself. Emails that mention the name of the reader tend to get more replies than those which don’t. It makes the reader feel special and unique. Everyone likes to be noticed, so if a big company mentions the name of the reader in the email, it will automatically capture his or her attention.
- Increases your audience-When you create and distribute useful emails, you will gradually have an increase of subscribers. This will be a little bit tricky for small or new business owners but by continuously delivering useful content you will eventually get the people that are interested in your business. As time goes by, you will see you have a large audience.
- Ideal for building excitement-Email marketing is ideal for informing your audience about special offers, events, promotions, sales, discounts, etc. All you have to do is to create an eye-catching content with good images and you will be able to reach existing customers as well as new customers.
HOW EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING MESSAGES CAN BE CREATED
You need to know the goal of your email marketing campaign before you start distributing the email whether it’s to increase awareness, get more customers or inform your subscribers about an event or promotion.
You need to have guidelines to have a successful marketing campaign. Below are some guidelines that you need to follow.
- Segmentation-Avoid sending the same email to all of your subscribers. Make a list of your subscribers and what they are interested in. Most likely not all of your subscribers have the same interest, so not all of them will be interested in a particular content. So design an email that is based on their interests.
- Open and click-through rate-Take time and study how many of your emails were opened by your subscribers and how many of them had any action. This will be a guide when you are making your next email marketing campaign and will help you avoid making the same mistakes you made in your previous campaign.
- Demographics-It’s good to know the type of subscribers you have in terms of their jobs, age, title, job, etc. For example, an email about business tips will not be helpful to bankers, this is because they are in different industries. Most likely the banker won’t even open the email.
- How long people spend on your website-Knowing how long people spend on your website is a clear indication if they are interested in your services or not. If someone spends five seconds on your website, clearly they are not in the right place. If someone spends a long time on your website, they are interested and most probably looking for something. Knowing all this will help in making better email marketing campaigns. You may not know how to go about this, you can always look for a company with email marketing services to assist you.
- Personalize your email-If you personalize your emails you will see an increase in engagement. It doesn’t only mean using the subscriber’s name, it involves using the time and location of the subscriber, asking the appropriate questions which make the subscriber feel like you are communicating with them directly.
There is so much content out there, now that Google has made the creation of quality content mandatory for high rankings. It means that creating great content solves only half the problem; the real job is getting that content noticed by the right audience at the appropriate time, which is extremely important if a business will achieve its goals.
Content amplification is that arm of content marketing that is concerned with pushing blogs, articles, infographics, web pages and other content/messaging onto discovery platforms.
These platforms include social media sites and other high –traffic networks, where your target audience will be attracted by your headlines, come to consume your content and hopefully convert to help you achieve business goals.
Benefits of content amplification tools
Content amplification spells huge benefits for everyone involved. The following are just a few examples:
- For marketers: providing something valuable to your target audience enables a marketer to unobtrusively develop meaningful relationships/engagement with the audience, which results in higher ROI than conventional advertising.
- For consumers: Effective content amplification places the consumer at the center of control regarding what he/she chooses to consume while simultaneously adding value and addressing their daily issues.
- For businesses: Engaging unobtrusively with consumers by solving real-life issues through high-quality content is a great way to build brand awareness, attract links and hence increase traffic and conversions rates that will ultimately improve revenue generation.
Why should you care about content amplification?
The first step of learning effective content amplification is accepting these hard realities:
Your content is not special
Yes, you’re creating excellent, in-depth, well-articulated content, but so are a billion other sites on the Internet. No matter how good it is, you’ll need active promotion to get your work before the audience that matters. Consider this: in just 24 hours, there are over 4B new Facebook posts, almost 500K new WordPress posts, over 100K hours of new YouTube feeds and over 144.8 B new posts.
Great content does NOT promote itself on merit; this is the greatest fallacy in content marketing.
You are not special
Unless you are Justin Bieber, Buzzfeed, Wall Street Journal or The Oatmeal, you don’t have a drone of audience hanging onto your every word – unless you worked to do that. Unless you have the kind of following, reputation and resources that they have, you won’t get too far with just push-publishing.
The ugly truth is that people care about who wrote a piece, even more than the piece itself. That’s why even terrible content from the right influencer can spread like a bushfire. But for the rest of us, you have to work extra hard to build trust and credibility before your content has a chance of pushing itself.
Sharing is the least of your goals
Unless you are in the content business, share numbers are not your goal. Your goals begin with what happens after the content is shared – leads, links, subscriptions, brand awareness, sales, etc. Ultimately, you want to ensure your content is not just reaching a mass of people, but rather a mass of the right people. For that, you need active, strategic promotion.
Introduction to Content Creation
The foundation of content amplification is content creation. The first step is to work in creating great, targeted, relevant and value-adding content that will be the basis of your content amplification strategies.
Types of content
There are many types of content you can write, and you need to delve into as many different types as you can to cater to a wider demographic, even within your target audience segment. You don’t have to do all at once, but you should be afraid to venture into a new field just because they’re new to you. Create a schedule to plan how often you will churn out different types, and stick to it to add spice and variety to your blog.
Below are just a few examples of these:
- Infographics – this is a visual representation of data/information, and it is very popular across the board since it condenses a lot of information into simple, interpretable figures and stats. Infographics are shared up to three times as often other content types.
- Memes – these are easy to make, hilarious and have huge potential for virality. However, they’re more geared towards a social audience rather than for your blog.
- Videos and podcasts– there’s a host of choice on video content, but the key is to ensure the video is of good quality and delivered succinctly and memorable. Videos can be exceptionally persuasive if done well.
- Guides and how-to’s – in-depth, detailed, practical piece with text and relevant images. Visual elements are important to enhance the comprehensibility of this type of content.
- Book and product reviews – opinion pieces on various books and products that people in your niche would be interested in. Share both good and bad aspects, and why they made it to your list, which gives a better understanding of you and humanizes you before the audience.
- Opinion posts (rants) – these are extremely effective in building discussions and engagement, but they must be used very carefully. Ensure comprehensive research to avoid putting your foot in your mouth and losing credibility with the audience.
Useful tools and resources for content creation
Creating content doesn’t have to be as taxing anymore; there are many ways, tools and resources to get high-quality content without breaking your back. These content amplification tools can also help when working on visual-based content, which is where most people have a major problem.
- Google Drive Research Tool – helps you conduct Google search while on your Google Drive window.
- Site:search – this is a Google search option that limits only to specific websites. The site search formula is “ site:domainexample.com [search query] ”
- Google Search Console – formerly Google Webmaster Tools, GSC is helpful for data augmentation related to SEO and keyword research.
For writing and editing
- Evernote – the free version is extremely helpful for everything from the creation of to-do lists to writing entire article content and editing. It’s also available as an app for mobile allowing you to sync work across devices.
- Word2CleanHTML – useful for those who create drafts on Word and other word-processing software rather than the CMS. This tool helps filter and fix those little quacks that happen on HTML when content is copied from external sources into the CMS window.
- Grammarly and Correctica – apart from human editors, you need a grammar tool to triple-check your content prior to publishing. Both tools are free, and Grammarly can even check for plagiarism.
- Write My Essay – dedicated to providing all services related to content creation, in case you want to outsource content creation rather than do it yourself.
25 Tools and Resources to Make Content Amplification much easier
Once you have your high-quality content, you are now ready to embark on content amplification. Below are 25 tools and resources you can use to get your content noticed by the right eyes:
Contently is a content creation, optimization and distribution company in New York City. You can use the expertise of more than 30,000 content specialists to move your content through paid distribution, email, and social media channels. Contently is trusted by a few major brands, including American Express and General Electric.
Buzzstream is a software suite specially designed for B2B content marketing specialists, and it enables content amplification via social media, PR, and link acquisition. It is popularly used by both large and small businesses to jumpstart outreach, build credibility and track communications throughout online platforms.
The content marketing suite by Cision is intended for top tier websites with engaged audiences to drive traffic to content and increase brand exposure. It’s an easy-to-use tool for PR campaign strategy enhancement. B2B marketing teams can use this tool to reach the largest audience possible by targeting channels frequented by potential customers.
The Edgar app is intended to offer optimized visibility for businesses’ posts on social media. Given that most updates will only be seen by a fraction of your followers, Edgar app is set to automatically repost archived content, and it uses algorithmic analysis to schedule update posting at the most optimal high-traffic times.
Buffer is a tool for social media management and is popular as an easy tool to maintain the freshness of your LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook and Twitter profiles and share content on these platforms. Using Buffer, you can set times for your social media posts, which enables you to post at the optimal times for your followers located across different time zones.
This is a WordPress plugin that is set up such that viewers can access full content only after they have shared it on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook. For otherwise engaged audiences, you can use OnePress on select posts. It is an easy-to-install plugin that is very affordable – just $24 – even for startups.
Outbrain is a convenient traffic-driving tool that enables content promotion by embedding links with high-authority publishing sites. Each time you browse the web, you’re likely to encounter something from Outbrain. It’s simple to sign up, all you need is to commit a specific budgetary allocation and leave the work to Outbrain.
This tool helps you to collect content from social media, pages and blogs throughout the web into a single location. It also makes content viewer-friendly and connects you to related, story-worthy sources while you’re creating content. There’s a free and Business Pro version, the latter with enhanced privacy, customization and support options.
Listly is very useful to advertising your content by sharing, publishing and planting lists to help viewers gain quick access to relevant and related information and links (your own included). It is a widely held resource for content marketers, mostly for its ability to link audiences with relevant, interesting information.
PR Newswire is particularly intended for the newsworthy content, being a high-authority news source. It offers subscribers up-to-minute videos, press releases, audio and images to help them stay current. Also, it is useful for content distribution and to boost the social visibility of updates and scheduled content.
This is a content discovery tool intended to recommend your content to high-authority/quality, related third-party websites. When the visitor clicks on your content, it will be viewed through YouTube, social media, your site or another third party site. It also includes analytics and free resources for campaign optimization, performance stats as well as one-on-one support to enable business goal achievement.
Another content distribution tool intended to create a personalized web experience for visitors. This is done using their Interest Graph technology, which organizes content according to relatable interests. It analyses your content and only shows it to interest readers in the form of personalized endorsements. They also have free browser extensions for readers who recommend your content as they interact with other parts of the web.
A tool that enables automated aggregation and indexing of your content, which is then distributed in the form of in-stream ads, promoted recommendations, sponsored content and in-text links in select, quality third-party sites. It includes a dashboard with analytics on performance and efficacy of your content and match content display with viewer interests.
This tool enables content distribution and measurement. Their analytics tools offer insights into real-time content performance, with predictive tools to determine which are likely to perform best. Real-time reporting and prediction enables you to know in advance which content is likely to drive highest engagement and traffic, so you can focus on those.
It’s a social network of influencers and blogger, grouped according to interests. Members join and can share content with the group to drive social shares and comments. There are both free and premium options, the latter allowing access to more features and larger tribes. It includes features for Influencer Marketing campaigns.
A social media marketing tools which helps content distribution with your key players i.e. customers, employees and partners. A group is gathered and they agree to share company-originated content within their social accounts. It also offers powerful social activity analytics, including ROI information on traffic, engagement and revenue generation.
Zapier provides a single platform that connects all your web apps, where you can automate and coordinate tasks. Over 300 aps are supported, and then you can set up automated events and triggers (called Zaps). The dashboard allows you to monitor activity and manage all your apps. It can also be applied for content distribution, given that it includes most popular social networks and CMSes.
AddThis gives website administrators a chance to build traffic by making it simpler for user to share content. It provides for increased audience engagement with users not on the site, and allows content distribution on most social networks and third party platforms.
It’s a comprehensive solution that allows site users to share content with their networks through a number of channels, including email, IM, SMS and social media. It also provides insights and real-time analytics for social intelligence needed by content publishers, developers and brands.
Through its publishing platform, LinkedIn allows marketing teams to post content to the site, which posts are useful in increasing traffic to the brands social media profiles and official sites. Companies on LinkedIn can maintain blogs on the site to create a strong signal as industry leaders.
Facebook ads on average reach 91.3% of your target audience, unlike other online ad campaigns, which means you’re getting a good deal for your investment. Ads may be targeted according to demographical characteristics, location and interests among other options.
These tweets are deployed to potential followers and current fans of the brand. You need to have compelling content, which will be shot at the right audience using a variety of filtering options on Twitter. Targeted users receive the tweets on their timelines.
A free/premium email marketing/web-based platform that enables content sharing through email newsletters. There are pre-designed templates for newsletter creation making it easier to use. It can be integrated with WordPress and Twitter to enable you build email lists throughout the web. Also includes tracking and metric analytics capabilities.
This free/premium social network dashboard enables management of multiple social platforms and profiles and measures performance of content shared to the various platforms. All major networks are supported with provisions for additional integration with other networks through their HootSuite App Directory.
You are now armed with all the tricks and tips to create and sell high-quality content. Go forth and be great!