The 2015 holiday buying season is upon us and consumers around the world are responding to promotional offers with their clicks – and their wallets. To engage your customer base and inform potential buyers of this season’s offers, it isn’t enough to simply post content on a website and wait for visitors to come. Your business needs to connect with its customers directly, either by email or through social media. Although a balanced promotional strategy is always wise, businesses are finding time and again that direct email marketing remains the most effective way to reach buyers and stimulate sales.
- Email Requires Action
When a business sends a message to its email list, the message exists permanently in each recipient’s inbox until some action is performed – even if the action is simply clicking the “delete” button. It is much easier to ignore content that appears in a social media feed because old content falls away automatically as new content appears.
- Email Marketing Fits All Budgets
Third-party email marketing companies offer tremendous exposure with a wide variety of payment methods, so that you can always find one to meet your needs and your budget. Whether you want to pay a low, per-impression rate just to get your message out to a wide audience or pay a little more on a cost-per-sale structure, the choice is yours – and the results are exactly what you pay for and expect. Social media marketing can be far more expensive because companies must either pay to “boost” their posts or risk the posts not being shown at all. According to Facebook, a user’s news feed contains only a small sampling of up to 1,500 different news items. A company that doesn’t pay to boost every social media post can expect its content to reach a very small portion of its follower base.
- Email Marketing Is Flexible
Social media may allow your business to target based on demographics, but it doesn’t allow for segmentation based on prior history of clicks or purchases, which, in our experience, is a much greater predictor of future engagement. With email marketing, a business can also send more frequent messages to customers who purchase products more often. Less engaged customers can receive less frequent mailings to help prevent those customers from cancelling their subscriptions.
- Equal Opportunity Marketing
Email marketing gives all companies an equal opportunity to maximize their response rates. On social media, marketing budgets influence visibility. If a company can afford to outbid all of its competitors, it can expect its posts to reach more people. An email account, on the other hand, has just one inbox. This forces companies to compete on equal terms regardless of their marketing budgets. It costs nothing to create an engaging subject line that compels people to read an email message.
- The Personal Touch
Compared to email marketing, social media marketing is an impersonal form of advertising. A social media post doesn’t go out to just one person — it goes to the entire follower base simultaneously. Email breaks through the static by creating the perception that the message is intended for the individual customer rather than a list of followers. Simply adding the recipient’s first name to an email message – something that isn’t possible on social media – instantly makes a message feel more personalized.