The optimal strategies for connecting with consumers and building relationships have changed pretty dramatically over the last generation or so.
A few decades ago, if you wanted to attract new customers to your business, you would have almost certainly invested in traditional advertising channels such as printing ads in magazines or airing commercials on the radio. Today, it's not that those methods don't work, but they're certainly losing effectiveness, and other channels are gaining ground. One of them is email.
People have become very discerning about filtering spam and deleting messages that look too "sales-y."
Some have worried that even email is outdated, as people have become very discerning about filtering spam out of their inboxes or manually deleting messages that look too "sales-y." Email marketing is not necessarily dead entirely, though. In reality, this just means that B2C marketing professionals need to get a little bit creative about how they promote their brands in people's inboxes.
Diversifying your email marketing tactics
Some people worry that if they're still using B2C email marketing in 2017, they're bound to have their options limited, as email is a rather constraining medium. In reality, if you're thinking this way, it probably means you aren't thinking creatively enough about what you can do with marketing emails.
Business Queensland has noted that there's actually a wide range of possible ways to use email for advancing your marketing strategy. Some companies write newsletters each month, updating customers on what's new with their business, but that's just one possible course of action. There are others. You can also use promotional blasts to tell people about new discounts and deals, or forge partnerships with other companies and cross-promote through their email lists. The possibilities go on.
Whatever you do, keep your messaging sharp and on-point at all times. People don't have a lot of time for each individual email, and they're quick to delete things that don't interest them. You'll need to have headlines, keywords and images that will grab people's attention and hold it.
Starting conversations, measuring results
The great thing about email is it's not just a one-way street – you can use it to open conversations with customers and continue them for the long haul, thus building a culture of loyalty. According to a Marketo e-book on marketing campaigns, this is high on the list of email marketing best practices – carrying on conversations that will add value for both your business and its customers.
As you go about this process, you'll need to measure your results as you go and make sure your efforts are working. This should be about more than just looking at click-through rates. The goal in B2C marketing isn't just to get people opening your emails – it's to make sure they read them, engage with them and ultimately turn into loyal paying customers. This means you need more sophisticated methods of measuring your progress.
Find the contact lists you need to get started
First things first, though. Before you can think about measuring results or raking in profits, you need to start by emailing the right people. If you get this step wrong, you risk wasting time on pointless messages or, worse, alienating people if you make a faux pas. That's why it's wise to begin with targeted database lists that will start you off on the right foot.
At The Prospect Shop, we have a treasure trove of these lists. Reach out to us if you need some contacts for your next email marketing campaign – we've got plenty of them to work with.