Thursday, October 27, 2011

Is E-Mail Marketing Dead? Far From It...

With all the buzz on how Social Media is taking over the business world, you'd think that e-mail marketing is going the way of the do-do bird and will soon be extinct as a major marketing medium. However, when you look at how marketers are making money online, that's the farthest thing from the truth.

To paraphrase Mark Twain: "The reports of the death of e-mail marketing have been greatly exaggerated."

Savvy marketers such as Matt Furey, Perry Marshall and Tellman Knudson have made and are making most of their money through 'old-fashioned' e-mail marketing. They write their own copy, or have a full-time copywriter perform economic alchemy - magically turning words and ideas into money.

The foundation (or DNA) of your marketing - which includes your website, marketing communications and e-mails - is built upon words. The right words can inspire trust, build relationships, and ultimately persuade enough people to connect and do business with you.

Mark Twain also had another great quote: "History doesn't repeat itself, but it often rhymes." The Social Media hype and buzz of today is similar to the tech/telecom/ boom of the late 90s. Internet marketing 'gurus' said it was all about 'clicks and eyeballs.' Profits didn't matter because 'it's different this time.'

Social Media gurus talk about the power of "likes" and "re-tweets" as proof that SM marketing works. I don't doubt there's some value in being popular; however, I'm not sure this popularity always translates into profitability and sales - which should be your main goals as a website or business owner.

E-mail marketing has one big advantage over Social Media: When someone is reading your e-mail, you have their undivided attention. With Facebook and Twitter, you're competing with dozens - if not hundreds - of other people and companies. I know that e-mail marketing has worked (and still works) consistently for savvy marketers - if done correctly - time after time.

A good landing page and series of auto-responder e-mails will attract qualified leads, and convert a higher percentage of those leads into paying customers. If your website isn't generating the leads and sales you want, ask yourself these questions:

1)  Do I have a good landing page (or opt-in field on my Home page) that's easy for people to sign up?
2)  Am I offering valuable free information in exchange for someone's e-mail address?
3)  Am I following up with enough auto-responder e-mails to educate the prospect on the value of what I have, and...
4)  Am I making an attractive (or preferably an irresistible) offer?

If you've been using Social Media marketing without much success, maybe you should consider giving 'old-school' e-mail marketing a try.