What is the Deal with Email Marketing?

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I’d be lying if I said I didn’t cringe a little when clients ask us to help them with an email campaign.

Let me explain.

Many of us sit in our inboxes all day, so we know email is indeed an effective form of communication. However, we also sit in our inboxes deleting (or entirely ignoring) anything that makes us feel like someone is just out to get our money or annoy us. I’m not saying that email campaigns don’t work, because that would be factually untrue, and we’re not here to present #fakenews. In fact, at Knit we use email sparingly, but for us it has been an effective way to get people to read our blogs who wouldn’t otherwise see them. See our latest email newsletter.

What I am saying, is that email is not a solution in and of itself. Some people talk about email as if it’s going to miraculously save their business or magically grow their client base from 1 to 100, simply by pressing send on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. and that’s just not the way it works.

If you google “does email marketing work?” you’ll quickly find that it is still a highly successful tool, which is encouraging but also confusing. Campaign Monitor reports that email marketing can have up to a 4400% return on investment, but what does that even mean and how do you make it work like that? Let’s not forget that there’s a lot of science (and art and love) that goes into getting those results. It doesn’t happen from sending 1 or 2 email newsletters to a new group of prospects or to a purchased list.

Kissmetrics has a great guide to email marketing and they address these many conflicting questions such as timing, frequency, and follow up. To further illustrate these points, we’ve developed a helpful flowchart to email marketing. (Pinning encouraged.)

Download the Flowchart 

I suppose it’s true that you may have said yes to one or two “hey, want to grab a drink?” requests on Tinder without having much of a conversation, but usually people need a little more warming up than that. We’re not all ready to get in bed with the next Joss & Main that sends us a pretty newsletter.

The number one rule to remember with email marketing and social media, or any other form of marketing for that matter is: it’s about building a long-term relationship. It’s not about you selling stuff and them buying. Email marketing works when the customer already knows who you are and they’re in the mood and the position to purchase. You may have to send them 100 emails before they ever click “add to cart,” but if you annoy them or don’t provide value, they may unsubscribe before they ever get to that point.

I hope we haven’t completely scared you away from email campaigns, but instead provided a way to do them well. If you ever have questions about how to run a successful campaign, feel free to contact us.

Thanks for stopping by our blog!

Rebecca Borough | Knit Founder

Knit Marketing is a digital marketing company dedicated to helping companies bring their marketing dreams to life. Contact us for more information.