While it may lack the flair of social media, email is far from becoming obsolete. In fact, even Facebook’s chief operating officer (COO) admits that email is the first thing she checks when waking up, and the last thing she checks before going to sleep. Can you blame her? When it comes to online business communications, email is still the standard.
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Email Marketing Isn’t Dead
Despite popular belief, email remains the most dominant communication medium on the internet. Although teenagers have little use for it, professionals of every stripe are consistently glued to their inbox. When the subject of email marketing arises, however, images of spam filled with broken English and crooked claims quickly spring to mind.
Spammer activity has created a stigma around email marketing that scares many bloggers and small businesses away. This is very unfortunate, because creating a reputable newsletter remains one of the most effective ways of building an active and engaged audience.
Growing and Maintaining a Mailing List
Although it certainly won’t hurt, incredible content alone doesn’t always translate into a massive mailing list. Like all things marketing related, a basic understanding of human nature is required to truly be successful. Whether it’s an exciting free eBook or the chance to win a cash prize, you need to provide a strong incentive for people to get excited about your newsletter. This leads to social sharing and buzz being generated around your brand.
To increase your odds of finding mailing list success, it’s essential you have an accurate understanding of what exactly goes into an effective email campaign. However, if you’re new to email marketing, familiarizing yourself with the technical details can feel a bit overwhelming. For this reason, it’s highly recommended you consult an extensive email marketing guide before beginning.
To save yourself a lot of time and headaches, you should strongly consider choosing a reputable email service provider. Companies like Constant-Contact, Mail Chimp and iContact have tremendously useful tools for managing large campaigns. These services act to simplify newsletters while also enhancing their effectiveness.
Failure by Design
Although web design has radically evolved over the last decade, newsletters are still firmly stuck in the 90s. There are a few very good reasons for this. Most importantly, spammers and hackers with malicious intent are quite dangerous when armed with advanced scripting. For this reason, the majority of email clients automatically strip away content containing complex design elements.
Aside from the risk of Trojan viruses, extraneous CSS also alienates subscribers that view emails on outdated machinery. Although inline CSS can be used in emails, popular clients like Gmail have an infamous lack of support for floated elements and direct positioning.
When it comes to designing newsletters, old-school tables are the safest way to express your creativity. This news may seem extremely discouraging, but all hope is not lost. MailChimp has created a free video series that manages to fully explain complicated design issues while also being entertaining.
Have More Integrity
Always remember that people trusted you with their email address for a reason. You were deemed worthy of future engagement, and it’s crucial to never take that for granted. Aside from destroying the credibility of your brand, shady practices and spam techniques are also illegal. To avoid any legal repercussions, be sure that your campaign adheres to the CAN-SPAM Act.
The importance of an opt-out feature cannot be overstated (plus, it’s legally required). A huge mailing list is worthless if everything you send out is immediately sent to a spam folder. Forcing people to receive your content nullifies all the advantages of email marketing.
Integrity is the foundation all brands should be built on, and success depends on never forgetting this very important fact. Always strive to present yourself in a way that encourages trust and loyalty amongst your readers.
Create a Newsletter and Gain Control
Without a doubt, social media can lead to incredible marketing success. However, there is a huge downside that many conveniently fail to realize. Social networks are businesses with their own goals and agendas, and this results in one forever being at the mercy of an ever-changing Terms of Service agreement. Because of this, the ability to personally reach out to an audience through an independent medium is incredibly important.
Email marketing is the best way to engage an extremely targeted audience on your own terms. Although social networks come and go, email has proven that it can stand the test of time.