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Don’t Always Think Outside of the Inbox

Posted on the 29 June 2012 by Onqmarketing @onqmarketing

Don’t always think outside of the InboxIn a time when business, particularly small business, has never had so many options for their marketing, a select few get all of the accolades and fanfare.

Social media is the darling of the marketing landscape, there wouldn’t be many people argue that. It’s been revolutionary in connecting us all and providing us the opportunity to engage with people of similar interests no matter where they reside.

On the other hand, perhaps one of the most underrated opportunities of this time is the humble email. I would suggest that it suffers from a perception of being ‘too old’ and ‘not as sexy’ as the others. FYI – The first email was sent from computer engineer Ray Tomlinson in 1971 (he sent it to himself).

The rapid emergence of mobile and particularly smartphones, has revived email to a point that we should all sit back and consider whether we’re making the most out of email.

Think about it, we rave about the mobile opportunities including SMS, bluetooth, apps, gaming, mobile websites and more. The whole premise of the excitement is the accessability. Many of us sleep with the mobile on our bedside, we carry it in our pockets during the day and it is beside us when we’re working or watching TV. So what is the first thing business thinks about when they think mobile? Hopefully it’s redesigning a website to ensure a favourable mobile experience but often it’s spending a bucket load of cash on an application.

But think about your own mobile habits. What do you do with your phone when you first wake up? Do you check Facebook and/or do you check your emails? What do you do when you’re 10 minutes early to a meeting? On the train? At lunch? I check my emails and I’m sure I am not alone.

To get someone to opt-in to an email is more important than someone to Like your Facebook page..Who agrees?

— Quentin Aisbett (@OnQMarketing) June 28, 2012

I just couldn’t ignore this quote from outgoing New York Times Managing Editor Jim Schachter-

“If people will opt into letting it into their mailbox, you are so far down the path of making them loyal audience members. The things you can lead them to do once they’ve made that choice are just immense.”

Of course if you do come to the decision that email is a great opportunity then you have to figure out how to go about it. My suggestion is to design and send email newsletters. But the decision does not stop there, there are going to be a number of considerations.

Do I send it to Subscribers only? Or do I pay for an email list?
Will I have the newsletter designed by a professional?
How often will I send the newsletter?
How will I structure the newsletter?
What will my conversation style be like?
What value will I provide people?
What is my call to action?
How do I leverage my social media profiles?
What is my strategy to gain new subscribers?
What day and what time will I send the newsletter?
What subject line will provide greater conversions?
Should I perform A/B testing?

With such a great opportunity in front of us. Email marketing can and has got it’s downfalls if it’s not executed properly. Whilst I have provided the questions and not the answers, I hope that you will at least consider the issues carefully and devise your own strategy that will provide long-term communication and engagement benefits as well as helping to build your brand, i.e. That means DO NOT buy email lists.

 

Don’t always think outside of the Inbox Quentin AisbettVisit My Website / View My Other Posts
Quentin Aisbett is the strategist at OnQ Marketing. He loves social media, SEO and mobile. Blogging all the time, tweeting even more so and found rambling on Google Plus at+Quentin Aisbett. Be a little old school and email him.

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