I just read today that 72% of internet marketers don’t have an email mailing list. That’s leaving a lot of money on the table! In this post, you will see how email marketing can skyrocket your business.
What does an unpopular U.S. president have to teach us about email marketing?
One of the key elements of President Obama’s election and re-election campaigns was email marketing. The graphic above from New York Magazine gives some of the subject lines of emails from the Obama re-election campaign in 2012. You can see that emails were sent out every few days, sometimes two or more in a single day (don’t try this at home – a U.S. Senator or U.S. President can get away with this; you probably can’t).
Obama had a team of 18 to 20 well-paid copywriters working full-time at his disposal. You probably don’t, but you can still learn from what they did for him.
One learning is from criticism that Obama’s emails received. Too often the content of the emails was unrelated to the call to action that followed at the link that was provided. The most famous of these was his Mother’s Day email that led to a donation page that was totally unrelated to the content of the email.
Jon Stewart even poked fun at the president on The Daily Show for the vague subject lines of the campaign emails. The website Hairpin compared them to notes from a stalker. Keep your emails congruent with your subject lines and link to pages that are congruent with both.
How successful were Obama’s emails? The Obama campaign raised $690 million dollars from their internet marketing and most of that came from fundraising emails. Care to calculate that return on investment?
Those millions of dollars came from an email list of tens of millions of subscribers. In total, 4.5 million people contributed to the Obama campaign, and the average gift was $53. While $53 doesn’t sound like much, don’t forget that it translated into $690 million. One email alone raised three million dollars.
Does that help you understand the importance of an email list? A big list has the greatest potential to deliver massive results. What kind of results?
That’s the ROI from email marketing according to the Direct Marketing Association, which makes emails the most cost-effective approach to marketing.
Email marketing is cheap, and it is also more personal than a social media ad. It’s a one-to-one exchange, which makes it much more personal than an ad in any media. The exchange is simply your valuable content for your readers’ valuable time. Your consistent, quality emails will build a relationship with your readers so that they learn to know, like, and trust you.
There’s something about receiving valuable information through an inbox that establishes a relationship with prospects and draws them closer to you as you continue to deliver high quality content to them. The high quality content that you deliver through emails will enable you to build an email list of dedicated followers.
Email marketing has a very simple formula: the better content that you can deliver, the more your email list will respond. Even without a team of copywriters like Obama had, you can create great content that will result in high engagement with your emails. High engagement means higher sales and that’s how email marketing delivers a 4300% ROI.
Here’s another discovery from the Obama team: most people will not unsubscribe no matter how many emails they are sent. Toby Falsgraff, the email director of the Obama campaign, reports that “The data didn’t show any negative consequences to sending more.”
Emailing on a regular basis cements the relationship between you and your readers.
So, where does email marketing fit within your marketing mix? For your sake, I hope that it has a prominent place. It did for Obama’s election and reelection. If it does for you and you do it well, you can be a hugely successful internet marketer.