There are a few myths and fallacies around at the moment about email marketing and I’ve been asked a lot of questions about it lately. So here, to clear up a few issues, are my latest tips on email marketing…

Email compliments social network marketing

You might think with all the talk about social networking these days that it’s set to take the place of email marketing. You might think that because people are overwhelmed with emails that email marketing will be lost in a sea of Internet communication.

However, I (and 97% of Internet marketers) believe that email marketing is still the best way to market your business and build a relationship with your customers and subscribers.

For a start, email is more personal than social networking - with an email, you have the chance to ‘speak’ to someone individually with a message right into their own personal inbox. Social networks can become a muddle of messages from all directions and there is no guarantee that your message will even be seen. It’s great as an extra way to promote your business but it can never take over from that personal form of communication you get with an email.

Social networking media is useful for spotting trends, finding out what customers are looking for, finding new subscribers and getting ideas for newsletters but don’t rely on it to communicate with customers directly and don’t be under the illusion that it will replace email marketing.

Use email to build trust

Email is still the best way to develop a relationship with your customers and build trust. Your emailed newsletter is still the best chance of doing that and you should put a lot of effort into getting it right.

You have a precious few moments to communicate with your customers when they open your email - make every moment count! Make sure every word urges them on to read more, open your next newsletter and eventually to hit the link to your web site and actually buy something!

You should make sure every newsletter offers something of value - a new piece of information, a few useful tips, some ideas for them to consider, some useful advice. Don’t just send them offers to buy something all the time. Make your newsletter something they can look forward to every week, month or however frequently you send them out and you will attract a loyal following.

With an overload of information and advertisements out there these days, people are becoming overwhelmed - your customers will appreciate your familiar and trusted email coming into their inbox!

Don’t be afraid of unsubscribers

Most of your emails won’t even get opened - after all, it’s just as easy to click ‘delete’ as it is to click ‘open’. Many more will get a cursory glance before being relegated to the recycle bin (and that’s when you have a chance to impress them and get them to read more…). However, there will be a very few that will actually be opened, read and enjoyed - that’s when you might even make a sale or two!

However, plenty of people will unsubscribe after a while, for all sorts of reasons, and while this may seem disappointing, it is actually a very positive thing. It’s better to have 10 qualified subscribers - in other words people who are actually interested in what you have to say and what you have to offer - than 1,000 subscribers who are never going to buy anything and don’t care a jot what you have to say. It’s far better to weed them out and get them off your list - then you can concentrate on the people who form the core of your business and will make it a success.

Best for tracking progress

With email marketing you can easily track your campaigns to monitor what works and what doesn’t. It literally takes a matter of days for you to get results - you don’t get that with social networking, traditional advertising or direct marketing (using snail mail). This level of control is invaluable for you to be able to steer your business in the right direction.

Email is professional

Email is used by professionals in most businesses today - it is a respected and acceptable way of communicating with other people in business. It respects a person’s time more than a phone call - which demands to be attended to as soon as the phone rings - people can answer emails when they have a minute during a busy day.

People are used to dealing with emails and this form of communication is not going away - so work with it and make email marketing your priority, alongside getting more new subscribers to your list.

Email is viral

Email is the perfect medium for viral marketing. Send someone something interesting and it’s so easy for them to forward it on to a few friends, who pass it on to their friends and associates, and so on… This creates an exponential growth in the number of people who see your marketing message - all by sending it to a few contacts to start off the process. All you have to do is create something worthy of being passed on! Not an easy task, but try offering a free book, money off voucher or some astonishingly interesting piece of information!

Email is here to stay

Finally, email is not going anywhere - in fact it is becoming more and more commonplace to do business through email and with mobile Internet technology evolving at breakneck speed, we will all have email on the move before too long. Keep going with email marketing - that’s all I can say!