If you want to grow your business and be very efficient with your sales, then you need to consider automating your marketing. Not only will it skyrocket your sales, but it will free up your time for you to complete other tasks within your business.
But what is marketing automation and how can it help your business? Here’s a quick guide for you.
What Is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is any activity used to promote a brand that is not manually undertaken. This can include numerous activities such as social media, email marketing or SMS. Not all of these activities have to be included in a campaign and most often email marketing is the prime marketing automation outlet.
Marketing automation is initiated based on a number of behaviours. For instance, an email sequence is instigated when a user subscribes to a mailing list, or content is published on social media when someone shares another piece of content.
How Can Marketing Automation Be Used?
Generally, the main purpose of marketing automation is to convert the prospects into customers. However, marketing automation can be deployed in numerous ways. For instance, one of the main applications is to have a cart abandonment campaign where a user who has abandoned their purchase is emailed to encourage them to complete. This can be done over two or three emails over numerous days.
Another common tactic is to create an email sequence that follows a download or subscription to an email marketing list. This can be really great, as it builds trust with an audience and demonstrates your knowledge and experience within a niche. You can also monitor your results to see who is really interested in your content.
Finally, marketing automation can be used to collect feedback after a conversion or to create repeat custom. This deployment is really useful as it lowers the customer acquisition cost and improves revenue. Those customers who have already purchased are also more likely to spend more if they were satisfied with their original purchase.
Enticing reviews can also be beneficial as peer reviews are trustworthy according to customers and the more reviews you can generate, the more conversions you will have.
What Are The Advantages Of Marketing Automation?
There are numerous advantages of marketing automation and very few drawbacks that mean automation should be part of your marketing strategy. Some of the key benefits include:
Reduce Time Spent On Marketing: While marketing generates sales and leads, the more time you spend on it the higher your acquisition costs. With marketing automation, you can create your campaign and then set it to go, leaving your software to do the hard work. Therefore, less time is spent on repetitive marketing, reducing costs.
Be More Responsive: Customers want answers and information immediately. This can be very hard to achieve when you are a small organisation and you wear many hats in your business. But marketing automation can often provide information quickly helping customers make informed purchasing decisions.
Be More Relevant: Content can be created for campaigns that are specific to services, products or information the prospect wants. For instance, if they are interested in boy’s shoes, campaigns can be sent just displaying a selection of boy’s shoes and related items. Therefore, content is more relevant to the consumer and has a higher chance of converting them.
Can See Sales Funnel Work: Another benefit of automation is that it can help you directly see when prospects might need to be given an extra push to convert with a phone call. This can be very useful when you are selling services.
Marketing automation is a significant advantage for businesses using it. It can help reduce marketing costs and improve conversions working tirelessly while you do other tasks for your business. There are numerous ways you can employ marketing automation in your business. How you use it for your brand is up to you.
Do you use marketing automation in your business?
Email marketing is a powerful and lucrative marketing avenue. The ROI for most email marketing campaigns can be as high as 4400%. That means for every $1 you spend on email marketing; you can recoup $44. It can also be responsible for more than one in four transactions on a website.
Many factors can influence the success of an email marketing campaign including the list integrity, email design, campaign strategy and the offer you present to the reader. However, there are also many other factors that can affect your long-term email marketing efficiency.
One of these is your email marketing provider.
User Experience Influences Email Marketing Results
The user experience of your website is very much part of the success of your business. The friendlier it is for website visitors, the higher conversation rate you’ll experience. The same can be said for your email marketing provider and your email campaigns.
Some email marketing providers don’t have intuitive interfaces. Therefore, constructing campaigns can be challenging. Those using them, with limited technical ability, can, therefore, opt for more basic email designs which can lead to poorer reception and engagement from subscribers.
Likewise, those email marketing providers with too many design options can be overwhelming, and the best design might not be found or applied.
Data Usage Needs To Be Useful
Another important aspect to consider with any email marketing provider is whether they provide useful reports. Collecting data on your subscriber list and monitoring responses to email campaigns can be vital to making your campaign successful.
For instance, you can notice that someone has opened and clicked through to an offer several times. However, the subscriber might not have ordered anything. There might be several reasons for this such as:
- Delivery costs are too high.
- A website might be confusing.
- A code error on the website.
- They found the product cheaper somewhere else.
- They got disrupted in the buying process.
Without the knowledge of who has, and who hasn’t engaged with your campaigns, you might not know who has clicked through and abandoned the process. This information can be highly useful because you can send another email to prompt them to complete the order.
You could even offer a deal to push them further into making that purchase or ask why they didn’t complete.
Another good report to have is your unsubscribe rates. You can notice the channels where subscribers are coming through and then unsubscribing. For instance, if you notice that those subscribing from Facebook and then unsubscribing is double compared to other channels, you know that you need to change your Facebook campaign.
Cost Of Using The Service
Another factor to consider is the cost of your email marketing provider and what you get for that price. There are numerous price points for providers, but not all of them have the same features for a similar price.
The higher the costs you pay, the more you must earn in revenue for your businesses to maximise profitability. However, you must consider that some providers might cost more, but offer you more features, reports, etc. that can increase the conversion rate for your campaigns.
It is about looking at the balance between cost and features.
Another consideration is also how much support you can get from your email marketing provider. If you don’t get much support from your business’ provider, then you might have severe problems getting the best campaign published.
Consider who offers the best support and what would you do if you had a problem and you didn’t have that support available. Getting private support from another site like Upwork or Freelancer can be expensive and might not be timely.
Your email marketing provider is an important part of your campaigns. Their interface, support and costs can influence the success of your campaigns. Be sure that your supplier is the best one for your brand before you start sending out campaigns.
Who is your favourite email marketing provider? What do they do well and not well?
Let us know in the comments below.
Digital marketing is proving to be highly successful. It offers businesses increased profits by lowering costs and increasing sale opportunities. There are lots of different online marketing channels, but some of them are more effective than others.
This is why some brands only employ certain digital marketing channels.
The one channel we would really recommend is email. Email marketing has shown that it can outperform all the other channels in sales, and it’s easy and cheap to maintain.
But don’t just take our word for it; here are six reasons why your business needs email marketing:
1. Email Marketing Has The Highest ROI
The median ROI for email marketing, as discovered in a 2016 survey, was 112%; more than four times better than any other marketing format. This ROI wasn’t just for 2016. Research has constantly shown that the ROI of email marketing is far better than other digital and offline marketing channels.
Part of the reason is that sending an email is cheap; especially when compared to sending direct mail or making a phone call.
2. Email Marketing Can Reach Customers On The Move
The growth in the use of mobiles is giving more prominence to emails. More than half of emails are now opened on a mobile device. This means that no matter where your audience goes, they can receive your marketing message.
This can’t be said for direct mail or display adverts.
Emails can help you reach customers at important times; such as when they are out shopping or on the move. It also allows them to take advantage of the deals you have on offer, by taking vouchers contained within your email on the go, instead of printing them off at home.
3. Email Activity Can Be Traced
One of the best benefits of email marketing is the ability to check who is reading and taking interest in your marketing messages. This can be useful as one important step of email marketing is sending follow-up messages.
Say you send a deal about a new product; you can grab a list of all those who opened, read, and clicked through to the link on the email and then send them further information. This new information might convince them to make a purchase.
4. Emails Can Be Automated
Whether it is an auto-sequence, cart-abandonment email, or a behavioural response sequence – your email marketing campaigns can be pre-written and sent out without any further instruction. This can be great for you as you can get all the information needed for your sales team while also selling to customers via email, without the need for manually sending emails.
Try to include at least some automation in your email campaigns to reap the rewards that it can bring. A good start would be a welcome email sequence that tells new subscribers what they can expect from your emails.
5. Email Has A Long Lifespan
The average lifespan of a tweet is a couple of minutes, for a Facebook post a couple of hours. Therefore, you have to hope that your core audience is online when you publish on either of those platforms. With email, you don’t have that worry. The email will sit in their inbox until they interact with it.
In fact, some research has shown that it can take two weeks after an email has been sent for someone to buy from it – long after those social media updates have been forgotten.
6. There Is A Larger Audience With Email Marketing
Facebook may boast it has 1 billion users, but there are nearly 3.7 billion email users in the world. Even social media sites know this as they send notifications via email about activity on their accounts. Emails are also needed to sign up for most sites.
Most people also check their emails regularly throughout the day. There are even some people who wake in the middle of the night to check their emails.
Email marketing is one of the best ways to connect with audiences. There are more people with an email account than a social media account, and they will regularly check their accounts throughout the day. Email marketing also has a good ROI and allows you to monitor reception by subscribers.
Do you use email marketing yet? What is preventing you from using it?
Let us know in the comments below.
There is always much discussion around which online marketing sales path is best for businesses and sales. For ROI purposes, many studies have found email isn’t just the top performer, but can also achieve higher numbers of conversions.
Research by Monetate discovered that the average ‘add to cart rate’ for email was 10.91%. In comparison, organic search had a rate of just 7.09%, and social media achieved a mere 2.28%. At the same time, email marketing had an ROI of 38-1. That means for every $1 you spend on email marketing; you will get back $38.
But why is email so effective? And if you aren’t doing so well with your email marketing – what can you do to improve your returns? Here are some answers.
1. Emails Can Be Better Targeted
One of the main reasons why email is so useful is because smart marketers restrict who they send their emails to. All that is required to do this is for your business to collect enough information about the behaviours and interests of your contacts.
For instance, if you sell three products and you track a subscriber’s activities and find out they are only interested in one of them, you should send emails relevant to that product. Ignore the other products as the lead has shown no interest in them.
2. You Have More Control Over Email
When your potential customers are searching on Google or another search engine, you can’t always guarantee what pages, products, or information they are going to see.
Many small businesses can’t afford to employ a qualified search engine marketer, and competition for search engine ranking can be so fierce, that despite your best efforts you might still not rank well. Audiences might also be directed to a different page on your website that isn’t designed to convert customers.
In email marketing, you can decide which pages you send leads to, and these can be designed for conversion from the start. This means you have a higher chance of converting your readers.
SEO is very expensive in comparison to email marketing. A good SEO campaign can cost upwards of $750 per month. Email marketing can be as little as $17 per month. Your primary challenge for email marketing is subscribing individuals to your mailing list, and there are several good tactics to support this.
3. You Set The Interaction Point
Another advantage of email marketing is that you can set the time the email will be sent to the customer. This is more important than some small businesses realise as it can take up to two weeks after the initial email for a sale to be confirmed, so the link between the timing of the email and the number of sales may not initially be apparent.
While the traditional view is that early morning on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday are the best times to send emails, this is, in fact, not the case. Research by Experian in 2012, discovered otherwise.
Their studies found that 21.7% of opens were between 8 pm and midnight, and 17.6% of unique opens occurred between midnight, and 4 am. These people were also more likely to click-through. The revenue per email was also highest between 8 pm to midnight.
These results weren’t contradicted in a 2015 report, but this one demonstrated that there were more people using mobiles to open emails.
Changing your email marketing times to match these timings might result in better results for your campaigns.
Email marketing is still a powerful advertising medium. It allows you to directly connect to your audience with the relevant content that matches their current behaviours. By adjusting your tactics slightly, you should be able to take full advantage of consumer behaviour, so your campaigns are more effective and reach the better ROIs that other small businesses have achieved.
What email marketing best practice tips do you have? When do you send email marketing campaigns?
Let us know in the comments below.
There are numerous email marketing agencies who will readily offer their services to your brand, either to run, or support, your email marketing campaigns. However, their effectiveness and usefulness to your business is something that is not consistent across the industry.
When at their best, email marketing agencies can propel your business to the next level. The worst can cause your brand significant issues.
So how can email marketing agencies help your company? What are both the good and bad aspects to consider?
Email Agencies Can Improve Results
The best agencies use experienced and qualified email marketing experts. They’ve been in the industry for several years and know what tactics, designs and content works best for which audience.
They also have skills you might not possess such as HTML coding, which can help you get more out of your email marketing campaigns.
They Save You Time
How valuable is your time? Could you be doing something that is more valuable to your business, like servicing clients while a professional takes over some of the other specialist tasks? Work out roughly what you earn per hour and how long it takes you to run a single campaign to see what the difference is in the valuation.
While you might think about open rates and click through rates – you might not realise what statistics are best for which campaign. A professional email marketing agency can give you a proper run of results on your campaigns and provide you with a true assessment based on pre-determined and realistic goals.
Due to their experience and knowledge, a good email marketing agency should be able to give you the best advice. This can range from what offers you could make, to how you can create a good campaign for your audience over the long-term. This advice can be worth gold dust.
Ruin Your Reputation
Email agencies can sometimes be less than reputable with their tactics. This is normally due to the fear of having to prove themselves on every campaign. They could convince you to buy email marketing lists or get your mail server blacklisted by sending too many emails in a short period.
You need to check your agency on their tactics and ask how long it will take to send out a set amount of emails. And you should never buy an email marketing list.
Some email marketing agencies are expensive, especially when you have a business that requires you to call your best responders and continue the sales process. Also, it’s likely you haven’t been too consistent recently in emailing your prospects. Therefore, the time from the start of your engagement with the agency to your first sales could be a few months.
You Lose Control
By outsourcing your email marketing, you will lose some control, even if you are actively involved in your email marketing campaigns. This can be frustrating, and at times, you might have emails that go in the wrong direction to what you were planning.
How To Mix The Two
Remember there can be positive aspects to hiring an email marketing agency. However, you might want to use an email marketing service like Fluttermail to send emails through, and ask an agency to design the email with your guidance.
This way you get the benefits of the agency, without any negative aspects. It is important you collaborate with your email agency and let them know what services you want to offer on which week, and the direction you want to go in.
By setting goals for your email campaigns you can better control the service and the results.
Do you use an email agency? What are the benefits for your business? What are the costs?
It isn’t just the email header or preheader that is important in determining the success of your email marketing campaigns. The timing of your campaign is really important. Send it too early and the consumer can either ignore your email, spam it, or just read it and forget about it.
So how can you determine when the best day is to send your email marketing campaign?
There Is No Magic Time
Unfortunately, there is no real ‘best time’ that is universal for all companies. It really depends on your product, service and audience. The only way you can determine when your audience is going to be more receptive to your marketing messages is to analyse the data yourself from past campaigns.
This can be a complex task, and there are different ways that you can measure the success of campaigns, depending on what you are trying to achieve. You also have to consider that some offers will not be as enticing as other campaigns – this can skew your results and make you miss the ideal times because your campaign wasn’t good enough.
Levelling The Playing Field
An option to prevent campaign results being skewed is to test the same email copy on multiple days/times. This is known as split testing. Most email marketing programs have automated systems that can help you set this up and monitor the results.
The disadvantage of this is that you need to have a significant number of subscribers each day for this to work. The more subscribers you have in a test segment, the greater the accuracy of the results and therefore you should not have a segment with less than 300 subscribers, though preferably it should be approximately 500.
This may mean that you have to test two days a week at a time to discover the ideal day. The best case scenario means that it could, therefore, take a minimum of six weeks to test the combinations available.
Another disadvantage is that the time of the email could be more important than the actual date. For instance, sending the email at 10 am on Monday might perform better than an email sent at the same time on Tuesday. However, the same email being sent at 2 pm on Tuesday could perform better than the 10 am on Monday. If you discount Tuesday too early in the testing, then you might miss out on opportunities.
Therefore, stringent testing needs to be done.
Not Just The Day But Also The Date
Another thing to consider is that you can’t always treat every day the same. For instance, if you test Tuesday against Thursday and see that Thursday has the best open and click-through rates, you may have forgotten to add into your campaign that Thursday was payday, and this is when most customers have the most disposable income and are more likely to make a purchase.
Therefore, it is important to avoid any potential dates that might interfere with the results so you don’t get biased results.
What Data To Look For
There are three statistics that you really need to look at. The content you are promoting, and the goals of your campaign will depend on what statistic is key for your campaign monitoring. The three statistics are:
Open Rate – The basic statistic of how many people opened your email and read it. This is fairly simple, but more opens don’t always equate to more click-throughs or purchases.
Click-Through Rate – The number of people who read your email and then clicked on a link within your email. This shows that people are interested in your offer and want more information.
Orders – This can be measured in a variety of ways including:
- Conversion Ratio – the ratio of subscribers who went on to buy a product/service.
- Purchasing Value – The revenue earned from an email campaign.
- Return on Investment – The amount earned compared to the amount spent.
Measuring these can tell you which campaign has been the most successful in converting customers. However, this can be difficult to measure as the landing page could be limiting sales and not the email.
Determining the best day and time for your email campaigns can be difficult for your business. You need to ensure that you study your email campaigns, test out which days are best for your business with split testing and then measure the results. This can be a lengthy process, but for the long-term benefit of your business, it is well worth the investment.
When was the last time you split tested your email campaigns? Do you know what day of the week is best to send your emails?
Let us know in the comments below.
Building a quality email list is an essential task if you are looking to generate significant income from this marketing channel. A quality list will provide a better return on your investment than one that is just bought or produced by securing the details of random visitors to your website.
So how can you build a quality email marketing list for your small business? Here are seven, very simple ways to do just that.
1. Use Downloadable Content
It is highly effective to use downloadable content to produce a quality email marketing list. You could provide a free download (like an ebook or whitepaper) in exchange for an email, which works particularly well as you can then determine what the prospect wants to know about (the subject of the downloadable content) and you can tailor your campaigns accordingly.
This strategy does take considerable effort. You need to create the downloadable content, the landing page (and sales text) and then market it.
2. Ask For More Information
By collecting more information, you can better segment your list or see if a subscriber is unsuitable for your products (and thus needs removing).
However, if the information they input is incorrect, the prospect could be sent the wrong content, or they could be rejected when they are a perfect candidate.
3. PPC Keywords
If you want to target a particular group, then by thinking of their search behaviours you can target them on search engines. Using paid ads, you can target certain key terms that you know they will search for and direct them to an email sign up page.
This can be a very expensive way to attract subscribers to your email list, but it does mean that you have a list made from prospects that you’ve qualified based on their interests.
4. Run / Attend An Event
Running or attending an event can be a good way to collect email addresses. You can collect the email addresses on a simple signup sheet or give small gifts out to those who provide you with their email address, an excellent tactic, as you can qualify prospects instantly by asking them a series of questions before passing them the signup sheet.
However, you may find that some of those who sign up to your email list forget about you by the time it takes you to send out your first email.
5. Run A Competition
Gamification can be a very powerful tool when it comes to generating interest in your brand. By running a competition, you can attract numerous signatories to your email list. Your competition could be anything from a sweepstake to a trivia quiz. What is important is that their entry must include an email address.
It is important to think about what you offer as a prize, if it is not related to your business activities, then you will attract people who aren’t suitable for your business.
6. Ask For Referrals
Another possible strategy is to ask current customers to recommend you to a friend through a referral system. This works by having your customer enter their friends’ details into a box, and you send them an email saying that a friend has passed on their contact details. In that email, you give them a chance to sign up for your email marketing list.
It can work wonders because friends of your customers are likely to be a good fit for your business. However, there is no guarantee that you will receive permission to contact the person again.
7. Discount Codes
Another staple of the email marketing world are discount codes provided when a customer signs up to your mailing list. Either you send them the code after they have signed up, or using a pop-up application on your website, you provide the code once they’ve entered their details.
The trouble with this strategy is that they might just sign up, with a fake email address, to get the discount code and it doesn’t encourage any long term stickiness with the customer.
There are many ways to grow your email marketing list. What you’ve got to ensure is that the names being added are good quality prospects. Therefore, you need to qualify them as they sign up so you can decide who should and shouldn’t be on your list.
How do you build an email marketing list? Are you confident they are all relevant subscribers?
Let us know in the comments below.
Email marketing isn’t the only digital marketing channel that you should pursue. There are numerous different channels that can help sell your products and services and the effectiveness of these channels can be increased if they are combined.
One of the most effective marketing channels to combine with your email marketing campaigns is blogging. This marketing platform has a reputation to generate a lot of interest in your brand. Some of the most important statistics for blogging include:
- Brands that prioritise blogging as a marketing channel are 13 times more likely to see a positive return on their investment.
- Brands that blog generate 67% more quality leads.
- The cost of blogging is limited to your time.
- Companies who blog receive nearly double the amount of links back to their website.
- Blogs are the fifth most trusted source of information online. (Source Hubspot)
With email marketing being one of the best ways to sell, combining the two can be a way to generate leads, instil trust between you and audiences and eventually sell to them.
How To Combine Your Blog To Your Email
One of the most effective ways to combine the two marketing channels is to use the blog to attract your customers with your blog posts (via search engines or social media) and then use a strong call to action in order to sign them up to your email list.
This is one of the most effective ways to grow your email marketing list – once they are on your list there is very little for your blog to do unless you reverse the process as well.
There are two options for this strategy. The first is to create content via your email marketing campaigns that you can then direct to content via your blog. For instance, creating a message about the top five tips that your readers can do to save money at home and then linking it to a longer version on your blog.
This option has the added benefit of you then being able to see what content is interesting your email marketing list. Then you can segregate your list better, sending them more relevant information and moving them faster down your sales funnel.
The second strategy is to create content on your blog as usual and just inform your email audience that you have created new blog content at the end of email marketing messages. This can be effective if you have a good writer and a strong blog message. You can also benefit from knowing what information your email marketing audience is interested in by what stories they are clicking through to.
The problem with this is that because the email marketing message is not optimised to your content, you could see a lower number of people click through. It can also detract from your general email marketing message and campaign. Therefore, your results are likely to be poorer.
What Is The Best Strategy For Combination?
As with all marketing, the best strategy for email and blogging combination is to plan ahead. Be sure that you are at least one week, if not longer ahead of your publishing schedule and you will always be able to create a powerful online marketing campaign that uses both blogging and email marketing.
In addition, by planning ahead you can create anticipation and excitement with your audiences, especially around new products and services.
Blogging and email marketing are two elements of the digital marketing sales process that can and should be combined for more powerful marketing campaigns. Whether you have it that blogging generates leads for your email system, you use blogs to discover what is interesting your email readers at present or you use a combination of both – there are numerous benefits of combining the two channels to make your business a greater success.
Do you combine email and blogging? What is your strategy?
Let us know in the comments below.
- Write and publish a blog post.
- Create an email marketing campaign to promote that blog post.
- Segment your list based on those results.
Email marketing success is all about getting your emails opened, read and clicked. For a truly successful email campaign, all three of these things need to be done by the audience as different parts of your email contribute to the success of your email marketing campaigns and how your audience interacts with your emails.
Changing the design and the parameters of your email marketing campaigns can help you achieve better results. Knowing what to change can be difficult, especially if you don’t A/B test your email marketing campaigns.
Here are five of the best tips for writing emails that will get opened, read and clicked.
Personalisation comes in two forms: personalisation of the message and of the sender. By including the receivers name within the copy and subject line you are making the email more personal to the subscriber. Many reports have shown that doing this can increase the open rate of email marketing campaigns and by-pass spam filters.
At the same time, by having the sender of your email messages as you, instead of your company or you at your company, can also increase open rates. Likewise it helps to bypass spam filters.
The common assertion is that the best location for the call to action is at the bottom of your email. However, very few people actually read the entire email – especially if you send long emails. Yet by having the call to action close to the top; either underneath the title or on the side of the email near the top, you will see more click throughs.
This is probably because people expect there to be more relevant information on your website and want to get there quickly. If they can’t see the call to action immediately, they are simply going to abandon the email.
There is a lot of research suggesting the best times for email marketing. However, this figure is really variable for different industries. Therefore, experiment with the timing of your marketing emails with A/B testing.
Remember it isn’t always about one element of the reader process (i.e. the click through rate) – consider the customer purchasing value and lifetime value in addition to the number of click throughs you get. You don’t want your emails to just be the excuse people use to skip some work.
Another good tip is to make sure that you are sending your emails at the right time for your audience. If you have an international audience, delay the sending of your emails until they are at the right time for the receiver’s location.
4. Less Words And Images
Even though you think that branding might look cool, sometimes the best emails are those that don’t use many images and are limited on the content. The idea is to get them to your website and sell from there. By using less wording on your page and having less for them to look at on your email, you are giving them less reason to abandon your email.
5. Send Relevant Information
If you have a wide range of services or products, it is unlikely that your subscribers are going to be interested in everything. Sending content and offers they’ve got no interest in is going to do you no good. Therefore, limit the emails you send to subscribers so that they are completely relevant to the receiver. Consider monitoring their behaviour on previous campaigns, website journeys and interactions with your sales teams and social media accounts. By focusing on understanding the audience better, you can send more targeted emails.
Your email campaigns rely on the interactions the emails have with your audience. By adjusting your email design to better suit the needs of your email’s recipients you can ensure that more of them will interact with emails by opening and reading them before clicking through to your website.
How do you improve open, read and click through rates? How are you going to improve these statistics in the future?
Let us know in the comments below.
A large database of contacts is always going to be good for selling; the more people on your list, the more sales you will achieve. This is why many people attempt to acquire more contacts by buying an email list.
Email lists can contain thousands of names and, on the face of it, it seems as though your business could grow substantially from one. However, growing your mailing list by buying contacts can have significant consequences for your business and digital marketing campaigns.
What are the negatives about buying an email list and the implications for your business?
1. It Violates The Law
Many laws across the world state that a contact must give permission to an organisation, to use their contact details in marketing. This applies to corporate contacts as well as consumer contacts. In the US, the Double Opt-In law further elaborates on this by stating that a contact must confirm their subscription after they have given their first indication.
When you don’t follow these laws there are significant repercussions. In the UK, you can be fined thousands of pounds for sending marketing messages via email without the users permission. In the US, there are similar consequences.
2. It Produces Poorer Results
Email marketing is only effective because it is permissible, in other words, the consumer has given permission to receive the marketing messages. Consumers often sign up to a mailing list in order to receive news about promotions and discounts. The important issue is that when you have a contact’s permission, they are expecting your messages.
When you have bought their details, they won’t be expecting your messages and that this can put you on the back foot. Often, bought email lists have poor open rates (as low as 1%), while the rates of those with organically grown lists can be extremely high and often not lower than 15%.
3. It Can Get Your Mail Server Banned
Another problem with bought email lists is that you can’t guarantee if the contacts are genuine. If you have contacts on the list that don’t exist or their email address has expired, then this could return a hard bounce. A hard bounce will be recorded against your mail server. Too many of these will limit your ability to send messages and your mailing campaigns will be less effective.
At the same time, even if you have genuine contacts on your database, there is a chance they will report your business and emails as a spamming organisation to their mail client server. This will get you a bad reputation and eventually you will be banned from sending messages. This can be expensive to repair and will forever damage your chances of making a sale later on with that customer.
4. It Costs Money For Not A Lot Of Response
Email lists aren’t given for free. They cost dozens or hundreds of dollars to just acquire them. Then when you send the message you are expending more money to do so and the chances are that you will not receive much interaction or response.
Spending money without any return is not good business practice. Especially if you then have to pay money to repair your business’ reputation, or to set up a new mailing client for your business. Furthermore, you have the possibility of having to pay a fine for buying the list.
Buying an email list is a bad idea for your business. Not only can it ruin your business’ reputation and therefore your chance of selling to potential customers, it can also cost you significant amounts of money in fines and repairing your reputation. The only real way to gain new contacts is to organically grow them.
How do you generate new contacts on your list? Have you ever bought a list?
Let us know in the comments below.