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If you run a business, have a product or service to sell, run a charitable organisation or club, or if you’re thinking about doing anything similar, you need to understand email marketing. In my view It is the single most important way to sustainably grow, maintain and futureproof your business or organisation.

Marketing is an ever-changing landscape. Years ago we would receive direct mail to our doorsteps through the post. Businesses and other organisations would acquire lists of names and physical addresses, either by simply paying for them, running competitions to collect them or by scrolling through the phone book (remember them?!).

They’d then spend thousands on getting a design agency and printer to produce postcards, letters and envelopes emblazoned with their brand or cause. They were then delivered through a postbox. The recipient would then:

  1. Screw it up and throw it away before reading it
  2. Read, then screw it up and throw it away
  3. Read, then place on the kitchen worktop for a week or so, then screw it up and throw it away
  4. Read, then call the number on the postcard or letter to find out more

It’s fair to say that the efficacy of this approach to marketing was problematic at best. Aside from the significant environmental impact of all the printing and delivering, it was virtually impossible to accurately measure the success of a campaign. But it stuck around for decades. Until the internet turned up.

Those days are definitely not over (I still receive the odd misinformed and poorly designed leaflet through the post, unfortunately they don’t even burn well), but more marketers are now focussing their efforts on online campaigns.

Why is Email Marketing better than Social Media

In the golden age of social media, you could reach thousands of targeted potential customers relatively cheaply. The prices ever since have increased considerably. If anyone has been on Facebook long enough to remember the day they made life as a business extremely difficult (the day we don’t speak of), we also know that these social media platforms can change overnight. I’ve heard of businesses investing thousands of pounds in building their followings on many platforms, only for the platform to suddenly decide they want to change things up. Many of these businesses have gone under as a direct result.

Why you need Email Marketing

In summary, here are the reasons why you need to use email marketing:

  • Social media platforms can change the rules at any moment, however if you own an email list this is yours to keep and engage with however you so wish.
  • It is a free or relatively cheap method of reaching thousands of previous and potential customers to build brand awareness, loyalty and sell more.
  • Building your email list can be done completely on autopilot (more on this later).
  • Email marketing is super targeted. Subscribers have joined your list for one reason – to hear from you! With a little segmentation of your list too (more on this later too!), you can laser target your customers and get a fantastic return on investment with very little effort.

Enter Email Marketing

If you’re selling anything, building a community or providing a service, it’s likely you’re going to be collecting email addresses. It’s therefore logical to use these emails to remarket your previous and upcoming customers. Once you have those email addresses, they are yours to keep (until of course your ‘subscriber’ chooses to unsubscribe). No-one can change the rules overnight and wipe out your email list (unless it’s GDPR…more on that another time), it is yours to keep and nurture for as long as you like.

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