Email as a Marketing Tool for Small Organisations

Email as a Marketing Tool for Small Organisations
April 7, 2016 John Moylan

Is email marketing really better than social media?

When I tell people I am in digital marketing and that I use email my main marketing tool for small business, I tend to get this question quite a lot. The truth is that of course it isn’t, the growth of Facebook and Twitter in the digital marketing sphere have just cemented email as a more personal method of communication between organisations the people they wish to contact.

For large organisations who can afford to communicate to their leads through every possible channel of communication, email is a no brainer. However for smaller organisations with smaller budgets, email can sometimes be completely overlooked in place of social media. Let me explain why this is a big missed opportunity.

Benefits of Email Marketing for Small Business

Why Social Media has taken off as a marketing tool?

Social media gained its popularity as a marketing tool within organisations of all sizes because of its extremely targeted nature. Certain small outfits in particular are able to offload the burden of large scale data collection and audience targeting to Facebook and receive realtime feedback on the outcome of the campaign.

The relatively small costs in both time and money of such a campaign can at first glance look to be fairly attractive to a small organisation when compared to the initial outlay of setting up an automated eDM lifecycle, with an automation tool and a few templates. However, what this does not take into account is the down falls of a single channel marketing strategy.

So what is the problem with using only social media?

The problem with social media marketing is that in a lot of cases the ads work much like a targeted version of a highway billboard. They can be attractive and eye catching, but they ultimately convey little information as the prospect scrolls quickly past. In other words, they are great for raising awareness, but they are not so good at conversion.

This isn’t necessarily always a problem, and for some messages it can be the perfect platform, especially if your aim is to raise awareness or support lead generation. However, if you are looking to grow a personal connection between your business and your customers, targeted Facebook ads alone are simply not going to be enough. This is because, unlike email, Facebook ads are not something that you opt into, so its missing that personal connection right from the beginning. Social media still lacks the ability to deliver a well crafted, informed and personalised message.

Benefits of Email Marketing For Small Business – Awareness vx. Conversion

As I mentioned earlier, there is an awareness verses conversion paradigm that exists between emails and social media. While Facebook is the billboard on the side of the highway that drives leads to your website for the first time, email is the well crafted brochure that arrives once you’ve expressed interest. It vastly increases your chances of successfully reaching out to existing customers for repeat purchases.

In other words, email is the tool that will allow you to repeatedly communicate with that lead, and convey more information that you ever could on social media. Email is the tool that allows a customer to refer back to your message time and time again in the future when they realise they need your service. Email is the tool that demands an action from your customer, whether they open it, click through, or delete it, they must still read your subject line.

An Omni-Channel Approach is Always the Best Approach

Between Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Marketo, MailChip and Autopilot; there are numerous automation tools that include built in templates that you can use to easily create a lifecycle marketing strategy that will incorporate social media and email. Different systems are more suited to different companies so its best to seek advice from a marketing automation expert prior to making a decision on what is right for your company.