As a small business owner, you're probably glowing at the newfound opportunities of mobile and social marketing - and you should be.
But while you're focusing on implementing these new technologies into your campaign, don't forget about the benefits of more traditional methods - notably email advertising.
If social and mobile marketing are infants, email advertising is a mature adult. The strategy is developed enough that businesses of all sizes have figured out what works and what doesn't, but young enough that it still has a substantial effect on modern-day consumers.
So if you're thinking of abandoning your email advertising methods in the near future, you should probably think again. A recent study uncovered how email marketing is still extremely effective, with findings including:
1. Revenue per email grew 8 percent year over year from Q3 to Q4 in 2012
2. More than half of companies achieved significant increases in revenue per email in Q4
3. Multichannel marketers reported the largest growth between quarters
Three ways to succeed with email marketing
Let's focus on that last finding for a moment: multichannel retailers were the most successful. This begs the question of whether you should develop your email marketing strategies independently from social and mobile channels, or whether they should be looked at together.
Like most of these questions, the answer is never black and white. Instead, the most effective strategy likely incorporates a combination of the two.
With small business marketing in a state of flux, here are three tips you should keep in mind as you look to develop the most effective plan going forward:
1. Integrate email marketing into every channel. Social media and mobile devices are changing the game in a variety of ways. Consumers are increasingly opening emails on mobile devices, so making sure they can read them will be essential. At the same time, email marketers will need to watch the speed of response time among their customers, especially when it comes to email viewed via mobile devices.
2. Use data analysis to gain insight into consumer behavior. These tools are affordable even if your marketing budget is tight. Leverage them to find out which channels your customer base uses to shop, what day or time of day consumers are most likely to read messages, and so on.
3. Take advantage of triggered email if you can. These automatic messages deliver relevant information to customers in a timely manner, increasing the likelihood that you achieve a return on investment.
Contrary to what some people may think, email marketing is still far from reaching antiquity status. While you go about implementing new advertising strategies, don't forget to utilize what's already working.