With new technology popping up in the marketing space on a weekly basis, it can be difficult to know what to focus on.
Which tool is going to turn your company into a sales and marketing rocketship? Maybe it's social media analytics or perhaps native advertising.
It's possibly even that new CRM; that costs £15,000 a month, it must be good, right? Probably. But there's one solution that has such potential, such a mind-blowing capacity to transform a business.
So what is it? Well, it's the combination of content and email marketing.
What do you mean underwhelming?
Look, it may not have flashing lights and thousands of settings to play about with, but email marketing combined with content marketing can reveal fundamental truths about your business, including where you get the leads that matter and the journey they go on.
And the best part? It doesn't cost a great deal to implement.
So why is it so effective?
Well, it's all about that email address.
- It's direct - you may only get a click through rate of 15% but you're still looking at close to 100% delivery into your contacts' inboxes. There's a very good chance that your email will be noticed, if not opened. How does that compare to your last tweet?
- It's your first step to marketing ROI. Once you get that email address, you know who you're dealing with and that allows you to ‘reverse engineer' their steps to purchase.
- It shows you what your prospects are interested in. Which piece of content encouraged them to sign up for your newsletter? Once signed up, what did they read? You can see all of this with free tools like Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor.
- It's easy to set up, start and implement. You can do it all yourself with little experience. Or you can work with email experts without spending too much money.
Address to impress
Email signups are often the first opportunity for a small business to understand who's on their website, who's following them on social, who's engaging with them online. If you can get a name and an email address you can understand who's interested.
Once this person has signed up, you instantly have in-depth, personalised activity data. The stats show that a customer opens 50% of your emails and is interested in a particular topic. You have a name, and a targetable product or service right there. That's enough info to sell to someone.
Once you've been email marketing for months rather than weeks, certain trends will start to become apparent and you can start to map the way prospects engage with you and your content. Now we're lead profiling! You know who to talk to and how to talk to them, so you can start to target customers with the most suitable offer.
And because you've got that email, you can see which of those great clients you've got came from the website, or were influenced by your email and your articles. ROI anyone? Oh yeah!!
So there you have it - the marketing fundamentals right under your nose. And you don't have to invest a lot of money to learn the basics and start planning a route to growth. Just time, talent and a lot of hard work.
Of course, what's outlined here is the top level. The ins and outs of creating that killer content, generating signups and doing the reporting is the hard, detailed slog of it all.
About the author
Tom is the founder and content strategist at Future Content. Keen cyclist and DJ and the inventor of 33 organisations of which he is the only member.
Tom also sends out a weekly newsletter, covering the latest in tech, social and content marketing and you can subscribe here.