At the end of the day marketing is marketing, you choose a delivery platform, carefully compose your message/offer and hope that it has a positive impact on your business. Traditionally marketing agencies have concentrated on print media and television to broadcast their message to the masses. These mediums still have broad appeal but are very difficult to measure unless you have an extremely diligent sales process or a multinational budget.
Times have changed in a very positive direction over the past decade with the uptake of the Internet within mainstream society. Businesses, both small and large, now have the opportunity to get their message out to their customers in a more targeted and cost-effective manner via e-mail, Web sites and social networking.
More importantly (particularly with e-mail and your website) the Internet has allowed marketers and business owners to no longer rely on a scattergun approach, they are now able to make informed decisions about their campaign performance through a vast range of tools aimed at tracking visitors and performance. Just about anything that you can think of can be tracked and measured!
Probably one of the cheapest and most powerful marketing tools at a business owner’s fingertips is email marketing. Unfortunately though, most small business owners do not realise just how effective it can be — for a very minimal investment in time and money. Did you know that even at the most basic level, your email marketing campaigns will tell you:
- how many customers opened the e-mail,
- what links they clicked on within the e-mail,
- who has unsubscribed,
- how many e-mails bounced, and
- if anybody has forwarded the message to a friend.
For those of you who are then wise enough to tag your links within the newsletter will be able to use Google analytics to continue to track these visitors on their Web site to see if the desired outcome was obtained (i.e. buying something, downloading a report etc). This is why e-mail is still the most cost-effective and targeted form of advertising that any business owner can take part in.
The Ballina Info Case Study
Over the next few months we would like to demystify some of the ins and outs of email marketing by taking you on a bit of a journey with us and our Ballina Info newsletter. During this period we will be taking a hard look at the newsletter, which has become a bit of a neglected baby. We will plan and employ strategies designed to increase the number of subscribers and gain a better understanding of what the subscribers are doing with the newsletter, with the overall goal of transforming a service that has been costing us time and money into a profit maker by providing an extremely useful service to our subscribers which in turn will become an efficient tool for local businesses looking to advertise to local residents.
As time goes by we will report what has been going on here in the blog and hope that you can take away some ideas that may help you with your business. If you’re a Ballina resident (or have any interest in Ballina) please feel free to sign up for the newsletter!
If you would like to follow this series you can be informed of new posts by subscribing to our RSS feed or the e-mail subscription on the top right. If you have any questions, or if there is something that you would like us to cover as part of this series please leave a comment below.