Over the last several years, social media marketing has been the go-to strategy for entrepreneurs to promote their business. With billions of daily users, it’s understandable why so many business owners are excited. Social media marketing has been touted as the best way to market to new customers online-- but it’s not.
As social media has grown, the organic reach has decreased. Today, almost all the major social media platforms are publicly traded companies. To appease their shareholders and Wall Street, these social media platforms now have to generate a profit wherever they can. That has meant decreasing the organic reach and making business owners pay to reach their existing audience.
If you’re an entrepreneur with a smaller marketing budget, you can’t use social media marketing as effectively as you did in the past. Social media marketing is going through what the SEO industry went through a few years ago with several Google algorithm changes. What used to work doesn’t work anymore.
Social media is a rented platform, which is why email marketing is still the best way to market to leads and turn them into customers. If someone is signed up for your email list, they will at least receive your email. Your email list is the of people who have given you permission to tell them what you have going on in your business. Here are fives tips to help get potential customers to open your emails and increase your sales.
1. Test what works for your list.
As with anything in business, there’s a lot of advice that’s good and bad. The truest way to know what will work for your business is to test. To get the best value from your list, test the day(s) you should send emails. Test the time of day; test the subject lines and even the template you use. Don’t listen to advice that’s been passed around like it’s the law. Take as long as you need to test how and what your list responds best to.
2. Deliver exclusive and actionable content.
Your testing will be meaningless if you don’t deliver valuable content. “Value content” can be interpreted in different ways but, in general, it means giving your audience strategies, tips and tactics that help them reach their goals. Give them content you don’t share anywhere else. Make it feel like a special club that helps them solve the problem they came to you to learn how to solve.
3. Don’t come on too strong.
People are repelled from the entrepreneur who comes on with constant promotion. There has to be a balance between delivering free value and selling. Your free content demonstrates you know what you’re talking about and shows that the paid content will help them take the next steps. If you come off as the spammy marketer your emails will be sent to the junk folder.
4. Don’t treat people like they’re just a number.
A big mistake entrepreneurs make is treating potential leads like they’re a number or dollar sign. I speak all over the world to companies on the topic of authenticity. People can tell what’s real and what’s fake. Treat people like you value them and they will do business with you.
5. Let your results speak for themselves.
Results’ marketing is the best form of marketing,whether social media or email. When you show repeated success, people are impressed and make a buying decision. There’s a whole segment of people bragging about what they’ve done with zero proof. When you show leads what you’re saying works, and is working in other customer's lives, leads will turn into customers.
People log onto social media for a variety of reasons. Being sold to is not high on their list. You have seen it with someone you know; they constantly sell on social media, and it’s a turn-off. Don’t be that kind of entrepreneur.
Email marketing is the perfect example of what Seth Godin calls “permission marketing.” Build up your email list and send leads back to your website to see everything else you offer. Let your free information help them make a decision they’ll be happy about later. When you trick them with a clever Facebook ad, they’re not likely to do business with you again.
Build and nurture a list of people who are interested in you and your business. Add value and sell to them but only every so often. Your business will increase, and that list will become your best marketing tool.