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Corporate Survival of the Fittest: How User Experience (UX) Helps You Win

Companies are continually releasing products with new features and functions to keep customers happy, but meanwhile consumers are expecting (and demanding) more from the brands they know and love. Giving your clients what they want is a good place to start if you want to increase your company’s revenue and popularity; however, to make your company stand head and shoulders above the rest, you need to create a truly outstanding user experience.

Essentially, this means making your clients’ time on your site – or spent using your app – as easy and satisfying as possible. They will thank you by returning to your site for subsequent purchases, and as quite an added bonus, they’ll tell their friends, family, and co-workers to join in on the fun by pointing their web browser to your site too. However, if they have a bad experience, it could mean the opposite: bad reviews and tanking sales.

What is User Experience, and Why Does it Matter?

Your company is only alive because you have customers. Treat them with respect and understanding, and you will foster a sense of loyalty that leads your business to thrive.

Interface, usability, and human-machine interactions are just several components that make a memorable experience. These are important considerations, but the best UX includes much more.

Components to create best user experience

Play Your Cards Right

What UX really comes down to is designing a website or other online portal that meets if not exceeds visitor expectations. So how do you keep your users happy?

First, it pays to make sure you aren’t making common usability mistakes: a flat color palette, hardly any links to help users navigate around your site, overly complex categories, and a lack of search options.

Next, look over the key points of user interaction: where the buttons are placed, whether or not links are easy to find, how users can customize their experience, and if text is placed in a way to make it approachable rather than overwhelming.

Trial and Error

For many e-commerce companies, potential sales never make it past the shopping cart:

Trial and Error
Source: Statista.com

Thankfully, you can avoid this trap. How?

Put yourself in their shoes by taking the UX test provided by usabilla.com.  As you proceed through your web-based purchasing and sales process, ask these questions:

  • Was the final cost what you expected it to be? Why or why not?
  • Did you feel the website was fast, slow, or about average?
  • Did you think the checkout process was long, short, or about right?
  • Did you feel secure entering your payment information?
  • At any time did the website crash or timeout?

Was the price in the currency you expected it to be?

Once your site or app update goes live, get plenty of feedback from employees, friends and customers to tweak the final design to make it better suited to your user base. To keep your customers’ attention, you need to create a satisfactory experience that makes your company memorable and keeps your visitors coming back for more brand interaction, more blog reading, and more shopping.

Read the User’s Mind

While it isn’t possible to know exactly what thoughts are running through your visitors’ heads as they browse around your website, there are ways to capture and analyze data to paint a big picture of the reaction that your digital marketing efforts are eliciting. The bounce rate, for example, will give you an indication of how many users immediately click away. If it only takes a website visitor 10 seconds to leave your homepage for an unrelated destination, that’s a big clue that your user experience isn’t meeting everyone’s basic needs.

Tools like Google Analytics, Omniture, and WebTrends will also let you know how users behave on your site. Are they entering through your most popular blog post, but staying to read more content without ever finding your services? Is Facebook steering them to a promotional webpage, but not getting visitors to click on your ecommerce store? Once you identify gaps in visitor behavior, you can add links to your site in the places they’re most needed.

Above all, it’s important to provide a user experience that’s compelling. If your consumers feel valued based on their interaction with your brand online, that positive user experience leads to increased customer loyalty. The next step from there is positive word of mouth, which brings more people to your website or application, in turn increasing ROI for all of your digital marketing campaigns.

Can HR Boost Your Bottom Line?

You can have all the tools and technology in the world, but at the end of the day, what really drives your company’s success is people. You already know that everyone who purchases your products is critical to your business’ survival and growth; however, the real fuel for your organization’s fire comes from its own employees. That’s why, no matter what industry you’re doing business in, the value of human resources (HR) cannot be overlooked.

According to research conducted by the National Business Research Institute, the attitudes of employees have an enormous effect on customer satisfaction – as much as 80%. Happy humans, even in today’s technology-based and highly digitalized society, are still one of the most critical components to making or breaking corporate success. Furthermore, satisfied employees are, on average, twice as productive each day at work.

The Power of One

What makes your employees happy, and how can you keep them satisfied? First, let them be themselves. My technique for personal branding encourages employees to express creativity and be themselves. Those individual traits can seem at odds with developing a cohesive corporate image, but they are actually quite valuable to improving ROI and driving corporate success.

The most successful companies do not ask employees to leave their personalities and opinions at door upon clocking in each day. Giving employees personal freedom makes them feel valued as a key part of the business, and they’ll know the CEO, or team at the top, cares for their overall well-being.

Power of One

Ideally, your employees have plenty of opportunity to grow and learn along with your company. I always say that creating harmony between the “personal” and “corporate” spheres does wonders for your business. Each employee has unique values and relates to different types of people. In turn, they can appeal to a wide audience, which can be translated into a very effective way to build a larger and more loyal consumer base.

Learning the Ropes: Corporate Branding 101

Your employees should understand and be able to explain what makes the company unique and stand out from – if not totally defeat – the competition. This is a vital strategy for any business looking to grow. After all, how will potential customers know what unique value your product or service has if each of your employees can’t even put their finger on it?

Learning the Ropes: Corporate Branding 101
                                                                      Source: hrreview.co.uk

This is one area of business where human resources (HR) is absolutely critical. When employees are first brought on to work for the company, that’s the prime time to teach them about branding, communication policies, and workplace culture. If that process goes smoothly, it lays a foundation for active employee engagement.

As a business owner or manager, how can you know if your employees are engaging enough – or at all? There are four main things to look for:

check mark Everyday satisfaction in the workplace
check mark Willingness to recommend the business as a place of work
check mark Employee retention – or even consideration of leaving
check mark Sense of pride to be part of the company

No matter how happy your employees are, it’s important to continue to take steps to increase employee engagement. In the next blog, I’ll share three of the top ways to involve your workforce in your company culture.

Employee Empowerment Equals Corporate Visibility

Employees have an enormous impact on customer satisfaction, which means it’s important to keep them happy in the workplace and happy with your corporate culture. Satisfied employees are also exceedingly more productive than those who are merely clocking in to collect a paycheck.

But while every business owner and manager knows that people – including employees – are a key asset to long-term success, it’s not always easy to know how to keep your workforce motivated and plugging along with a smile genuinely plastered on their faces.

HR Do's & Don'ts

Offer Incentives

Research surveys and studies conducted by Gallup and the Society for Human Resource Management show that employees who are engaged and satisfied with their daily roles and responsibilities are motivated to work harder for their company. These employees typically deliver remarkable levels of performance and are five times less likely to quit their jobs voluntarily. With an increase in sales and revenue, companies should become more willing and able to provide financial incentives, such as raises, bonuses, and commissions. One of the best ways to look after your workforce is to develop loyalty commission programs to ensure employees feel their hard work and effort pays off. And all those incentives mean the best employees will stay.

Making the Most of Social Media

Once you have the attention of your employees, it is time to get them involved in talking about their workplace. Social media campaigns are one of the most effective methods of driving sales and making your company more visible on the web, and happy employee are likely to participate and spread positive word of mouth.

In addition to delivering fresh, fun, and engaging content, these campaigns allow for the critical, but often overlooked, ability of your company to develop personal relationships with customers. Letting your employees show their personalities in interacting with your company on social media will also show clients that your organization is approachable and friendly.

Making the Most of Social Media
                                                                      Excerpt from NBRI infographic

Your Company is Your Team

Employee engagement is all about team-building, and it requires a holistic approach. That is to say there isn’t one right or wrong way to go about it. Start by getting to know your workers as individuals to find out what their concerns and visions are, and in turn develop an effective and efficient branding campaign that works for you and represents them. When you engage and motivate each employee by encouraging creativity, developing incentive programs, and showcasing your team with social media campaigns, you will help your business grow exponentially.

It’s no secret that a business can’t run without people, but it’s a common problem to focus too much on the external network (customers) and not enough on the men and women on the inside – your employees. By engaging the group that’s already interacting with your company and your products on a near-daily basis – using incentives, social media, and team-building exercises – the conversation about your brand will naturally grow to attract new customers and quality new hires.

Show the Corporate World You Mean Business with CMS

Having a high-quality content management system (CMS) to help manage your company’s website is critical to corporate success – more than you might have ever imagined! Without one, websites all too easily become out-of-date and disorganized, leading to high bounce rates (in other words, potential customers who click away in mere seconds).

Organization = Conversion

How can a software program give you a competitive edge? Like a home contractor, a CMS can build out your website to be as minimalist or as sophisticated as you want, keeping it in line with your branding. A CMS is more than a well-built closet, however. It’s also a powerful electronic marketing tool. When your site is fun and easy to browse, customers will keep returning for purchases, in turn raising your SEO rankings and boosting sales.

From all the CMS programs available, how do you choose which one to use? First, consider how much data you have to organize (e.g., your company’s size, products sold), your geographic location, and your level of technical expertise. If you have a multinational and multi-million dollar organization, you will need a CMS system – maybe two or three – that has large data storage capacities and can handle high web traffic volumes. Note, however, that transitioning to a CMS will be more difficult if your company is larger and uses multiple communication platforms, such as videos, webinars, graphics, chats, and diagrams.

CMS Info

Go From Ordinary to Extraordinary 

A good CMS program makes your website come alive. It will knock down the wall of communication that customers believe stands between them and your company. It should also make your website feel like an online coffee shop – a place where clients, corporate friends, and your own employees can go to chat, relax, and have a good time.

Most CMS programs offer base packages with templates for organizing and publishing information, revision tools to track changes, and capacities for search, retrieval, and storing data to allow users to quickly find what they want with keywords.

Database vs. Flat File

Among database programs, several consistently rank high in customer satisfaction for providing many features, design flexibility, and customer support: WordPress, Joomla!, Magento, and Drupal. These programs are good for one-stop shopping, but they can require some technical knowledge to use. Additionally, some find the volume of features they offer to be a bit overwhelming.

Flat-file programs, such as GitHub, Ghost, and Jekyll, are good for smaller companies. They are more affordable and user-friendly, but these programs lack the bells and whistles of data-driven systems. Although the listed programs are the most popular, it’ll take some shopping around to find the CMS best suited for the needs of your company and clients.

comparison database vs flat file
Source: dci (dotcominfoway.com)

Forecast for the CMS Future

A CMS system can make or break your electronic business. It is key to digital marketing, and can make the difference between your company attracting a large following, or quickly losing customers to competitors. Additionally, CMS programs enable you to lay out and manage your site in a way that makes doing business easier for everyone involved. Before making a decision, consider your company’s needs, and pay attention to projected trends.

If you want to get a leg up, consider upcoming trends before making a CMS purchase. Right now, this means making your content accessible through multiple channels, facilitating collaboration, and enabling data-based decisions, among other necessities. For those business owners who feel lost in the digital playing field, a web management or online marketing professional can steer you in the right direction.

A Little LAM Goes a Long Way in Supporting Corporate Success

Do you ever stare longingly at the commercials and campaigns of multinational companies, wondering how they are so successful while your own business has trouble staying afloat? Those companies had to learn to crawl before they could walk (and eventually run) in the corporate world. In fact, many still rely on the same secret weapon that got them to where they are now: local marketing.

Climb the Stairway to Success . . . One Step at a Time

Consider the statistics: Over half of your customer base lives less than three miles from your store. By catching – and keeping – local interest, you’ve already done much of the hard work of creating reliable revenue. Therefore, the biggest questions are:

How do you reach customers, and how do you keep them coming back for more?

Behind every iPhone, iPad, social media account, and computer screen is a human being. Despite flocking to the newest technologies en masse, humans still have emotions and want to feel connected. There’s power in a simple connection:

Local area marketing

Local area marketing (LAM) bridges the gap between geography, social class, and economic status that often stands between larger companies and clients. It targets a certain audience based on the local trends, customs, age, and socioeconomic status of customers most likely to buy your products. When you satisfy their desires, customers will remember your company’s name and be more likely to return to you for their next purchase.

Batting against Local Competition

When you’ve pinpointed who to target in the area, it’s time to take action. You will need to create a message that is clear, concise, and consistent. Repetition leads to memorization, which means in time your new customers will associate certain products with your brand and will return to you when they need more. Once they know what they want and who they want it from, they will want to know where else to find it. Telling customers exactly which local stores stock your products makes them much more likely to go there.

The marketing message is just the first part of the LAM equation, however. To make it more effective, you need to scope out your competition. Keep up with the business across the street by following their social media pages, subscribing to their e-mail newsletter, and taking a peek at their website at least once a month. Feel like you’re forgetting something? Set up a Google Alert to get notifications whenever your competitors write a blog, post updates online, or make the news.

Before you start a search for what others are doing, however, you need to make sure that other searchers can find you. Place listings in print directories, like YellowPages, as well as online hubs, like CitySearch and Google. If someone searches for a business like yours on GoogleMaps or Foursquare, it’s important that the correct information pops up so loyal customers and interested consumers can call or stop by. After you’ve checked with all the relevant listing services, you can further spread the word of your business by distributing content.

Channeling Your Energy

No two people are alike, and although your targeted group shares many commonalities, each individual will respond to stimuli in different ways. Some people – particularly those who are older and have less access to technology – are likely to go directly to a store to browse for and buy an item, but those numbers are dwindling fast. Most shoppers are using the internet to find the brands and products they love before they go to a brick-and-mortar establishment. As you can see, reaching out to your clients via the web, mobile devices, and social media is one of the best ways to contact them.

Channeling Your Energy

By taking your LAM strategy to the web, you can stay in touch with your supportive local network of customers and have a much better chance of finding potential clientele. As your company’s popularity grows, your web traffic increases, and your SEO rankings rise as well – in other words, when people type in certain keywords, your company’s name will be on top.

Starting small helps you to win big. Targeting a local audience establishes critical connections and creates the network you need for sustainable growth. What are you waiting for? Tap into the local market with internet marketing to increase the chance that casual online shoppers will be converted to your loyal buyers.If you want to get a leg up, consider upcoming trends before making a CMS purchase. Right now, this means making your content accessible through multiple channels, facilitating collaboration, and enabling data-based decisions, among other necessities. For those business owners who feel lost in the digital playing field, a web management or online marketing professional can steer you in the right direction.

Treat Your Company Website to a Makeover for Better Business

There are different types of marketing mediums, but these days one is more important than the rest: a website. It’s the face of your company. Having a great website is the key to drawing and retaining customers, and web designers and marketing experts agree that a good site contains one-of-a-kind features yet is easy to navigate and peruse. When you want to capture your audience’s attention and make your brand name memorable, consider adopting innovative web design concepts, which will make your audience not only click but take notice.

Show off Your URL

A website doesn’t just have to look good to be good. Who cares about a beautiful, state-of-the-art website if no one ever sees it? Don’t overlook search engine optimization (SEO), a web marketing fundamental will increase the number of hits your site receives and boost its overall ranking on Google, Bing, and more. Essentially this means the words on your website should match what your target market will be looking for.

Creating a uniform and consistent brand identity is also critical for improving SEO rankings, as well as making your company’s name, image, and products memorable. According to research, a significant part of the success accrued by the world’s top name brands – Starbucks, McDonalds, and Dunkin Donuts – is due to their recognizable identities and clear, focused advertising messages. These studies have shown that consumers are able to correctly identify these brand names in different places, online and in person, nearly 100% of the time.

Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) is another simple way to increase traffic to your company’s website and increase its quality scores.

Show off Your URL
                                                                                                            Source: TheLogoCompany.net

Stand Out from the Crowd 

When designing or redesigning your corporate homepage, it is also important to consider conversion rate optimization (CRO) and user experience (UX). UX refers to the ease with which users can access, navigate, and ultimately remember (and return to) your site. CRO involves adding the bells, whistles, and unique features that make your company’s name and image stand out in the minds of your audience members. A successful website balances the two – it’s simple enough for your customers to use, but unique enough for them to remember.

Be a Social Butterfly

Given the power and success of social media, sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn can (and should) be a part of your web design or redesign plan. It is fairly simple and quite cost-effective to set up accounts on these sites, and with the myriad of social connections each of your customers have, these networks are an invaluable marketing tool.

Make it easier to make new connections – and easily reach your loyal customers – by integrating social media into your website. It can be as simple as adding a Facebook “like” button for your page, or fully synced to share your live Twitter feed. Check out Dictionary.com; everywhere on the page, there’s something related to social media: Google+, Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram.

Be a Social Butterfly

Check Your Progress

Once you start a design or redesign campaign, you will be eager to know whether or not it is actually working. Capture sales and marketing data on various parts of your site through Analytics. This will help you measure performance and make targeted adjustments when necessary. A digital marketing expert can provide and manage the progress-tracking tools that will help your website – and by extension your company – grow to the next level.

Regardless of which web host, content management system (CMS), or online marketing tactics your business is using, it is absolutely essential to have a user-friendly website. Social media is powerful too, but those cookie-cutter profiles can’t capture the unique vision and perspective that your company offers. If you don’t have an easy-to-access website, your audience will be lost without a touchstone. Help your fans engage with everything your brand is doing online – from following your social media and resharing your posts to reviewing your industry-specific content and searching your entire inventory of products.

Increasing Brand Awareness is the Road to Long-Term Success

Whether your company is already considered the cream of the crop, or if you dream of getting to the #1 spot, increasing your brand’s awareness is one of the best ways to make sure that you become – or stay – head and shoulders above the competition.

Go Global

Experts agree that the trick to increasing visibility is to make your business global. Doing so may seem risky, or even frightening. With a sound strategy, however, you can significantly improve your return on investment (ROI) and pave a clear road to corporate success. Large companies, such as Lenovo and IBM, have reported that their ROI increased over 50% when their brand name went global – netting them billions more in revenue.

How can you lead your business in that direction? Start by developing a plan with three central components: quality, innovation, and creativity. Over 90% of customers surveyed listed those three factors as the most important considerations they made when purchasing, and continuing to purchase, products from certain companies over those of their competitors.

Make Personal Connections

In addition to being purchasers of your goods and services, your clients are people too. They’ll respond positively or negatively to certain stimuli, and that’s not something to overlook when planning your communications. Customers want to feel valued and are more likely to purchase products from companies they trust, and the seed of that trust is a personal connection.

What keeps your repeat customers coming back, and how can you attract new clients? Contrary to what you may believe, it is not just a matter of luck.

The most successful companies have a business strategy that includes a short- and long-term plan, along with a clear, focused message and targeted customer base. That requires doing some research into local populations – cultures, trends, and demographics. Then, tailor your message to your market to make strong emotional connections.

Check out Kmart’s #ShipMyPants ad campaign for an example of how to use a sharp message to attract a specific audience. The humor in this commercial may have been off-putting to some viewers, but along with making waves, it made the once-bankrupt store some brand new fans.

Brand awareness campaign

Stepping Stones to Success

Don’t immediately switch to international thinking; instead, start with baby steps. The thought of going global can be frightening, but if your company already has a good local presence, you have the foundation you need to start scaling. Many small businesses make a strong local name for themselves the good old-fashioned way: a physical office, a friendly customer service and support center, and personal relationships with customers.

In today’s digitized world, a bit of friendliness goes a long way so it doesn’t hurt to uphold those traditional business methods. The value of face-to-face interactions – or screen-to-screen interactions, in the case of live online support – is still a powerful and effective way to gain credibility and attention for your company’s name. Simply move from providing that winning service in person to also providing it online – on Facebook, Twitter, etc. – and your business will go global before you know it.

Audience Participation

Most of your customers are linked to social networking communities and have a wealth of digital connections. In other words, they give you access to their friends, family, coworkers – and even that friend they had in the 8th grade – and those people are all your company’s future fans, waiting to hear about what you have to offer.

Asking your current customers to participate in surveys, polls, online chats, and other methods of providing feedback will help spread your company’s name. Specifically speaking, it will increase your SEO/SEM rankings, which is one of the most important methods for increasing sales overseas. With a little bit of planning and a sound strategy, you can easily build on small achievements to increase your capital on a larger scale and go viral.

Increasing Awareness Increases ROI

Brand awareness is critical for business success. Whether you are a small company or an internationally renowned firm, a sound marketing strategy must be in place to ensure you stay at the forefront of customers’ minds – and the top of their shopping list. Making the most of the tools at hand, especially social media and the web, will help more of your target market understand just how perfect your product or service is for them.

But, how aware of your brand are people in the first place? There are a lot of ways to answer that question, including number of times your brand is mentioned by users on Twitter, how often your brand name is brought up in relevant online conversations, and whether or not your brand is being referred over your competitors. Of course, it also helps to know if people are sharing your company’s content, like pictures and blog posts, or if they’re searching directly for your product.

Brand Awareness Tools

That’s a whole lot of online activity to track! How can you possibly monitor every corner of the internet at once? There are a lot of tools to measure brand awareness, including Google Analytics and SocialMention.com. And, you can really take the reins with Google AdWords, which directly encourages visitors to interact with and learn about your company.
This popular advertising tool doesn’t simply put your pitch on the side of the road for anyone who drives by; you can pick specific placement spots and target audiences to get the biggest bang for your buck. On top of that, AdWords collects data to form a clear picture of your brand’s response rate. The more information you have in the online marketplace, the more prepared your brand is to be seen and heard.

The Power of Email Marketing in Action

Email is far from outdated, according to research and surveys. In fact, it is more effective than ever when it comes to communicating with consumers. Here’s a refresher of the statistics:

check mark Email has a return on investment (ROI) of around 4,300% (learn more from the Direct Marketing Association ).
check mark 80% of people choose to read marketing messages with their personal emails.
check mark 70% of people make use of emailed coupons or discounts.
check mark 60% of people named special offers as the top reason they sign up for e-newsletter subscriptions.

But knowing all that won’t help you harness the power of email for your business. Not every piece of email marketing will make it through the spam filter and compel readers to click.

Keys to Success

Email campaigns are only as valuable as you make them. It’s important to have a strategy in place to get more subscribers to read your carefully crafted email.

First, determine your goals and objectives, and draft a message. Do you want immediate sales, or would you be satisfied with more fans on your Facebook page? Your customers must be able to see what you have to offer, whether it’s a great product or your funny tips on Twitter, and they should be left feeling like they need it.

Now that you have an email that represents your brand and speaks to your target audience, you have to make sure your email actually reaches your targets. That means getting past the spam filters. The subject line has to be relevant, but beyond that, it should quickly and clearly tell the recipient (and their email provider!) what your message is all about.

What to Say

In the subject and the body text, use words specific to your brand, product, and industry. Avoid any phrases that read like a one-size-fits-all sales pitch (e.g., “FREE trial,” “Download now before it’s too late,” “Don’t miss this deal!!”).

Right away, identify yourself as personally as possible. Then, in your own voice, tell your subscribers why you’re writing, and explain what you have to offer. If you’re pointing them to your latest blog articles, give a brief summary. If you’re talking about a sale, tell them how much they can save. Keep it brief to show you value their time.

Once you have your readers’ attention, make sure to keep it by maintaining an email list with regular communication. Consistency builds trust, which is the secret ingredient you need to attract loyal brand ambassadors. But keep in mind that your subscribers’ expectations have to do with more than quality content.

When to Send

Timing is the key to getting your followers to not only open the welcome message, but to then look forward to receiving your latest updates on a regular schedule. This aspect of a winning campaign is why the right email solution is invaluable. MailChimp, Constant Contact, Bronto, and more email marketing services will not only schedule your communications but track your campaign’s performance. That way, you’ll know your newsletter is a huge hit in the late morning – except when you send on the weekend.

When to send newsletter

The Future Looks Bright

Although the face of e-mail is changing, experts predict it will remain as effective, if not even more so, into the future. Projected trends include predictive analytics, big data transparency, higher functioning platforms, more user-friendly designs, and synchronization of email to more channels, such as mobile devices and wearable electronics.

Future of email marketing

Source: Email Vendor Selection

Although some companies are overlooking the power of email and choosing to communicate mostly through social media, it’s important to know that an email subscriber is worth more to you than a Facebook fan – but only if you have a strategic marketing campaign to land the right messages in their inbox.

It can take some fancy technical footwork to know what your subscribers are worth down to the dollar, but if you track visitors with cookies starting from the first time they land on your website, you can see how often they return after signing up for your mailing list.

There are endless ways to attract subscribers, design e-newsletters, and schedule an email marketing campaign. But don’t get caught up by the details of what you’re sending and when; the first step is to get started. From the first few emails, you can gather data to pinpoint how to hone your messages, where to place your links, and what time your subscribers are most looking forward to hearing from you.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race: The Power of Email Marketing

When asked to name the marketing platforms that generate the greatest sales online, most business owners think of the latest trends like social media, mobile apps, and sophisticated web software.

However, one of the most effective marketing methods is good old email. Although it is not the latest and greatest among e-commerce tools, email remains the best means of communication, making it a critical way to touch base with employees and clients alike.

Email has not gone out of fashion, according to research and surveys. In fact, it is more effective for reaching consumers than ever:

check mark Email has a return on investment (ROI) of around 4,300% (learn more from the Direct Marketing Association ).
check mark 80% of people choose to read marketing messages with their personal emails.
check mark 70% of people make use of emailed coupons or discounts.
check mark 60% of people named special offers as the top reason they sign up for e-newsletter subscriptions.

Growth of email marketing
 Source: Shopify

Email Stands Tall over Social Media

When you need strategic and cost-effective marketing, forget the fancy software programs and invitations from social media sites begging you to join – at least to start.

Social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, require payment for advertising space, and it is not cheap. Additionally, to get publicity, you need to make your sales pitch to your target audience. That means you need to be posting new updates and tweets when your customers are logged in, leaving you with a small window of opportunity. Getting attention on social media is often a shot in the dark.

Email also establishes your quality, credibility, and reputation. Lots of companies are trying in vain to promote sales on Google and other search engines by purchasing ad space, hijacking keywords, and using other cheap techniques, which lands them in the e-commerce penalty box. While these tactics might work temporarily, they can ultimately hurt these businesses’ bottom lines and cost them all kinds of opportunities.

Avoid this pitfall by investing in long-term relationships with an email marketing campaign. Email ultimately works by sending the same focused message to people over and over again. It takes some time and patience to create the most effective message and get it across, but perseverance pays off.

What Benefits Does Email Offer?

There are so many; it’s tough to know where to start! Of course, an email blast allows you to reach many people in a short time. Email is cost-effective, and messages can be customized to target multiple audiences. It also has a much faster response time (1–3 days) than snail mail marketing, which generates responses within 1–2 weeks.

Benefits of email marketing

Perhaps the best quality of email is that it’s easy to track, and there’s a long list of tools that will help you do the legwork: Constant Contact, Bronto, MailChimp, VerticalResponse, AWeber, and more. These email marketing services not only help you design a professional, easy-to-read newsletter, but they also capture data about your subscribers.

By tagging your email campaigns, you’ll be able to see which emails get the best response rate. How many people are reading your newsletters, and how many of those readers translate to sales? Which part of your emails are attention-grabbing, and which links aren’t getting clicked at all? When you collect and analyze data about your promotional emails, you’ll be able to answer those questions and much more.

While your competitors go for the glitz and glamour with a flash-in-the-pan app or viral video, you can be the turtle that wins the proverbial race by building a strong email marketing campaign and tracking its performance. You will ultimately attract more customers than your competitors, who’ll be left spinning through the boom-and-bust cycle of technological trends.