Email marketing is one of many digital marketing strategies that can help a business gain and retain customers. The question is, however, is it enough? How effective are email blasts as an advertising tool, compared with other strategies like search engine optimization (SEO)?

Anti-spam legislation shields Canadians

Email Marketing and CASL

Email marketing is a pretty basic strategy. It involves gathering email addresses of existing or potential customers and sending promotional correspondence to their inboxes. However, before you start, there is a crucial factor you need to consider: Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL).

CASL was implemented in 2014 and is designed to protect Canadian citizens from unsolicited emails. It was (and still is in some parts of the globe) common practice to mine email addresses from sources like websites, files, and other email accounts. This is done without the knowledge or permission of the account holder, resulting in a staggering amount of spam.

Realistically, how many customers respond to unsolicited email? Many don’t trust spammy-looking message and refuse to open them. Some delete them immediately, for fear of malware.

With CASL in effect, Canadians who want to receive emails need to “opt in.” Businesses are required to get an individual’s permission before sending them advertising materials.

How to Ask Permission to Send Emails

  • In person
  • Over the phone
  • Through your social media account
  • Via a form on your company website
  • With a “to subscribe” link in your professional email signature

Customer loyalty -- a requirement for success

Email Marketing Builds Client Relationships

Email marketing is an effective way to keep in touch with current customers. Its benefits include:

  • Reach
    There are still many people who are not active on social media. They rely on emails to receive information about your company.
  • Rapport
    Keep your customers in the loop by sending them emails. Alert them to offers available only for existing clients. Customers appreciate these offers; it makes them feel valued and enhances your relationship. This, in turn, increases the opportunity for further conversions.You can send announcements regarding:

    • new products or services
    • special promos
    • discounts
    • special events (e.g. an open house, anniversary, or product launches).

    For instance, a dental office might email a simple reminder for a patient’s next appointment, checkup, or X-ray. They can also send messages to inform clients about a new referral program or company-sponsored event.

  • Awareness
    The old adage, “Out of sight, out of mind” rings true even for business. If you do not take advantage of the various Internet available, chances are customers will forget about what your company offers. When this happens, loyal customers may end up going to your competitors. Keep your company “top of mind” with email marketing by paying an occasional visit to your clientele’s inboxes.
  • Amplification
    Enhance customer engagement by sharing your website content through different online platforms. In addition to posting on social media, send links and excerpts of blogs or service pages through email. Sharing relevant content helps customers know you’re an authority and expert in your field.A plumbing company, for example, could send previous clients useful and/or seasonal information like:

    • An article/blog on how to winterize pipes and drains
    • Guides to maintaining home or commercial plumbing

Will email marketing change your bottom line for the better?

Final Tips

When sending email blasts to your clients, remember that “less is more.” It may be tempting to flood inboxes with daily reminders or tips, but such an approach may be detrimental. Too many emails might influence clients to unsubscribe.

The number of emails you send in a month somewhat depends on the type of business you run. Based on customer surveys, the average (and acceptable) number of emails is one a week. Monitor your email stats (e.g. open rate or unsubscriptions) to determine your next plan of action.

Overall, email marketing is an excellent medium to connect with clients, strengthen the relationship, and help them remember your business when they need a service. However, because you cannot email potential customers without their permission, it is not entirely effective in generating new leads.

Lead Generation with SEO

SEO is a far better choice if you want new customers walking through your door. By using certain techniques, keywords, and increasing the amount of valuable content you provide on your website, you’ll boost your brand’s visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs). When consumers conduct an online search for the services or products you offer, you want search engines like Google to put your company’s site on their first page.

The more traffic you get, the more sales you generate. Email marketing and SEO strategies, working in tandem, are a powerful force that can contribute to the success of your business.

For professional website optimization and SEO services in Canada and the U.S., contact Local SEO Search. Do you need a steady stream of inbound customers? Let us help you reach your target market. Protect your bottom line by implementing Internet marketing strategies with the guidance of experts.

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