Is there a difference in email marketing and inbound marketing?
You may have identified some trends in your business that are cause for concern. Are sales lagging? Is your customer base thinning out from the back with retention issues? Many business owners today are struggling with making connections and measuring engagement with prospective customers. It’s not for a lack of effort. There are many sales and marketing activities that go into the strategy of retaining or increasing your customer base but that is not at the root of the problem.
There are 2 things that point us in the direction of the root cause: the customer has changed and so has technology. It is probably of no surprise that utilizing the internet to boost sales or engagement is prominent in most marketing strategies. However, not all solutions are easy to decode.
Email Marketing explained
For no other reason, email has been the target of unsupported claims that the use of email is declining. However, recent reports indicate the opposite is true. In a recent report published in 2011, Hubspot and Constant Contact concluded in a study the following list of findings on how businesses conduct marketing for their live events. The results showed:
- On average, businesses use 5.5 different methods to promote their events.
- Email marketing was most frequently cited; 76% use email.
- Word of mouth and website were the 2nd and 3rd most frequently cited.
- 47% still mail postal invitations.
- 46% still call individuals by telephone.
- 40% of respondents used social media sites.
- Only 11% use blogging for event marketing.
- Less than 10% use TV and radio ads. Less than 7% use magazine ads.
What can be concluded is the value that email marketing brings to the equation for a solution in generating leads and engaging prospective customers. Email marketing can be even more effective as a customer solutions tool. So is email marketing my solution to geneate leads online?
The truth is, email marketing is only part of the online solution. To start an email campaign you first need to provide a list of clients and for some small businesses either starting out or rebranding might not have an extensive list. Furthermore, that list you are emailing to is not a qualified one.
4 reasons why Inbound Marketing is considered “big brother”
Inbound marketing is not really a service, so much as it is a solutions experience. That experience encompasses the use of email to engage the customer but there is a more holistic view to its potential.
1. Website integrations with blogging
One of the main draw backs to email marketing is it’s lack of permanency and potential engagement. Sending targeted emails to your lead lists are only as good as the email it is writing for the particular moment. The content has its limitation to length and purpose. In a blog article you can nurture educative and informative pieces that highlight real needs through measured approaches. In addition, the blog exists for as long as you want on your site. Prospects can go back and reference the material as much as they need to engage with the content that brings value to your company.
2. Increase qualifying traffic by lead nurturing
The impact blogging has is not only generated through contact engagement but it acts as a waving red flag to others looking for similar content. “Hey, look at this website! It has great content!” is the effect blogging can have on a site. Google rewards content that is read by others by ranking you higher in keyword searches therefore making it particularly more interesting to nurture leads with those exact interests you write for.
3. Content promotion through social media and email marketing
Once you produce the articles and content offers such as whitepapers, e-guides, e-books, podcasts, webinars, and even video – these are the dangling carrots in social media. You can launch campaigns in the social media channels of your choice to redirect prospects back to your site. Now your email marketing is brought in to close the loop by sending an offer to visit content on your site that speaks to your customers’ pain points and further nurturing them through the buyers funnel.
4. Robust reporting features of a 360 degree online marketing system
Inbound marketing is built on intuitive and robust marketing software that comes loaded with high detail analytics. Not only do you need to know who visits your site and when but you want to know what sites they visits, what personas they are, what stage of the buyers process they are in, and what content is responsible for conversions.
Email marketing and Inbound marketing are hardly comparable products as much as they are completely different experiences. If you have been searching for ways to generate more leads online in your business through digital methods you should search for inbound marketing agencies that can provide a more in-depth look at their program. Your sales goal is fundamental in the process of generating leads online so be prepared to identify what you want to measure and your urgency to reach that goal.