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Why You Need an Email Program Instead of a Facebook Page

2/21/2012
Facebook is everywhere.
 
The social utility has been in the headlines continuously for the last 5+ years. The company has grown from a dorm room startup into possibly the largest initial public offering in history.
 
Despite all the success, there still appears to be some frustration among business owners and marketers. These folks have been trying to figure out how to use Facebook as a value added marketing channel for their companies, but many are still struggling.
 
There are a few reasons for the frustration and once you analyze your business there is even opportunity to realign your marketing efforts to possibly make more profit.
 

Customer Demographics, Facebook and Email Marketing

 
As with any business, yours has a specific target demographic. When considering Facebook marketing it’s important to start with an understanding of your target customer. More than 60% of Facebook users are under the age of 35 years old. This is a younger demographic than most businesses have for their target customer.
 
Beyond age, Facebook users also have a specific intent when it comes to using the social utility. Facebook has become arguably the biggest photo sharing website on the entire web. The folks that are over 35 years old commonly use Facebook to stay in touch with family by sending messages and browsing photo albums. Those under 35 often use Facebook to stay in touch with friends. Facebook is also a great reminder for birthdays of friends of family.
 
What you may realize at this point is that Facebook is not setup as a marketing channel for most businesses. For most, Facebook will not be a source of revenue and profit. There are two common exceptions to this claim:
 
1. Local Businesses - A local restaurant or similar business seems to have an advantage with Facebook marketing. The customers likely know each other and can really be “friends” with the folks at the business.
 
2. Digital Services With Young Customers - Apps and games are popular on Facebook. The young demographic can use their resources to purchase these items for entertainment on Facebook.
 
If you are not in these two groups then Facebook probably won’t work for you as a marketing channel. This is how it stands today and probably for the next few years. Anything could change in a few years as Facebook matures and the marketing landscape changes. There are better areas to focus on as you consider resource planning for your marketing dollars.
 

Email Marketing Is Profitable

 
Email marketing is old school in the digital world. Companies have been emailing customers for close to 15 or even 20 years by now.
 
There are still 92% of adult Internet users that use email. This is a much higher percentage than the number of adults using Facebook although that gap is closing.
 
But today, email marketing is still relevant. The channel is one of the most profitable digital activities. An old direct mail saying is “The money is in the list”. This has been true for direct marketers for decades and it is true for email marketers today.
 
Today, your focus should be on email marketing. If your demographic is in the sweet spot of adults in their peak earning years and peak spending years then email is one of the best channels for marketing.
 
Here are a few quick tips for improving your email marketing program.
 

Email Marketing Tips

 
1. Invest in Design - Many companies overwork their web designers. Companies are still catching up to the demands of the new digital world and it shows in the quality of email marketing. Companies with quality design in their emails will have a big advantage over the competition. Customers respond to emails that are designed for both aesthetics and organization.
 
2. Be Consistent - Consistency is something businesses struggle with in various digital marketing channels including email marketing. It’s important to groom your customers to a frequency of your emails. You want your emails to be appealing and valuable. You want customers to look forward to your emails each week or even multiple times each week. You have to be consistent with the schedule, though in order to retain this attention from the customer.
 
3. Become a Content Creator - In today’s digital world you need to think like a publisher of content. Each email you send needs to be valuable to your customers. This means creative text and images and photographs that are useful. You can focus on entertainment. You can focus on sharing unique news or breakthrough information. There are many ways to create content. Find your strategy and start focusing on your email program today.
 

Summary

 
Facebook takes the majority of headlines these days. But marketers and small business owners are frustrated with the results of Facebook efforts. Until there is more promise from Facebook, focus instead on your email marketing program. Email generates profit and that’s what matters most in business.
 
Email Image courtesy of Micky.!

Tags: Facebook Email Marketing




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