In a recent email marketing census carried out by Econsultancy, 74% of marketers said they believe email still to be one of the highest channels for delivering ROI in five years time.

Thanks to the rise of the digital economy in recent years, it's never been easier or more cost-effective for companies to acquire whole spheres of new customers and keep them actively engaged with offers so that sales just keep rising. It all starts with the intrinsic power of email marketing to help keep firms more profitable than ever. 

Let's look at some of the ways companies can benefit from using email to drive their sales right up and get far ahead of the competition, as well as fostering a greatly enhanced experience for the consumer. A large part of your content management strategy will almost certainly be focused on getting leads that you will hope to turn in to sales. That holy marketing grail of conversion from visitor to customer – so let’s start there. 

Welcome to my online world 

There are all kinds of effective ways to snare new sales leads. Encouraging people to sign up using your website contact form for anything from special offers to authoritative newsletters, downloads of e-courses or e-books and a whole lot more. But when people's contact details including their email address start coming in – then what? 

The humble email address contains a lot of commercial power; but it is how it's used that makes all the difference in being a success or a big marketing flop. After acquiring potential sales leads, how are you going to use them to begin a relationship journey with the person? Start with a big, old-fashioned welcome. Someone is declaring an interest in your company; cement it by sending a welcome message using automated email marketing, and they will most likely be pleased you have taken the time to make immediate contact as a sort of "reward" for what they've done. Now, we're on the path to trust, and hopefully, sales.

Treading a fine email line

Clearly, once you have new people on board your email marketing programme, the absolute last thing you want to do is sabotage it by bombarding them with no end of messages trying to get them to buy. Always remember that with email marketing, there is a very fine line indeed between retaining recipients' trust and interest, and spamming the life out of them (plus, you'll likely just end up in the email junk folder). 

So, in trying to entice people to purchase your product or service you are not going to want to email them every hour or every day. The best practice to keep recipients aware of your brand and to gain sales, is once a week or even once a fortnight. You will be viewed as credible and your offers serious and you will enjoy a much greater ROI. This is all achieved using your automated email marketing and everyone receives the same message. In addition, the more details that you manage to get about your customers, your email marketing campaign can be augmented by creating emails targeted to specific sectors such as age, location and interests to generate greater levels of repeat sales and consumer loyalty.

Don't abandon us!

If you are running an e-Commerce site, one of the banes of doing so is the perpetual problem of the abandoned cart – you know it only too well. People have spent a while choosing a few items and are all ready to check out. But just at the last second, something irks them and off they go, leaving the site and leaving you with lost sales. What happened? What is wrong with what you are doing to cause this? These urgent questions will be racking your brain, so the chances of it happening again are diminished. Well, just ask.

A great way to do that is to send an email. It can be automated or especially created for the person, use humour to try and elicit a response and get that sale. Come over all serious and demanding; “Why on earth did you ditch the sale?” and you may well lose the customer forever. So come up with some witty text to get the person back to the checkout and follow through with the purchase. You can send a couple of these before perhaps the final one offering a small discount, which could work to offset concerns about shipping or other costs. Better a sale than not at all. 

There is so much more email marketing that can be used to increase a business' sales. From rewards programmes offering discounts and tickets to special events to reaching out to customers who have not bought in ages, and so much more. How you do it and how creative you are, will make all the difference in achieving great levels of online success.

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