With the rising popularity of social networking sites, many small business owners are wondering if email marketing is dead. Most businesses that are Internet savvy already have a large list of client emails that they can use to promote new products, offer discounts and encourage purchases. However, many of those same businesses are wondering if they should be concentrating their marketing efforts on social networking.
Social Networking Sites
There are many social networking sites that you can work with, but the most popular are Facebook and Twitter. Facebook allows businesses to set up a "fan page." You can use this fan page to promote your business. Other Facebook users can become a fan of your page and anytime you update your page, a notification will be sent to the Facebook wall of all of your fans. This is a simple and efficient method of communicating with your customers, since a vast majority of the population has at least one Facebook account.
Twitter is another social networking site that you can use to promote your business, but it is very different from Facebook. You will need to have your customers "follow" your twitter feed so that they can read your updates. In each update that you make, you can only use 140 characters to get your message across. Many people use this short messaging networking site to daily communicate with friends and family.
Should I Stop Marketing through Email?
Email marketing is successful for a variety of reasons. The customer can check their email account at their own convenience and your message will be there waiting for them. With Web sites such as Facebook, if the customer doesn't log in multiple times per day, they are likely to miss your updates.
Email marketing is easy to do and is very low cost. This is another reason that it can easily be used to your advantage. You can send out a special printable coupon which is only available to those on your email list. This will help to get your customers in the door and buying your products.
Though social networking sites are popular, it should not mean the end of your email marketing campaign. It only takes a few minutes to send out one message a week to your email list that could bring in hundreds of dollars in sales. It also only takes a moment to update your Facebook page. Instead of choosing one form of marketing over the other, you should incorporate both methods into your marketing strategy.
If you are unsure about how to create a Facebook fan page, there are several free online tutorials that are available. If you have hired someone to create a Web site for you, it is likely that also offer their services for creating Facebook pages. The cost should be minimal and you should be able to have a new Facebook page set up in a day's time.
Both social networking and email marketing are great ways to stay in touch with your client base. By using both these methods, you can reach the maximum number of people possible by using cost effective and easy marketing methods.