In this era of social media, shorter attention spans and flashy marketing techniques, email marketing often gets lost in the crowd. For some, email marketing is considered overwhelming, time-consuming and can teeter on the edge of spam – causing them to push it to the side. On the upside, that neglect represents a big opportunity for managed services providers (MSPs) who are savvy enough to view email marketing for what it really is: highly effective.
Email marketing can be a game changer for MSPs with limited time and resources, yet many don’t know how to effectively leverage it as a way to reach new clients, convert leads and increase acquisition. With the right strategy, email marketing can help you grow your managed IT practice and deliver an incredibly high return-on-investment. Aren’t convinced yet? Here are four more reasons email marketing should be a critical component of your MSP marketing strategy:
1. Email Marketing Is Efficient
Quite simply, there is little waste in email marketing efforts. With direct mail, a bad address results in returned marketing collateral that was paid for and can’t be recovered. When it comes to email, a bad email address can be removed from a list at a fraction of the cost. Email is also the easiest way to send valuable, educational content to your clients and prospects on the go. Our world is dominated by mobility and smartphones, yet email has fully adapted to this – helping you reach your targets wherever they are.
The efficiency of email also lies in the headlines. Think about it. With a short string of words, you can set the tone of an email before it’s even opened. This allows you to get straight to the point and give your contacts exactly what they’re looking for. A lot of times email marketers will try to trick readers into opening their email. But what’s the point of that? Your goal should be to drive clicks by being authentic in your emails and focus on collecting quality names and delivering quality content. It will help you be more successful in the long term.
2. Email Marketing Is Timely
Email marketing allows you to send information to clients and prospects that is current and timely. Gone are the days of sending something to a printer and then realizing that the information has already become obsolete, leaving you holding useless paper. Email allows you to not only address issues as they happen, it’s also a quick method for educating your clients and prospects on the benefits of managed services and other thought leadership topics while staying top of mind when they need IT support the most.
A great way to engage both prospects and clients and keep them up-to-date is by creating and sending an email newsletter. This can include updates specific to your company, relevant blog posts or content you’ve published, or even a roundup of the major headlines happening in the industry. Even if your prospects don’t partner with you right away, sending these updates helps build up equity so that when the time comes to find a managed services provider, you’ll be at the top of their list.
3. Email Marketing Is Inexpensive
Let’s face it, email is probably one of the most cost effective message delivery systems available today. After a client or prospect signs up to receive your information, email marketing allows you to nurture them through the sales process. To avoid blasting them with spam, you’ll want to start by telling them about your company, how you help people, what they can expect from you and then entice them to engage. Fortunately, there are services out there that can do all of this for you. MailChimp, for instance, is a very strong email platform that many MSPs could use for free. Other services like Constant Contact can cost $75 per month for up to 10,000 records.
4. Email Marketing Is Flexible
It’s clear that not all of your prospects are the same. For instance, a company in the healthcare vertical might be looking for information about HIPAA compliance concerns. You can craft a message that will resonate with them and send it to only those contacts. Sure, you can do the same with direct mail, but what if one of the critical components of a HIPAA compliant solution has recently changed because of new regulations? The printed materials you are holding are now worthless, whereas an email message can be changed on the fly.
Email marketing also allows you to easily deliver specific messaging to specific segments, depending on your goals or who you’d like to target. This is actually the first thing you need to do when developing an email marketing strategy for your business. You need to determine your audience. Start off by segmenting your contact database into three lists: prospects, leads, and current clients. Each segment has a specific set of characteristics, like their knowledge of the services you offer, their readiness to buy, and their goals and objectives. Email marketing allows you to capitalize on this by giving you the flexibility to send different messages to each segment that will be more targeted, relevant and inherently more interesting to the reader.
By Gretchen Hoffman
By Meaghan Moraes