Gail Goodman is the CEO of Constant Contact, a leading provider of email marketing, social media marketing, event marketing, local deals, and online survey tools for more than half a million small organizations. Gailis the author of the newly released Engagement Marketing: How Small Business Wins in a Socially Connected World. Goodman was named one of Boston’s top 30 innovators by The Boston Globe. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council, and a member of the Board of Directors of SCORE. In this interview, she talks about why email marketing is still important despite the blog craze, how to stand out and create marketing engagement and more.
I notice that a lot of top bloggers have email newsletters and are pushing people to subscribe. Why is email so effective despite all the social networking tools and blogs?
Ultimately, email goes hand in hand with social media marketing. Each plays a specific role and the magic happens when they are used together. Email is effective for two simple reasons: it ensures that your message gets “heard” and it keeps you top of mind. Social media has a lot of benefits but we know that only a small percentage of our social media posts will be seen by our customers. Facebook estimates a Business Page’s posts will be seen by only 16% of their fans.
Email gets delivered; we at least glance at every email that comes in. There is a consultant I recently worked with and at the end of our engagement, she asked if she could add me to her email list. I said “Of course!” and now I see her e-newsletter — and her name — on a regular basis in my inbox. Without this “reminder,” out of sight is literally out of mind.
There is a lot of noise on social networks. How do you create engagement when everyone else is trying to at the same time?
You create engagement by providing content that your customers want to share with their friends and networks. Content that is interesting, educational, fun and share-worthy. This content doesn’t always have to be about your business. In fact, some of the most shared content is often NOT about your business.
The wonderful thing about content that gets shared is that each “share” includes a link back to your business (Facebook Page, LinkedIn profile, blog, website, etc.). One of the businesses we feature in the book, Engagement Marketing: How Small Business Wins in a Socially Connected World, has built its business by simply uploading photographs of people at its events. Hundreds of people tag themselves in these photos — and those tagged photos are showing up in literally thousands of news feeds.
How do you turn engagement into dollars? What are your top three tips?
1. Educate yourself. Email and social media marketing looks easy because the tools are so simple. And while the delivery is simple, simply dashing off a Facebook post won’t bring in the dollars. We encourage people to attend seminars, read about others’ success, and read books, such as my new book, Engagement Marketing: How Small Business Wins in a Socially Connected World.
2. Connect with your customers. Who are your customers and what are their challenges? Where are they – Facebook, Twitter, somewhere else? What problem are you solving for them? How will your products or services improve their lives? Demonstrate your value through your content – the dollars will follow.
3. Offer people an incentive to engage with you. One of our B2B customers offered people a free book when they purchased $300 worth of services. They posted this incentive in their e-newsletter and on Facebook — and all of a sudden, business was booming.