As much as I love the digital marketing space, the pace and growth can be a little dizzying sometimes.
There are SO many marketing channels to choose from.
It’s easy to get caught up in the bigger channels (it’s always the loudest who get the most attention, isn’t it?) because after a while it seems like that’s all there is.
We forget that there are so many additional ways to market and drive traffic. We get stuck trying to figure out why we’re not getting the same organic reach or trying new types on content on the same channels.
I’m not saying you should give up on the channels you’re using… but it’s certainly not going to to hurt to dip your toes into other channels to see what kind of results you can get.
Just like any other marketing channel, you want to test and most importantly, be patient. Something may not work out the gate the first time but that doesn’t mean it won’t work. Changing one element such as the time of day you test something can make all the difference in the world.
Allow something at least 3 months of genuine, consistent effort before you decide that it doesn’t work. You also want to pay attention to the additional ways you’re promoting that channel. Example: a podcast can be a very effective marketing channel, but if you’re not out there promoting that you have a podcast it’s probably never going to do what you hoped it would.
Let’s get into the 3 Marketing Channels You’re Actually Forgetting About
1) Email Marketing
This is probably my biggest regret.
When I first started my business (way back in 2008, which is like a million years in internet years), I heard all the guru’s over and over and over again saying “the money is in the list!” And as cheesy and annoying as that saying is, it’s true.
Obviously, your “list” is more than just a database of names and email addresses. Your list is where you get to create relationships, build trust, and serve an audience.
I did what I thought I was supposed to be doing. I added a lead magnet to my site, made sure it was easy to find (always above the fold), and had a follow-up sequence.
But that’s about it.
It wasn’t until 2016 that I made a concerted effort to go all in with email marketing.
I wish I had done it sooner.
Much like anything else, learning to write email copy that interests and engages your audience takes time and practice, but I can guarantee you that it will be far more valuable than building a list of followers on a platform you don’t own. If your time is limited, spend more on building a quality email list of people you can truly serve.
The best part about email marketing?
According to Campaign Monitor (2019), “Email Marketing has the highest return on investments for small businesses.”
Another important statistic, which is going to lead us to the other two marketing channels you’re probably forgetting about, is that “mobile accounted for 42% of all email opens in 2019 (Litmus, 2019). And… “mobile readers wh open emails a second time from their computer are 65% more likely to click through” (Campaign Monitor, 2019).
I get it, this might just feel like data to you.
But as someone who as experienced not putting time and energy into email marketing for years, to someone who sees this as probably the most important channel in my business, I can’t recommend it enough.
I’ve done simple course and workshop launches with email only and sold up to $7000. Not huge numbers in the online marketing world, but that was done with a pretty small list. You won’t hear me complaining.
2) SMS Marketing
SMS marketing (er, text messages?), is one of those channels that I thought was going to be much more popular when it first came out.
Speaking strictly from a personal observational standpoint, I think people were way more protective of receiving messages say 5 years ago than they are now. We were afraid we’d be opening ourselves up to all the spammers in the world and we’d be fighting to get onto a “do not text” list.
But that didn’t happen.
Of course, then we have the marketers.
We’ve all heard the saying “marketers ruin everything”… which is kinda true, but no point in cutting off your nose to spite your face.
Now that the novelty of SMS marketing has worn off (and people are less afraid to opt-in to SMS campaigns), it’s definitely worth taking another look at (Jodi and I will be testing this later this year).
According to VoiceSage, “64% of consumers think businesses should contact them via SMS more often and 75% of consumers want to receive texts with special offers.”
The best part of this is that so few businesses have started using this as a viable channel. Which means, you can still be an “early adopter”… even though this technology has been around for quite a while.
There are plenty of options when it comes to SMS marketing, but the first place I’d recommend looking is your email service provider first. Jodi and I use Active Campaign for this brand and we can add SMS marketing through them, which makes sense since all of our contacts are in there already.
If your email service provider doesn’t have SMS options, my recommendation would be to use a tool like ManyChat that allows both chat marketing and SMS.
Here are some other options if you want to do a little more research:
5 Best SMS Marketing Software & Services [Updated for 2021]
Here’s a list of SMS Marketing software with descriptions, ratings, and links
3) Chat Marketing/Messaging
I have to admit… I fell in love with Messenger marketing when it first came out but didn’t stick with it long enough to master it. That being said, I think it’s here to stay and there are some really exciting things happening in this space.
This is also one of those areas that marketers ruined initially because they got way too aggressive about using this channel solely for marketing.
All three of these channels: email, SMS, and chat are conversational channels.
Communicate with people as though you’re having a conversation.
Don’t treat these like the bro-marketers circa 2010 who thought all you needed to do was SELL!
My favorite way of using Messenger (this is FB Messenger with the help of ManyChat), is for events.
Have people register for live events (live streams, webinars, training, etc.) with ManyChat, which you can also connect to your email service provider so you can collect their email as well), then you can send them event reminders via Messenger.
In my experience, the attendance rate of people showing up for events is SO much higher when you use Messenger (as opposed to only using email).
I have a feeling we’re also going to see more opportunities in terms of advertising with chatbots or messaging platforms (think WhatsApp, Telegram, and now Instagram as well).
In fact, I know ManyChat is putting a lot into their upcoming Instagram Automation. I don’t know much about this yet, but with all of the changes coming to advertising (privacy, etc.), all these platforms are going to be looking at new types of advertising as they figure out how to make it worth it for people to spend money on their platforms (cost has gone up and conversions have gone down).
I interviewed the founder of ManyChat, Mikael Yang, a few years ago on my podcast.
It’s been amazing to see their growth and how he’s stayed true to his vision (he’s also one of the nicest founders I’ve talked to).
If you’re not sure if chatbots or messenger marketing is for you, take a little time to dig in and watch the free training course ManyChat has created (recently updated!).
At the end of the day, these are simply 3 additional channels you can add to your “marketing toolbox.”
I still believe that most marketing channels work, it all depends on how will you are to stick with it, test it, and make adjustments.
Pick the channels that feel most natural and fun for you… then add one or two more for testing.