How many emails do you get a day to your personal email? I’m willing to bet the answer is “too many.” And that’s part of what has contributed to the spammy reputation email marketing has. Many folks over the years have said that email marketing’s days were numbered, that it would soon become a dated technology. Despite those naysayers, email marketing is not dead. I repeat, email marketing is not dead. It is still one of the most effective methods for reaching and engaging target audiences and remains the backbone of digital marketing.
Why Email Marketing Campaigns Remain the Best Marketing Tool
Here’s why there’s even more value in this marketing tool than in past years:
Email inboxes are portable now
Mobile phone trends keep email marketing relevant and contributed to the resurgence of this marketing tactic. Everyone has their email accounts linked to their mobile smartphone, right? So no one is ever truly offline. Your email message will exist in the inbox until hopefully opened.
Email is great for building multi-channel campaigns around
Email campaigns are even stronger when used in conjunction with other digital or social marketing efforts. For instance, if you’re planning on launching a Facebook Live campaign, use email to send out special event invites to your customer base.
Email builds relationships
Looking to foster relationships with your audience? Email has you covered. It’s a great channel for staying connected to existing customers and engaging continuously with them. The more good content you send, the more loyal a subscriber becomes.
Email is reliable
Social may be great for brand discovery and sharing content but email is a more reliable way of reaching and communicating with your customers. Facebook, for example, has algorithms that figure out the ‘best content’ to show users. Facebook Pages organically reach about 6.5% of their fans on average, meaning that even if a user likes your Page they won’t necessarily see all your posts in their News Feed. This is not true with email. If a consumer opts into your emails, they are going to get your messages delivered right into their inbox.
Email allows multiple messages to be shared
Email has the power to deliver way more content than, say, a social media post. You can send a number of stories and promos in one email, thus providing a bunch of useful information at once.
Email drives ROI
Email subscribers are more likely than your Facebook fans to click the CTA buttons in your emails. If you’re sending ads in emails the revenue opportunities are great because readers are more likely to click ad-supported content. Plus, every time someone opens an email or clicks to your website, your company earns income from ad impressions. Let’s hear it for profits!
Email is direct and personalized
It’s more possible than ever to deliver the right, impactful message, on the right channel, at the right time. With email, the sender has control. Rather than relying on the seemingly random social media algorithms, you have email as this awesome direct communication tool that increases the chances of your messages reaching your audiences. Speaking of your audiences, email has a lot of targeting opportunities. Based on clicks, purchase behaviour, and more you learn what each person likes and dislikes. Then, you get to personalizing your messages and segmenting based on preferences.
Not convinced on the value of email marketing? How about some handy dandy marketing stats from Hubspot that’ll convince you to prioritize mobile, segment audiences, and create rich content:
- Two-thirds of emails are read on either smartphones or tablets. (Marketing Land, 2015)
- 48% of emails are opened on a smartphone. (Movable Ink, 2015) 41% of emails are opened on an iPhone. (Movable Ink, 2015)
- Three-quarters of companies agree that email offers “excellent” to “good” ROI. (Econsultancy, 2016)
- Email use worldwide will top 3 billion users by 2020. (The Radicati Group, 2016)
- 64% of people prefer rich text emails. (HubSpot, 2014)
- 86% of consumers would like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with at least monthly, and 15% would like to get them daily. (Statista, 2015)
- The ability to segment email lists and individualize email campaign messaging are the most effective personalization tactics for 51% and 50% of marketing influencers respectively. (Ascend2, 2016)
- Segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue. (The Direct Marketing Association, 2015)
New research from DMA also emphasizes how vital emails are to marketing strategies. The organization reports that 95% of marketers agree emails are “important” or “very important.” BUT! Only 9% of those surveyed say all of their emails are relevant to their customers. That’s right – one in ten marketers admit that their emails are irrelevant.
How many emails do you delete without ever reading? Some marketers have opted to go back to sending solely hard mailers, where there is less competition for their audience’s eyes. I don’t think ignoring email marketing is the best move but I understand the struggle to break through the digital noise and get your email opened. It’s not all bad news! There are definitely steps that can be taken to stop sending irrelevant emails. The DMA research outlines top concerns that email marketers have, including lack of content, lack of data, and lack of strategy.
How do you address these concerns and challenges? By creating compelling content*, experimenting with timing and other metrics, then tracking and analyzing and adjusting. Listen to customer feedback, track clicks, A/B test subject lines to find the tone that works. It takes work to provide more value and stay relevant but if you learn more about your customers and tailor your emails to their desires, you’ll have a better chance to build trusting and profitable relationships.
The key takeaway? Be conscious of your audience’s preferences. Use the data you gather from your various campaigns to determine what your customers need and support your marketing strategies.
*Isn’t it nice when you can interact with an email without opening another page in your browser? Integrated HTML and CSS make this possible, allowing customers, for example, to add items to their shopping cart from the comfort of their own inbox. This added functionality is one reason why interactive emails are gaining popularity. Interactive emails help set your organization apart from other run-of-the-mill emails and contribute to a change in CTR.
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