last updated September 2018
“If you’re running a real business, email is still the most effective way to universally reach people who have expressed interest in your product or site. For that, it really can’t be beaten.” – Colin Nederkoorn (founder Customer.IO)
“More than 34% of the people worldwide use email. That’s about 2.5 billion people. It’s predicted to increase to 2.8 billion email users in the next 2 years. Yup, email’s popular. The Radicati Group, who came up with that info, also reckon that the world sends about 196 billion emails daily. Out of this 196 billion emails the majority, 109 billion, is business email.
Let’s put it simply. Email marketing is a vibrant and powerful way to connect with people. Bringing it home, think about your own experiences. Do you even know anyone who doesn’t have an email address? You probably receive a number of HTML emails each week (I sure do). You read them, get inspired by them and even look forward to the next one. Email is a big part of our lives. A very big part.
Email marketing is also a very personal way of reaching your target customers. Messages from your friends and family are sitting next to email updates from your company. That’s why email marketing works at it’s best when it is personalised. Email can be tailored to customer actions so that every communication is relevant to their interest. You can cover topics like changes in your company, victories, request feedback to your customer – this list is virtually endless. With 2.5 billion users, email isn’t going anywhere.
Still thinking Email Marketing is not something for your company? Let us give you 6 reasons why Email Marketing is a channel you should not be ignoring.
1. More effective than social media (for customer acquisition)
Don’t get us wrong, social media is an extremely important component in any business’ marketing strategy. Social Media is a great channel for interacting with your audience and strengthening your personal relationships with them. And because of that, it is an important first step towards reaching your ultimate goal – the conversion.
But when it comes to converting people into members, customers or supporters, email marketing is the way to go.
A study by Custora from 2013 found that customer acquisition via email marketing has quadrupled in the four years preceding 2013. Email marketing then already accounted for nearly 7% of all customer acquisitions that occurred online.
And that growth only kept on growing. In a study done by emarketer in March 2016:
81% and 80% of respondents, respectively, said email marketing drives customer acquisition and retention. Email’s usefulness was followed by that of other digital tactics like organic search at 62% for acquisition and social media at 44% for retention—both rated effective by far fewer respondents than chose email.
2. Economic and Cost Effective
It’s easy, effective, and inexpensive. Email marketing allows business owners to reach a large number of consumers at a rate of nearly nothing per message.
For small-business owners on a budget, this makes it a better choice than traditional marketing channels like TV, radio, or direct mail. You don’t have to take our word for it. A joint study from Shop.org and Forrester Research found that 85% of US retailers consider email marketing one of the most effective customer acquisition tactics.
Even with the explosion of all sorts of new technology and social networks, marketers keep coming back to email.
The reason is clear–for ten years in a row, email is the channel generating the highest ROI for marketers. According to research by VentureBeat as well as the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), for every $1 spent, email marketing generates $40 in ROI
Compared to traditional marketing efforts where printing, postage etc. can take up a lot of cost for your direct mail campaigns. With emails, you are still able to create the same imagery with the added benefit of having follow-up information instantly available with one click to your website.
Perhaps just as importantly, with the correct maintenance of an email list, the cost benefits increase as does the ROI through the closer relationship established with the recipients. Together with the higher response rates that email marketing attracts, you, therefore, get more positive responses, more quickly and at a lower unit cost! Win-win situation!
#3 Personal and Customisable
In email marketing, what you’re really doing is segmenting your audience into lists, and sending each list a tailored email message that resonates with your reader and can provide them with something of value (segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue according to DMA, and marketers that use segmented campaigns, have noted a 760% increase in revenue, according to Campaign Monitor).
When you write a post for one of your social media channels, you address your audience as a whole (“To all of our fans, we would like to say..”). But by using your email marketing software correctly, it allows you to address people individually by name, split certain topics only for certain members of your list and eventually arrive privately in their personal inbox.
According to research from Campaign Monitor, emails with subject lines that include the recipient’s name are 26% more likely to be opened.
eConsultancy even goes as far as stating that 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement.
Email does not have to be SPAM – and it should never be! It can be used thoughtfully to build loyalty and trust in your brand.
Email marketing is important for building relationships with prospects, leads, current customers, and even past customers because it gives you a chance to speak directly to them, in their inbox, at a time that is convenient for them. Be friendly and personable. You are not invading their space if you have chosen your message and your recipient wisely.
#4 Action Oriented
Whether you realise it or not, everybody is trained to do something with an email -reply, forward, click-through, sign-up, or even straight buying.
Think about this!
Email is transactional by nature and you can use it to direct traffic to your website and ultimately drive sales.
As you develop your small business or startup marketing strategy as a whole, using email will allow you to see results straight away.
This means not just sending out newsletters, but also using email automation based on triggers of your customers.
Transactional emails have 8x more opens and clicks than any other type of email and can generate 6x more revenue according to Experian.
There’s no guesswork in email marketing. When you use any email marketing software, you can track who opened your email, which links were clicked, and how many people unsubscribed.
You can easily get a picture of how your email campaigns are performing, make adjustments and improve your effectiveness. Email marketing metrics are important to remember as you monitor and measure your internet marketing strategy as a whole.
If you want to know how successful your email campaigns are compared to other people in your industry, have a look at the below chart by Constant Contact:
A lot of email marketing software allows for split testing of your emails. As A/B testing comes from direct mail, it should go without saying that A/B testing in your email marketing campaigns is essential. A/B testing can reveal a great wealth of data about your subscribers. Do they generally respond better to tempting subject lines such as “Free”, “20 percent off”, or “Now on Sale”? Or, are they more open to a softer intro, maybe informing them of what to expect in your email. All these things can be tested, measured, learned from and improved upon.
#6 Mobile devices allow people to check their email constantly
Because mobile devices have become so common, people are checking their emails all the time—in line at Starbucks, during their office commute, in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, at the grocery store, everywhere.
Some people think that with the growing popularity of social media platforms, email should be forgotten and may be pushed to the side.
A study in 2014 from Exacttarget reports that 91% of people use smartphones to access their email. This compared to 75% of the people who use their smartphones for social networking. Not using email as part of your internet marketing strategy means you are missing out on a channel that a majority of the world uses!
If we can do it, you can! Start with a few simple steps and find out why email marketing is important in your small business internet marketing strategy.
Get out your list of people who want to hear from you (keep in mind that you don’t want to be a spammer!), use an email service that works, write a crafty email message that is friendly and helpful, and hit SEND!