Has Email Marketing Had Its Day?
With so many other ways to reach customers, many marketers and business owners find themselves wondering, is email marketing still effective?
Even if your email gets past the spam filter and finds its way to its intended audience, you are still at the recipients’ mercy. Will they open it, and even if they do, will they bother to read it?
You can spend a huge amount of time building, cleaning and nurturing a solid list of prospects, but each time somebody moves jobs, changes their email address or hits the unsubscribe button, your list decays that little bit more. Did you know that 25% of your email list will be out of date by the end of the year? After all that time and effort!
And what about all the new technology platforms – social media channels with their impressive reach and high engagement rates? It really is no surprise then that some businesses are feeling like email is the dinosaur of the digital marketing age.
However, the facts tell a different story. It seems email marketing is most definitely effective and here to stay. We consider just a few reasons why.
Email has a wide reach
So, it turns out we send around 74 trillion emails every year. And the numbers keep going up! According to Radicati Group there will be around 3.7 billion email users worldwide by the end of 2017. And those 3.7 billion email users are checking their accounts on average, 74 times a day! And just one more stat for you – 77% of consumers say they prefer email for their marketing communications.
Neglecting email as a marketing tool is quite simply, a missed opportunity. It’s a marketing channel with universal adoption. Not only are prospects telling you this is where they want to be reached, but since emails stay in your inbox until you delete them, it has a longer life span than other marketing channels such as social media.
Email delivers a high ROI
According to the Direct Marketing Association Statistical Fact Book, email marketing has a whopping return on investment of 4400% and is considered the most effective digital marketing tactic according to Ascend 2 and Research Partners.
But why does email outperform other channels so significantly when it comes to ROI? For one, it is highly profitable for the simple fact you’re not spending money on printing, advertising or professional design.
But the real beauty of email is that you can send personalised and relevant messages to contacts who have already said they want to hear from you, at exactly the time they need to hear from you. By creating relevance through features such as personalisation, automation, dynamic content and mobile optimisation, you can drive subscribers down the purchase funnel to the point where they are ready to buy, which ultimately increases the ROI of your email marketing campaign.
Email can be personal
Through email, you can create a highly targeted contextual message that’s unique to each person that receives it.
By making a few simple changes, your emails will appear more personal and authentic than any other marketing efforts you take and this will help you foster a deeper, one-to-one relationship with your audience.
Simple personalisation techniques such as placing the customer name in the subject line of an email can increase open rates by 26%. But the opportunity to personalise can be far more elaborate with savvy brands using their rich customer data to develop behavioural segments where entire sections of content can be altered to make the campaign more relevant and appealing to each subscriber.
Email is a channel that you own
Social media marketing channels can update their algorithms whenever they choose, changing the way their search results are indexed and their content displayed. Your brands’ visibility through these channels is governed more and more by paid for advertising. It’s hard to believe, but 98% of brand followers may never see the posts from these businesses in their FB news feeds and Twitter seems to be moving in a similar direction. With email, you will always have a direct line of communication with your audience and can work on building a one-to-one relationship with those people that have expressed an interest in your brand, product or service.
Email is versatile
Emails can take the shape of anything you want them to be. They can be promotional, informative or simply a thank you, but they take you and your prospect on a journey that can build and strengthen your relationship.
As a marketer focused on nurturing leads and driving conversions, email marketing trumps all other communications channels for business. Sending the right email to the right audience at the right time, gives you an incredibly powerful conversion tool. But that’s not the end of the story. Once a lead has become a customer, email is just as effective at making sure you to keep hold of them. Using email to exceed expectations can transform customers into evangelists. These customers won’t just provide repeat business, they’ll go forth and spread the word!
So, the upshot is this – email marketing is highly effective for those who are taking the time to adapt their marketing practice to the changing expectations of their customers. It’s a tried and tested way to get readers to download content, convert prospects, and upsell to existing customers. But how we use it is so important. If a person opts into your mailing list, don’t abuse that trust by bombarding them with irrelevant, generic email blasts. Talk to them, keep them motivated and above all, delight them.