Why email marketing is important you ask?
How does $42 return sound on every dollar of investment? Too good to be true?
Well, welcome to the world of email marketing.
If you’re in a business that involves any sort of online presence, you can’t underscore the importance of email marketing. If I had to paint the advantages in broad strokes, I’d say email marketing is important because it
1) massively increases your reach and communication.
2) is flexible, measurable and scalable.
3) improves your revenue.
4) keeps data ownership with you.
In this article, I’ll discuss these advantages in 17 points to show you why email marketing is essential to your business.
Email marketing gives you unprecedented reach, only comparable to social media channels. But where the capabilities of social media fall short, email fills the cup.
So let's see why email marketing is an essential activity for your business.
over half of the entire planet uses email right now. The mass adoption of email makes it the perfect channel for your marketing. In today’s hyper-digital environment, it's a safe bet that everyone you come across, and everyone who’s in your target audience, use email.
Unlike other marketing channels like print or broadcasting, email gives you a direct line of two-way communication with your target audience.
You click ‘send’ on an email and within an instant, hundreds and potentially thousands of people get notified through an electronic slab they’re holding in their pockets. How amazing is that?
The combination of mobile devices and email marketing gives you the unprecedented advantage of speed and reach in executing your marketing.
When you’ve grown your email list to a sizeable number (even 500 quality leads is a lot for a new business), you can deliver messages at the click of a few buttons, with no costs other than what you’re paying to your email marketing provider.
Consider an important milestone in your business. Maybe you’ve just given your product a major overhaul and you want to deliver the benefits to target customers.
To inform people, you can choose to run digital ads, maybe publish a release in a newspaper. Both methods will cost you money and usually attract lukewarm leads.
On the other hand, if you have a juicy email list with people who voluntarily opted to receive messages, you can deliver the same message to an enthusiastic crowd for a margin of the cost of print or digital ads.
The bigger your list grows, the bigger your business.
Building brand awareness is an essential activity for any business starting out or looking to grow. Brand awareness is that intangible quality, which drives consumers to choose your products over competitors. The better they know you, the more likely they’ll buy from you.
So how does email build brand awareness?
Awareness comes from attracting attention. People learn about you when you make yourself visible.
You can use emails in a few ways to hold your recipients’ attention. Using email after seeking permission, you can send subscribers:
All of these examples should relate to your domain of business but shouldn’t directly address your business. Such emails will help you build brand awareness while showing your customers you care about more than just your own name. Then ever so often, you can send emails about your product to keep yourself top of mind.
A marketer’s dream is to have a unique personalized value proposition for every single potential customer. While marketing is not quite there yet, email marketing does a pretty great job of approximating this dream.
First, you can segment your email lists by whatever customer characteristics you think are relevant to your business. For example, if you’re a sports brand, you can segment your customers by sports they like.
This way you can inform your golf fans on your new golf equipment, while not disturbing the baseball aficionado who’s only signed up for Major League Baseball news.
Second, marketing has a reputation for being impersonal, email alleviates that concern.
Look at this example from the email builder inside Pitchbox, a business outreach service. You can choose to customize your emails through various fields. Most email marketing providers allow you to do the same. You can address each recipient by name and company, or job title, even if you’re emailing thousands of people. These small additions can really make a difference in how people perceive your brand.
Email marketing possesses certain qualities that make it a great business resource for any small business.
Every marketing message carries a call to action. You’re asking someone to acknowledge your brand, to sign-up, to learn about your new hot sauce flavors, to visit your website, to make a purchase, etc.
It just so happens that email is a great way to inspire action. You can easily embed call to action buttons in your emails. These call to action buttons can do a multitude of things. You can use them to:
These are just a few of the things you can do to inspire action using email.
We’ve already discussed how email brings a touch of personalization that other channels of marketing lack.
Personalization, or in other words, understanding your audience, goes a long way in building relationships with your customers. Email gives you a chance to proactively reach out to leads and clients to show your enthusiasm and interest. People are bound to notice your enthusiasm.
Combine personalization and proactiveness, you have the ingredients for building solid relationships. But to really capitalize on strong relationships, you can use email to drive your marketing home if you use it to build credibility.
Credibility is that badge of authority and trust that people give you. It's that badge that helps you stand out from the noise of competitors and cluttered email boxes. Building credibility for your brand through email isn't difficult. You just have to keep your communication honest and authentic and show your expertise in your domain.
Scalability directly relates to your growth. In the case of email, scaling is very simple. You scale as your subscribers increase.
The beauty of email is that you don’t need sophisticated measures in place before your email list starts to grow. Almost every email marketing software provides plans that scale as the list grows. This means you don't pay unnecessary fees in anticipation.
Another advantage of email is that you can scale the actions you take for 10 people, to perform them for 100,000 people without a hiccup.
Numbers, numbers, and more numbers. As a marketer or business owner, you're probably well aware of all the numbers you have to deal with to account for your spending.
Email marketing makes accounting and measuring quite easy. Most email marketing services give you access to critical numbers like:
All this rich information makes it easy for you to justify your marketing activities while also giving you access to valuable, actionable data.
If you run a print ad and find a typo, or you run a tv advert and receive a negative response from the public, it becomes really difficult, if not downright impossible to adjust your message. Not to forget such changes can make a huge dent in your marketing budget.
With email, all you’d have to do is resend an email, or acknowledge mistakes in your email by writing a follow-up email at almost no cost.
Another advantage of email marketing is that you can A/B test your subject lines. You can find out which subject line variants bring in the most click-rates, and you can devise future campaigns with this knowledge.
Email marketing allows you to incorporate a broad scope of media in your messaging. You can choose to include text, images, videos, gifs or embedded content, and use them in any combination you see fit for your brand.
So far in the first two sections, we’ve discussed email capabilities and front-facing advantages of using email marketing. Now let’s focus on how using email marketing affects your business internally.
We’ve already mentioned how email is a great tool to inspire action in customers. This holds true for acquiring customers too.
A well-crafted email marketing campaign, that addresses the needs and pain points of your potential customers will help you build a great relationship with them.
Then if you add call-to-action options in your campaign, you’re sure to acquire new customers along the way.
Mckinzey conducted research in 2013 where they discovered that email is multiple times a more effective channel at acquiring customers than popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Although this research is only until 2013, you can see the trend growth for Email from 2010 onwards, and the graph speaks for itself: email marketing, as a customer acquisition channel, is being adopted increasingly because of its effectiveness.
Imagine you’ve grown your email list to 100,000 contacts, and you have an average click-through rate of 5%.
Now imagine you publish an article that announces your latest product launch and you share it with your email list. Even if 5% of the recipients click and visit your article, you’re going to have 5000 people who immediately know about your new product. At almost no cost!
This advantage works in combination with the two points mentioned above. You can increase sales through email by 1) acquiring customers and 2) driving people to your website where they can browse your product(s).
I’ve mentioned throughout the article how cheap it is to use email compared to other marketing methods. But this advantage is so big, it’s worth highlighting again.
You can reach a large number of consumers for less than pennies per message. And if you have a small mailing list, most email marketing providers will cover you with their free plans.
Mistakes in emails are easy to rectify and don’t cost any additional dollars. Plus you’re essentially giving up all costs of media acquisition. You’re cutting out the middle man and in essence becoming your own media company as email lists are your own private and direct source of communication with customers.
You can use automated emails to reduce manual workload and satisfy customers through sending automated:
Search engines and social media networks are constantly updating their algorithms to improve user experience. Sometimes these tweaks can affect your search results ranking and social visibility.
Imagine if a big algorithm change comes through and you get buried under the rubble. Having a strong email list in such a scenario will be a lifesaver. You would still have a direct line of communication with your leads and customers and can keep them informed with the latest company news and updates.
If you’re considering using email marketing for your business, or are just wondering if your current email program is worth it, I hope this article sheds some light on all the great things email marketing can do for you.
While all the advantages mentioned are well documented and realistically achievable, it's important to remember to have a clear execution plan in place for your email marketing. And finally, you need to have grit and patience for results to start showing. Never give up too soon.
Do you agree with the advantages of email marketing mentioned in this article? Share your emailing experiences with us in the comments below.
Rukham is the Content Lead at Mailmunch. He believes trust should be the basis for all marketing communications.