For some reason, “older” has become synonymous with “obsolete.” But this is not always the case. For example, did you know today’s LCD screens are based on technology from 1968? It’s true.
Many companies shy away from email marketing because they think it’s an outdated approach, but 59 percent of B2B marketers said email is the most effective channel for revenue generation. And in 2014, email marketing was listed as the most powerful tool for customer retention.
You should still use email marketing for these six reasons.
1. Email marketing can help create lasting relationships.
A brand with a strong email marketing strategy can become the local news anchor everyone is excited to see. With useful advice and the latest information, he draws individuals in with his engaging personality and then builds trust so his viewers (or in this case, buyers) look forward to hearing from him. Receiving emails that are consistently appealing helps prospects and customers feel connected to your brand.
PRO TIP: The “local” part of the analogy is crucial here; the stories you tell should matter to your audience. You can’t bombard your subscribers with emails about everything under the sun, ignoring whether or not the topic matters to them, and then expect them to stay hooked.
2. Marketing emails can be hyper-personalized and targeted.
With other marketing channels—for example, social media—targeting can only be so granular. In fact, many channels have audience-size thresholds that marketers must meet before their ads will even be served. On the contrary, marketing emails can be highly targeted and personalized down to an individual user level.
With email marketing software, you can analyze user data, segment your contact lists based on common factors and then send emails addressing the specific needs of recipients. Prospects and customers will appreciate this personal touch and be more inspired to interact with your brand.
3. Email marketing keeps your brand top of mind.
According to a study by Blue Hornet, 34 percent of Americans check their email “throughout the day,” which means companies that aren’t using email marketing are missing out on countless opportunities to link up with prospects and customers.
Your content should be where your target buyers spend their time. If you have their email addresses, you know they have an inbox they are checking regularly, so be there when they are.
PRO TIP: You don’t want to send emails so frequently that your audience simply begins ignoring them but you also shouldn’t reach out so sporadically they forget about your brand. Using event-triggered emails—automated marketing communications generated by a prospect’s behaviors—can help you find the balance between the two and allow you to match email frequency with the prospect’s level of engagement.
4. Email marketing is (relatively) inexpensive.
Should you decide to purchase marketing automation or customer relationship management software (which we highly recommend), there will be an initial financial investment. However, after that first expenditure, the cost is often less than a penny per message. With email marketing, you won’t have to worry about media buys (like in radio and TV) or postage or print charges (like in direct mail).
On top of that, marketing automation software reduces the time commitment associated with email marketing—scheduling, sending, database maintenance—making these campaigns even more cost-effective.
5. Emails, in general, are action-oriented.
Emails naturally prompt responses—replying, forwarding, clicking through. By including direct calls-to-action (CTAs) with clear benefits in your messages, you can take advantage of this impulse to react and drive traffic to your site or encourage the desired conversion event.
PRO TIP: Don’t be afraid to include multiple CTAs in your emails. A common mistake marketers make is stuffing as much into the message as possible and then using only one call-to-action (CTA) per email. A better tactic is to provide enough information to pique the target’s interest and then include links where he can learn more. But be sure not to use too many CTAs, which can overwhelm the reader—try to keep the total below three.
6. Email marketing is measurable and testable.
One of the great things about email marketing campaigns is the objective metrics—delivery rate, open rate and click-through rate, among others. Marketers can evaluate performance and make data-driven decisions about how and where to optimize. This is a benefit not all marketing avenues have.
Email marketing also lends itself well to A/B testing. Marketers can test several different elements, including subject line, email length and CTAs. And with the data you gather from these tests, you can make confident decisions about which approaches work and which don’t.
While email marketing is a great strategy, it’s important to keep in mind that if your messages aren’t crafted properly, it may be all for naught. Your emails must possess the following characteristics to be effective:
- Interesting. Don’t let your messages be more clutter in your recipients’ inbox; make them feel fortunate to have received something informative and entertaining from you.
- Valuable. The recipients of your emails should be enthusiastic to consume the content you provide. Ask yourself, “If I received this email, would I find it valuable?” If the answer is no, then it’s likely your subscribers will feel the same.
- Relevant. If your email isn’t pertinent to them, prospects and buyers will quickly delete the message. And if the content is consistently irrelevant to them, they’ll probably unsubscribe. Make sure the emails you send speak to the subscriber’s unique pain points.
- Timely. A big part of relevancy is timeliness. Consider a prospect’s location in the buyer’s journey to avoid jumping into a sales pitch too early.
Marketing is one of those fields where the latest technology is assumed to be the best, but you shouldn’t ignore the tried-and-true methods. “Newer” doesn’t always “good,” and “older” doesn’t always equate to “bad.” Email marketing may have been around for a while, but it is constantly evolving, and when used correctly, can engender brand loyalty and generate revenue.