With all the methods of digital marketing available in the modern age, it is easy to dismiss the humble old email. Email marketing has been around for decades, and whilst this makes it practically ancient in terms of the constantly evolving practices, tactics and strategies available to us now, it has consistently proven to be a highly effective method of reaching and engaging with consumers. It has moved with the times, adopting new technologies to remain relevant.
In my opinion, it is the king of digital marketing. Let me tell you why.
- Of all the marketing methods lauded through the years, email marketing has maintained its claim to fame. According to a report by the Data & Marketing Association, the ROI for email marketing in 2021 was estimated to be around 3800%, which means that for every £1 spent on email marketing, businesses received an average of just over £38 in return. This fantastic ROI makes it one of the most cost-effective marketing tools out there. Whilst you might need to pay out for a CRM system if you are sending large numbers of emails, email marketing is still relatively cheap compared to the cost of direct mail or television advertising. This makes it a great option for businesses of all sizes.
- By virtue of the sheer number of users, email has a high level of reach and penetration. According to a study by the Radicati Group, there are over 4.3 billion email users worldwide, and this number is expected to increase to over 5.6 billion by 2024. This means that email has the potential to directly reach a very large and diverse audience. If you also factor in that many of this huge audience will also be accessing their emails on their mobile devices, reaching out to your target audience by email feels more comfortable, for you and the consumer; after all, people check their phone and emails more frequently than eating! The convenience of mobile devices means that people can instantly check their emails regardless of where they are, increasing the likelihood that your email will be opened.
- When you create an email list – it’s yours. You are not at the mercy of a social network who could snatch away years of hard work in one click. Any audience you create and advertise to on social media isn’t owned by you; it is essentially leased to you by the platform. If the platform goes, so does your audience. With an email list, you can keep it forever and keep sending to your customers whenever you want.
- Email is easy to track and measure. Most email marketing tools can track the performance of your email campaign through various metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, delivery rates, bounce rates, and unsubscribe rates. Email is the only channel that shares these metrics within 72 hours, allowing you to quickly determine the effectiveness of your campaigns and rectify any issues. Through these metrics, email marketing allows for a level of control over the customer experience that other strands do not.
- Personalisation is key in digital marketing, particularly for the younger generation. To attain the level of personalisation that consumers want requires segmentation of audiences, sorting them by age, location, purchasing habits, interests etc. By combining segmentation with effective automation, you can make a more personal connection with your consumer by sending tailored and timely emails. This level of personalisation isn’t really achievable with any other strand of digital marketing; yes, you can identify behaviours and interests through ad metrics and place an ad in front of the right people, but this is still not as direct as a tailored email to their inbox.
- Email is very flexible. You can use it to send a whole range of material such as newsletters, promotional offers, event invitations, and other types of content to your audience, including images and the ever more popular video. This allows you to tailor your marketing efforts to the specific needs and interests of your target audience, leading to higher conversion rates.
In addition to all of these benefits, emails help keep your brand front of mind for those consumers who do not frequent social media or other channels so often. Seeing your brand name and offers in their inbox periodically will help them remember you when they decide to purchase.
In my opinion, these benefits make email an unrivalled marketing tool. It is supremely powerful but, of course, does have some limitations.
One of the biggest challenges of email marketing is beating spam filters. If you don’t construct your emails appropriately they may fall foul of the spam filter and never reach your audience in the first place. It’s important to follow best practices such as using a double opt-in process, avoiding certain words and phrases and ensuring your sending frequency is reasonable, along with using a decent subject line.
Another challenge is the high level of competition. Inboxes are often flooded with emails and it can be difficult to stand out amongst a sea of similarity. Ensuring your emails contain high-quality content which is targeted, relevant and engaging should overcome this.
Overall, email marketing is a highly effective tool, but it does require careful planning and execution to ensure success. By being aware of these potential cons and taking steps to mitigate them, businesses can maximise the benefits of email marketing and achieve their marketing goals. If you need help with any stage of your email marketing journey, TDS would love to help. Get in touch.