Email marketing has fallen out of fashion in the last decade with a rise in social media platforms. Many businesses have shifted away from email because of its connotation with spam and the belief that people simply won’t engage with the content that you put in front of them. However, well-executed email marketing offers some of the highest returns on ad spend. Yeah, you read that right.
At PHOS, we believe that email marketing is as viable as ever, and have four reasons why email is important in 2019 and will continue to be effective into the future.
1. Email is Customizable
Every email address represents a person who has given you the opportunity to reach out to them again. When email marketing is done properly, those people want to hear from you.
When a group of adults were asked by Marketing Sherpa how often they’d like to receive promotional content from a company they do business with, 86% said at least once monthly, and another 60% said at least once a week.
Unfortunately, businesses fail to take advantage of email list segmentation and customizing their messaging to their audience – leading to high unsubscribe rates and low engagement, despite high interest. Many emails end up in spam folders because companies don’t take the time to treat their list of email addresses as a list of people.
The Importance of Segmentation
Chances are, not everyone interacts with your business the same way. They may approach you for different reasons, out of different interests. In order to properly segment your audience into different email lists, you must first take these initial steps:
- Audit your services and products – What type of person is interested in what you have to offer? Who are they? Understanding that someone who is interested in one service, may not care about something else you do, can help you address that person’s individual concerns.
- Give your audience the ability to say what they’re interested in – Before you collect their email, tell them how you’re planning to interact with them. If your audience is only interested in sales and promotions and you’re trying to reach them with a newsletter on the newest trends in your industry – chances are your engagement is going to be low. Ask them how they’d like to interact with you, and then meet those needs.
Take the information you’ve gathered and sorted the emails you’ve earned into lists that will allow you to engage people based on what they care about. While this process can be time-consuming, it offers huge returns when done properly. A study done by the Data & Marketing Association shows that for every $1 spent in email marketing, the average return on investment was about $38.
2. Email is Personal
Unlike social media advertising that targets people based on interests and demographic information, email marketing reaches specific individuals, human beings who have already expressed interest in your business – making them some of the most qualified leads in digital marketing.
Unfortunately, most companies miss out on the opportunity to send a personalized message to the contacts in their list, and it’s easier than ever before. Most email platforms will allow you to dynamically insert the names of your contact into the email. Combined with a customized email list, a personal message can allow you to speak directly to your potential customers in a very direct way.
Many companies miss the potential of email marketing by sending “spammy” emails with little to offer to everyone on their list. Most of us have unsubscribed from emails that have no value other than clogging up our inbox. Campaign Monitor has compiled a list of statistics about the power of email personalization. We’ve included some highlights below, but you can view the full list here.
- Emails that have personalized subjects are 26% more likely to be opened.
- Email clicks improved by 14% and email conversions improved by 10% when personalization was added.
- One study showed that transaction rates were 6 times higher when personalized emails were sent.
Effective email marketing should provoke a different response. Focus on messaging and offer value to those who have signed up for your emails, don’t overburden them with too many emails and offers they’d have no interest in.
3. Email is Heavily Used
Email is one of the most common uses of the internet, by 2020 it’s estimated that nearly 3 billion people will be using email!
Additionally, almost all business communication is carried out over email. A study conducted by Marketing Sherpa shows that over 70% of individuals surveyed prefer companies to reach out to them via email – higher than any other channel. Email was also the only digital channel to outperform traditional marketing channels like television, print, and postal ads.
When email first started to emerge, you could only reach people when they sat down at their computers and connected to the internet. Now, most people now check their email on their smartphones. 88% of all smartphone users actively check their email on their phones – making email a more widely-used smartphone feature than checking social media platforms or using navigation. Smartphones have enabled email users to be mobile and give them access to their email inbox 24/7.
4. Email Results are Measurable
Testing and optimization are critical for success on any advertising effort, and email results are highly measurable, meaning that you can optimize your efforts to improve your marketing over time. Here are a few of the critical metrics to determine the success of your efforts:
- Open Rate – The open rate is a good measure of the interest you’re able to generate from your emails. Use open rate to determine your most effective subject lines.
- Click Rate – Click rate measures the engagement with the content of the email itself. Once someone opens the email, how often do they actually respond to your CTA? Click rate will help you optimize your email’s content.
- Unsubscribe Rate – Are you spamming your email list? If you have a high unsubscribe rate, it could mean that people dislike what you’re sending them. It could also indicate that you are adding unqualified leads to your email list.
Be sure to use the data generated by emails to tweak your next efforts. Email marketing is a long-term strategy and you can utilize data to sharpen the messaging of your emails.
Before You Hit Send …
Here is a checklist to set your email marketing efforts off on the right foot:
- Collect email addresses into specific lists.
- Define the desires and interests of the individuals in your email list.
- Craft valuable messaging to each group.
- Invest in an email marketing platform that allows for dynamic entries and provides data reports.
- Create and send emails, optimizing for superior results over time.
If you initially struggle, don’t get too discouraged by early results. Stay persistent, email marketing is worth the investment and will continue to be valuable to your business for years to come.