For some reason, email marketing has gotten a bad rep over the years. Some say it’s spammy, while others say it’s a dinosaur. If those thoughts have run through your head, you’re in for a surprise.
The Radicati Group, a tech marketing research firm, predicts that, globally, the email audience will grow to 2.76 billion by 2017. That number—which doesn’t exactly indicate a shriveling audience—represents all the consumers ripe for relevant, fun, and smart branded emails. If used efficiently, your email marketing program could be one of the wise investments that drives high growth awareness, loyalty, and trial.
Here are a few reasons why you should keep email in your digital arsenal:
Heightens brand awareness with advocates
Do they love your brand? Then they’ll love your email. Exacttarget estimates 70% of consumers will open email from their favorite brands, giving email marketers a built-in audience who is more than willing to share. Email is one of the few channels that start with such valuable, heightened affinity—and pays it off.
Acquires new customers & inspires spending
Don’t believe that kind of hype? One study by Custora, a predictive analytics agency, revealed that customer acquisition via email had nearly quadrupled by 2013. The same study showed that customers who received email ended up spending more—some have estimated up to 11 times more—than a non-email customer.
Provides group and message segmentation
Email marketing has the targeted outreach capabilities you need to stay ahead of your competition. Pinpoint segmentation allows you to reach specific groups with laser-targeted messages. The results? You have created a valuable mine of your consumers’ data, leading to higher brand engagement and retention rates.
Builds loyalty through personalization
Getting a personalized message feels special and fun. Email marketing opens the door to this type of conversational and engaging tone, giving you permission to cross-sell and promote relevant products. A customized email also helps build that oh-so-important relationship with consumers who truly want a regular conversation (rather than a one-off experience).
A great place for content
Unlike the boilerplate content on your website, exclusive email content can start to feel like a special treat for consumers. Unique offers and original content develops affinity, shows off your personality, and makes your brand shine. Use email to become the brand people want to hear from.
Perfect for mobile
According to TopRankBlog, approximately 95% of online consumers use email, and 64% of decision-makers check their email on their phones. This always-on world opens the door for a powerfully relevant, mobile-optimized email program. For example, can you catch an email customer as they pass by your store? Or tempt a browsing session that inspires a purchase? They have their phones with them…how can you make the most of it?
A window into the digital experience
With a smart and savvy email marketing strategy, you can observe and measure how people engage with your message. You can track where people went, how long they stayed, who unsubscribed, and who shared. Track a sale back to a source, identify customer’s engagement and response, and comb through the general audience to discover customers with the potential for becoming regular advocates.
If you use email marketing, you’re hopefully asking consumers to do something. Do you want consumers to sign-up for a sample? Enter a sweepstakes? Try a new product? As marketers, we live for high-rate conversions. With a finely tuned email and equally fine-tuned CTAs, you can track click-throughs and conversion rates in real-time. Then—leverage that data to improve the next set of CTAs.
A low-cost, low-risk creative testing ground
Email marketing messaging should strive for holisticity and consistency, but use it to play around and test ideas at low-cost. Try different words, colors, or images to see what resonates with different audiences—all without a huge risk.
Email marketing can be one of the most cost-effective tactics around. By using recurring templates, approved copy, and a library of approved images, you can create a marketing piece in a few hours. And the ROI is top-notch. According to industry sources like exacttarget and The Direct Marketing Association, email marketing can return around $40 to $45 on every $1 spent.