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The importance of email marketing in your digital toolbox
Billions of emails are sent every day. This includes plenty from businesses, with 64% of SMEs using email to reach out to their customers. 52% of companies also say it is their primary method of communication.
Despite the number of businesses using email as a communication tool, it can be hard to get traction. Due to the sheer volume of emails being received daily, people are selective about what they choose to engage with – with many emails being left unopened and unread as a result.
With the challenge of getting people to pay attention to your emails, it may be tempting to neglect it all together in favour of other, flashier marketing tactics – such as social media posts and video campaigns.
However, email does have proven results for the brands that do it well. This is why it must remain an integral part of your marketing arsenal. This guide explores the benefits of email and what it can achieve for your business.
Target and reach vast audiences
Unlike other communication channels, almost everyone will have some form of email (or maybe even multiple email accounts!) and use it daily. This means that regardless of the demographics of your target customer, you will likely be able to reach them via email.
Due to this, it is possible to reach vast audiences, provided you have their email information. Over time, you can build up your database to include new and old customers, helping you to deliver messages to your entire customer base.
Email is also a preferred communication channel. Based on findings by MarketingSherpa, most people want to receive promotional content through email, compared to 17% who prefer social media. This means that more people should be willing to listen to your messages, provided it piques their interest, rather than having to rely on disrupting their experience on the likes of social media.
Finally, it has a global reach – email can be sent to people all over the world, no matter where they are or what they’re doing. Most people now have email on their smartphones and computers, giving them constant access. This again increases the chances of your message being seen and engaged with, with reduced barriers to communication with your audience.
Deliver targeted messages
As we’ve mentioned, you should build up your email database over time to contain old customers, new customers and prospective leads. However, the needs of each of these people will not be the same, meaning you need to deliver messages that suit their requirements at that time.
Many formats fall under email marketing, including the likes of newsletters, welcome emails, promotional offers, dispatch notifications and so on. This means you can tailor your efforts to deliver content that says exactly what you need to that specific recipient.
You can also segment your email campaigns by audience type based on their shared characteristics. This could include what aspects of your business they have expressed an interest in, where they are in their customer journey or other data you have. Marketers who used segmented campaigns report as much as a 760% increase in revenue, highlighting the value of introducing this into your email.
By using email, and its capacity to deliver tailored messages to your customer determined by their experience with your business, you can successfully guide them along the buyer’s journey and encourage them to take their next action – whether it be finalising a purchase, leaving a review or repeating a purchase with your brand.
One of the leading purposes of email is that it gives you an additional channel to promote and share your content, such as blogs, whitepapers, guides, videos, etc. If you do this effectively, you can use email to drive your other metrics – including pushing traffic to your website, securing blog views or even leading people to your social media profiles.
Data shows that 87% of marketers use email marketing to distribute content, making it the second most popular content distribution channel after social media.
Add the ability to segment your email campaigns into this, and it can allow you to deliver valuable content to recipients, where you know it will extend their customer journey and lead to a purchase. This will enable you to improve the customer experience and your brand reputation while converting more leads into buyers.
Another benefit of email marketing is improving your customer retention rates. 37% of businesses asked in a recent survey stated that email was their most effective tool for customer loyalty.
By using email, you can keep in touch with customers way past the point of purchase. This might include delivering valuable content that helps them get more from their product, asking for feedback, or sending regular newsletters. You can also use email to share new products, services and offers with consumers that encourage them to repurchase.
This keeps customers engaged with your brand long-term and keeps them coming back for more. You can improve the lifetime value per customer and grow your customer base by doing so. Plus, with customer retention up to 25 times cheaper than acquisition, it will lower your costs – bonus!
Email marketing has been proven to yield results when it comes to converting customers. A survey conducted by Monetate in 2012 found that 4.24% of website visitors will buy something after clicking a link in an email, compared to just 2.49% from search and 0.59% from social media.
A further study found that the conversion rate of those who clicked an email link was 15.22% in 2021. The main driver of conversions was emails that reminded users they had left unpurchased items in their online cart.
The conversion rates associated with email highlight how they can genuinely push sales for your business. If you are able to create engaging emails that secure a click-through from the recipient, you stand a significant chance of turning that click into a purchase.
Utilising email to improve the conversion of leads to customers will enhance your sales figures, leading to higher revenue and profit for your business.
Access a greater return on investment
Another advantage of email marketing is that it has an excellent return on investment. A US study found that for every $1 spent on emails, an average return of $42 can be expected. This is mainly due to the conversion potential associated with emails and the effect on customer loyalty.
Emails are also cheap to send and create, with most expenditure on investing in a suitable marketing automation platform. Once you have this, you can design and send emails whenever needed without absorbing too many costs.
If done well, email can then allow you to reach vast databases, engage customers and drive sales. This will build your results, allowing you to improve customer satisfaction levels, increase revenue and acquire new leads at a low cost to your business.
Stand the test of time
The first-ever email was sent in 1971. While many forms of communications – especially social media channels – go in and out of fashion, email has remained consistent in usage for decades and shows no signs of disappearing.
In a world where businesses constantly need to evolve in line with the latest marketing movements and changing consumer behaviour, email is a welcome stalwart of the industry. Any sudden change unlikely to happen, you can be confident in the long-term value of investing in your email efforts
There’s also less need to constantly adjust your emails to meet trends – as long as you continue to deliver strong messages and exceptional user experiences. This means you can instead focus on optimising your efforts and reaping the results for your brand.
Email marketing is often overlooked in favour of more modern marketing tactics, such as social media, AI and video. However, email continues to bring favourable results to brands and effectively engage consumers, years down the line.
These results include improved conversion rates, increased content exposure, customer loyalty and careful targeting – all at a low cost to your business that suits every marketing budget and still has a sizeable impact.
As with anything, results are not guaranteed. You need to understand the needs of your audience and optimise your efforts to deliver value, address their desires and effectively move them forwards. Only then will you unlock the benefits for your brand and fuel performance.
Alongside your other forms of marketing, this can keep bringing new people to your brand and delivering favourable experiences.