What is email marketing and how can it benefit your business? Here’s everything you need to know about incorporating email marketing into your digital marketing strategy.
Email marketing involves using beautifully-designed and crafted emails to communicate with your target audience. It can be used to directly promote or market products and services, and also to support softer sales through brand awareness, education and engagement. Most businesses use commercial email marketing systems from third parties to design, create, measure and optimise their email marketing campaigns and to ensure the highest level of ROI. For the answer to ‘what is email marketing and how can it benefit my business?’, read on.
What is email marketing used for?
Email marketing is a fantastic tool for your digital marketing strategy. As a powerful and engaging channel, it can be used for multiple purposes, such as:
To inform customers of new products and services and to share promotional messages
To offer custom discounts and offers, or to launch competitions
To add value with product explainers, training sessions, event invites or industry analysis.
To build community and engagement as part of a broader marketing ecosystem.
Why is email marketing so powerful?
There are many advantages to email marketing. For example:
Facebook might have a billion users, but there are nearly 4 billion email accounts across the world. Social media may still garner headlines, but email marketing remains the easiest way to reach customers and leads.
Only 2% of a business’s fans or contacts will see the average Facebook post. However, 90% of emails make it to their recipient. A contact is 45 times more likely to see your email, than a social media post.
3. Conversion potential
Email campaigns usually yield a 3% conversion rate, whereas a social post might generate a 0.5% conversion. Additionally, twice as many customers buy from an email than from search engines or social media posts.
Email marketing is very cost-effective, and platforms such as MailChimp and Campaign Monitor offer pricing based on email lists and campaigns.
5. Integration potential
Email marketing works perfectly alongside targeted online advertising so that your customers will notice more of your brand and its messaging – increasing the conversion potential. For example, you can support email marketing with a targeted online advertising campaign to maximise exposure for a branded product launch.
The message and purpose of your email marketing depends on your objectives. This simple medium can be used for any kind of communication and delivered as part of a broader marketing campaign to cross-promote different channels and platforms.
The pros and cons of email marketing
Of course, like all digital marketing channels, there are pros and cons of email marketing. Marketers need to weigh up their objectives, budget and resources before deciding whether an email is the best channel to achieve the intended results. For example:
The benefits of email marketing are:
• It forces an action – whether that’s reading the content, archiving it or deleting it.
• It builds relationships and traffic to your social channels, website and blog.
• It offers targeted segmentation for highly personalised communications and offers
• Email marketing systems offer A/B testing to see what works and what doesn’t.
• It can be highly affordable, with a high degree of ROI.
• With a template system, marketers don’t need advanced design skills to create emails that look good and perform.
The downsides of email marketing can be:
- Branded email can be filtered into spam folders
- Overly large emails can be slow to load and never read.
- It’s very popular, which means your brand may struggle to stand out amongst copywriters.
- Without excellent engagement strategies, you can see too many unsubscribes. This is because many readers sign up as a result of a single purchase – without necessarily the intention to make another.
- Design can be tricky to optimise across platforms unless you use a good system.
- Costs can be expensive if you aren’t sure what you are paying for. For example, if you don’t clean your databases and segment them for targeting, you may be wasting your budget on the wrong recipients.
How to build quality email lists
The success of your email marketing campaign depends on various factors. These include these three key elements:
1. The right email list
It’s important to build high-quality marketing lists that are clean, de-duplicated and organised according to your goals and customer preferences. Don’t be tempted to buy generic email lists as many commercial email marketing companies prohibit their use.
To build a genuine email list, try offering an opt-in to future communications at the point of purchase, offering a discount or hosting a competition. Always be aware of relevant legislation though for data management, including GDPR in the EU and UK and CAN-SPAM in the USA.
2. Professionalism and aesthetics
A good email needs to look great, be correctly branded, be visually appealing and render correctly across all operating systems and devices. These are all skills for your digital marketing team. Always send that test email before hitting the ‘send to all’ button!
3. The right messaging
Email communications should be sent according to a plan, so that messaging is staggered and emails aren’t too frequent. one good tip for success is to remember that emails don’t always need to be promotional. Customers want valuable, interesting content – so why not initiate a survey, ask for feedback or simply thank your readers for trusting their inboxes with your content? At this time of year, you could also extend Thanksgiving and Christmas well wishes.
Above all, remember that email marketing operates from a position of trust. If you are respectful of your customer’s data and time you will have a far better chance of hitting the mark with this powerful digital channel.
#email #marketing #benefit #business #Adzooma #Blog