As most digital marketers know, the online marketplace changes fast. Marketing tactics that were once effective can become obsolete in the blink of an eye. Despite rapidly changing trends and technologies, email is the one marketing channel that continues to outperform the rest.
According to a 2017 Email Marketing Industry Census, email marketing earned the top spot as the best digital marketing channel for ROI three consecutive years running. From tiny startups to established eCommerce stores, email is now the great equalizer for business owners, regardless of industry or budget.
It’s no surprise, then, that this powerful medium is still considered king of the digital marketing realm. There are many reasons why email marketing has achieved such significant staying power where others have not. In short, it all comes back to improving the customer experience.
As we go deeper into these reasons, you will understand not only why email remains supreme, but how you can leverage email marketing to improve your business.
Email Has Key Advantages over Social Media
Email is an easy marketing channel to overlook. It’s not as exciting and trendy as, say, Facebook or other social media platforms. However, it does have some major advantages that give it an edge over other mediums.
Everyone Uses Email
Consider the demographics of the most popular social media networks. Snapchat is geared toward the younger crowd. Women make up the majority of Pinterest users.
Email, on the other hand, is used by nearly all demographics which gives marketers a much wider reach. After all, who doesn’t have an email address these days? Many businesses require that you have an email address to use their services, including social media networks such as Facebook and Instagram.
Email Marketing Is Permission-Based
As long as your email capture methods are legal and effective, email users will give you their email addresses. It’s reasonable to assume that these consumers expect you to send offers to their inboxes.
In fact, most consumers prefer email as the primary method for brands to communicate with them. When your subscribers are already primed for offers, your conversion rates will naturally go up.
Marketers Have More Control
What happens if Facebook goes belly-up? Your followers are lost and gone forever. With email marketing, your subscribers are yours alone.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t bother with social media. On the contrary, you should be using social media to grow your email list and to maximize the conversions of your campaigns.
Email Technology Has Improved
One of the biggest reasons why email marketing continues to be so effective is due to the steady improvement of automated marketing technology. With the ability to effortlessly personalize the customer experience and deliver highly targeted content to consumers, business marketers can drive more conversions and sales for their online store.
Even better news is that automated marketing software is improving all the time and is more affordable than ever for small to medium businesses. In today’s hyper-competitive digital landscape, companies who aren’t leveraging automated marketing technology are destined to fall behind the competition.
Email personalization has been a game changer for marketers in the last few years. Business owners are seeing a significant increase in open and click-through rates by simply adding personalized subject lines or recommending products based on a customer’s past purchase history.
Without marketing technology, personalizing emails would be tedious. Now, consumers have come to expect personalized emails, and most are even willing to give up their personal information in exchange for a customized online experience.
In a similar vein, advanced segmentation capabilities have allowed marketers to tailor their email messages to specific groups of consumers. Luckily, the days of email blasts are far behind us. Now, marketers can segment their email list based on purchase history, demographics, location and time zone and so much more.
This technology has proved invaluable to email marketing campaigns everywhere and is now the standard for any eCommerce merchant who wants to scale their online business.
Effective at Every Stage of the Customer Journey
The customer journey is far more complex now than it was in the past. Consumers can research a product on their smartphone and complete a purchase on their desktop or in the store.
One of the top benefits of email marketing is its potential to reach consumers across devices and at various stages of their path to purchase. No matter what stage they are in the customer journey, you can effectively leverage email to nudge consumers toward a sale.
Email is a tried and true method of generating new leads and is 40 times more effective at acquiring leads than Facebook and Twitter combined. Thanks to marketing automation, its ability to rope in new customers has only grown.
Now, you can easily set up a campaign that target new subscribers and welcome them to your email marketing messages. As you learn more about your new subscribers, you can begin sending them personalized offers based on their interests or how they interacted with your brand, nurturing them into lifelong customers.
Nurturing Leads to Customers
In the middle of the buyer’s journey, consumers know their online options and are now considering buying from you. At this stage, it’s important to convince them that you are the best option available. Email can help accomplish this goal by convincing the customer of the unique benefits that only your business can provide.
Once you have convinced them that your online store is the best place to be, the journey isn’t over yet. The decision stage is where email can be a true game-changer. With the average shopping cart abandonment rate at nearly 70 percent, chances are good that you will lose some sales if you don’t have automated triggered emails set up to close the deal.
The fact is that most consumers are window shopping when they first begin the checkout process. Automated triggered emails can recapture lost sales and get customers back on the path to purchase.
Email gets significant applause for being effective at generating leads (and rightfully so), but many brands forget that email is also extremely valuable for growing existing relationships with customers. After all, a loyal customer is far more profitable to your business than a new lead.
You can use email to delight your existing customers, build lasting relationships with them and drive more sales to your online store. The most effective way to achieve this goal is by using segmented, highly-targeted and triggered campaigns.
Too many marketers forget about their customers after they make a purchase. By using email segmentation, you can circle back to your most profitable customers and capitalize on their past purchase behavior.
For example, you could send them a helpful guide or a discount to a recent product they purchased. Solving the customer’s problems with your email content will go far in building loyalty to your brand, and they will be more likely to choose you for their future product needs.
Email Is Best for Your Bottom Line
It takes considerable time and money to identify which marketing channels and techniques will work best for your business. Although social media and paid search may not work for everyone, email marketing is has proven to be a much safer investment for online merchants.
Email has a wider reach and has enormous potential for online businesses, regardless of industry or budget size. As such, it remains a powerful marketing channel that every business owner should be utilizing if they want to grow their business and maximize their profits.
The Most Cost-Effective Marketing Channel
It’s not difficult to see why email marketing is particularly appealing to small business owners. According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing brings in $40 for every $1 spent and gives business marketers a better ROI than search, display, and social media marketing.
This is only one-half of the equation, however. Email marketing is effective today largely due to marketing automation technologies. The good news for small business marketers is that automation software has not only gotten better but more affordable as well.
These days, marketing automation isn’t just for the big eCommerce stores. Now, small to medium-sized online stores can compare pricing plans and find a solution that fits their budget.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
If you need further convincing that email is king, simply consider the five statistics below:
- Companies that invest at least a fifth of their marketing budgets into email marketing are eight times as likely to see a 50 percent increase in sales, according to Econsultancy and Adestra.
- eMarketer asserts that B2C marketers who leverage automation have seen conversion rates as high as 50%.
- Segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue, according to Direct Marketing Association.
- Earnest Agency finds that 72 percent of B2B buyers are most likely to share useful content via email.
- Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter, according to McKinsey & Company.
These statistics point out what many marketers have known for years. Email marketing isn’t just valuable; it’s a requirement for those who wish to grow their brand and drive conversions. With the right marketing strategies and innovative technology at your side, you can easily leverage email to make your message resonate with your audience.
The Future of Email Marketing Looks Promising
To remain competitive, digital marketers always need to be looking ahead. By analyzing our own data and looking at current trends, we can make data-driven predictions that help us make the most of our marketing campaigns.
Although email marketing is the most effective marketing channel now, what will it look like in the future?
The good news is that the future looks bright for email. Not only is email getting a show of confidence from Google, but it is likely to get even better for marketers, with the latest upcoming technology and trends.
Google Investing in Email
Google recently announced that Google Wallet is integrating with Gmail for Android users, allowing them to send and receive money straight from their email. This is a big vote of confidence in email’s potential, going forward, as Matt McGowan wrote in an article on Marketing Land.
Google has always focused on improving the user experience, and this move simply backs up what email marketers already know. Despite its age, users still rely heavily on email and show no signs of stopping.
The Rise of Video Marketing
One of the hot trends in digital marketing is using video, and this trend has now made its way into email marketing. Currently, it’s somewhat difficult for marketers to master in the beginning, but those who manage to get it right are already seeing higher opens and click-through rates.
Video marketing is just getting started, and email will be a powerful medium for short, interactive videos. This can be leveraged to boost brand awareness and engagement—all from the consumer’s inbox.
Artificial Intelligence Enhancing the Power of Email
Artificial intelligence (AI) is already changing the digital marketing landscape with deep learning and machine learning capabilities. With the help of AI, we are already improving the customer experience with enhanced personalization and segmentation.
This advanced technology will only fuel the potential of email marketing. Using predictive analytics, marketers will be able to deliver hyper-targeted and personalized emails to an even greater degree than they are now.
Email may be an older medium, but it has proven itself as the king of all marketing channels. Automation is getting smarter and more powerful, allowing marketers to craft a highly customized experience for individual users that caters to their specific needs.
For small to medium businesses, email is a true game changer. With the right marketing strategies and technology, this marketing channel can work for businesses of any industry, regardless of size.