In the age of social media and SnapChat you’d probably be forgiven for thinking that email marketing is dead. Many may regard email marketing as old hat; others see it as a sort of digital dinosaur, but interestingly the majority of marketers still see email as the most valuable and cost- effective marketing channel going. So who’s right? Is email a dodo, or does it still serve a useful purpose in the age of social media?
Well, according to the 2014 Econsultancy survey, which we reported on earlier this year, marketers ranked email as the top return-on-investment channel. It scored higher than SEO, and was considerably more popular than ingénue channels like social media and mobile. In fact 68 per cent of Econsultancy’s respondents rated email marketing ROI ‘excellent’ or ‘good’: in comparison only 35 per cent of respondents rated mobile ‘excellent/good’, whilst just 32 per cent rated social ‘excellent/good’. The conclusion of the survey was this: whilst email might not be the most sexy and exciting channel, it is still compelling and able to punch above its weight.
In spite of that compelling evidence, there will still be some who doubt the effectiveness of email marketing. So, if you’re still a ‘doubting Thomas’ consider the following 8 points:
- Email is still simply the easiest way to reach out to and connect with consumers on their phones. Statistically we live in an increasingly mobile world, where it has been shown that most people check their mobiles for emails at least once a day. Doesn’t it make sense, therefore, to ensure that yours is one of the emails they read? But what about SMS? Well, SMS is not generally well received by consumers: they find them intrusive, and in many cases they can cost recipients money. If you’re hoping to make an impression, then sending an SMS won’t necessarily make a favourable one.
- You can send customers mobile offers though email. You can send them discount codes and coupons. The added beauty of forwarding these via email is that they can store them on their phones, and that makes them convenient to use when they go in store.
- Email is one of the best content delivery vehicles. It doesn’t matter whether you want to get more downloads of a white paper you’ve written, get more traction on company blog posts or want to let people who may not yet follow your website know that there’s some fresh content for them to browse and review. All you have to do is email them the link, and let the rest take care of itself.
- Email is comparatively cheap, even if you pay for a premium email distribution service or pay someone to do your content writing. Alright it could in these cases cost you a few pounds a month, but that’s small beer when you consider the significant value you’ll receive and the potential payback.
- Email marketing has been shown to be statistically far more effective at guaranteeing return on investment than social media. If you’re looking to increase conversions, then email marketing is the way to go.
- The greatest advantage of an email database is its constitution; that is, it is made up of current, past and potential customers. Businesses can use their extensive databases to craft and customise messages for each type of customer. This customisable versatility is a quality that is not readily found in other digital technologies.
- Email marketing platforms are sophisticated but also accessible. Today’s platforms are sophisticated pieces of kit that can generate automated emails based on user activity: what’s more, they can track and analyse returned data based on user response and engagement. They’re easy to use and far more accessible than many other digital marketing channels.
- Emails can work hand-in-hand with and complement other marketing strategies. Businesses control the timing and the messaging, so emails are ideally placed to support and bolster other marketing initiatives. B2B websites can use email to promote sponsored events and trade shows and can also use it to promote original content. Ecommerce websites can use email to cross-sell a variety of products in real-time based on purchase behaviour.