With a return on investment of $36, on average, for every dollar spent, email marketing provides one of the highest ROIs in the digital marketing sphere. However, what exactly makes it so valuable, and why is it so effective?
This article will explore the value of email as a marketing tool and how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected engagement. Here are eight reasons email marketing must be part of your digital campaign.
1. Everyone Uses Email
Social media might seem trendy, but email is the only medium that everyone uses consistently. Even many young people are no longer using Facebook — they’re switching to platforms like Instagram or deleting their accounts due to privacy concerns and the impact Facebook has on their productivity. Depending on your target audience, most of it might not be on social media at all.
Even fewer people take direct marketing mail seriously anymore. People are switching to electronic bank statements and bills, and when marketing materials come in the mail, many throw them out without a second glance.
Email, on the other hand, is universal. Even young students use email for university, for example, to communicate with professors.
Also, people are using email more since the start of the pandemic. According to Mailchimp, email marketers in almost every industry saw an increased engagement rate compared to the previous year. Not only were subscribers opening emails and clicking on links more frequently, but they were also unsubscribing less often.
Smaller businesses were the ones with the highest increases in engagement, but larger businesses enjoyed better conversions as well. Some industries fared better — for example, restaurants were among those with the highest increases in engagement.
What may surprise you is that businesses, at first, started sending emails less often as the pandemic began. Nonetheless, consumers showed that they did want to see more emails from the brands they love.
2. Mobile Devices Make Email Inboxes Accessible
People can now access their email inboxes from anywhere via their mobile phones. Most smartphones come with some sort of email client or app installed, especially Android phones, which often come with the Gmail app installed.
Screen time has increased dramatically during the pandemic. Among adults, it has increased by 60-80%. When people spend more time on their phones, they tend to check their email apps more often as well. Now’s your chance to boost your email marketing campaigns and reach more people.
3. It Is Personalized
One major difference between social media marketing and email marketing is that you can personalize each email. Email service providers like Aweber allow you to add details such as the subscriber’s name to each email. Not only that, but you can go beyond that and send each subscriber a happy birthday email on their birthday. To do that, you’ll need to collect their birthdate at some point.
Thus, email allows you to connect better with your subscribers and create deeper, longer-lasting relationships.
4. Personalization May Lead to Better Conversions and ROI
Personalization can increase your conversion rate and improve your ROI. Did you know that personalized emails get 2.5x more clicks? Not only that, but they are 6x more likely to drive a conversion.
There are other ways to personalize an email other than including your subscriber’s name. You can send them emails tailored to their tastes, interests, age group, and more. For example, you can segment your list based on which product they bought or where and how they signed up.
When sending automated email follow-ups to subscribers, you can tag subscribers based on their actions. For example, if a subscriber didn’t open an email, you can resend it with a different subject line. If they opened an email and clicked on a link but didn’t make a purchase, you can send another promotional email with that link, this time with a special discount.
This kind of targeted customization isn’t possible on social media. Social media is like blogging, just on a microscale — there’s nothing personalized about it. You create only one version of each post, and that is the one that gets shown to all your followers. Email is one of the few mediums that allow you to automate personalization.
5. Its Analytics Are Accessible
Tracking your email analytics is easy and will give you deeper insights into your audience and what they are looking for. Regardless of which email service provider you use, you’ll be able to view open rates, track clicks, see how many people are unsubscribing, and more.
That can help you understand what your audience wants and what makes them tick. The accessible analytics you get from email marketing helps you improve both your email campaigns and your other marketing campaigns.
For example, if you see them responding to subject lines that mention a specific product or service, you might want to talk about it more on your blog as well or create more social media posts about it.
6. It Doesn’t Care About Algorithms
While SEO remains important, regardless of which industry you are in, it has a major drawback: You are forever at the mercy of the algorithms. Marketers who have been in the game long enough will remember how major sites like JC Penny were devastated and experienced major drops in their rankings when updates like Google Penguin and Panda came out.
Even smaller updates can push your top-performing articles off the first page of Google. A drop of just a few positions can make a huge difference in how much traffic and conversions you drive. There is also always the possibility of a competitor outranking you.
Social media is not much different. Each social media platform uses a unique algorithm to determine which posts and pages show up in the Discover pages and get more exposure.
Not only that, but on sites like Facebook and Instagram, your posts won’t even get shown to all your followers. Facebook’s algorithms, for example, might decide that your followers would be more interested in another page’s content than yours. It might place your posts further down in their news feeds, and they might not scroll down far enough to see you.
However, email doesn’t care about algorithms. Inboxes aren’t sorted in a specific order based on what Gmail thinks the user would be interested in, unlike Facebook and Instagram feeds. All emails are shown in the order they came in.
Some emails might go to the Promotions folder or even the spam folder, so try to avoid that by telling subscribers to whitelist your address and avoiding over-promotional keywords like “free” or “sale.”
7. Barrier to Entry Is Low
SEO is complicated. As the algorithms are always changing, you need to always be on top of the latest updates and know which strategies are currently working.
You need to know how to write awesome content, create incredible infographics, use the right images, and find the right keywords. The last part can be particularly difficult for some — you need to find keywords that not only get a lot of searches, but don’t have a lot of competition either. That can be hard in competitive niches.
You also need to know how to do technical SEO, optimize metadata, and do off-page search engine optimization. You’ll need to build backlinks and know which strategies to use to do so. There’s a lot of skill and knowledge that goes into SEO, which is why the best SEO agencies charge so much.
Social media marketing also requires a certain level of expertise. You need to know how to get followers, what type of content to post, and so on.
The reason both social media and SEO require special expertise is that with both of them, you’re trying to beat the algorithm. Since email doesn’t involve that type of competition, the barrier to entry is a lot lower. You still need to know how to stand out in your subscribers’ inboxes, so they click on your email instead of others, but it’s easier to get started and see results.
8. It Can Boost Website and Social Media Traffic
Finally, even if you see results from your SEO and social media campaigns, email marketing can boost them even more. Using email, you can drive repeat traffic to your blog posts and product pages and get more conversions over the long term.
Also, you can use your email list to increase your follower count. Cross-promote your social media profiles and posts in your emails to boost engagement. For example, if you want to boost a specific social media post, so the algorithm starts showing it to more people, send your email subscribers to like and comment on it.
Email marketing is still underrated, despite what you might see on some blogs. It’s one of the most effective marketing channels and has benefits that no other channels provide, such as personalization and the lack of an algorithm determining who sees which posts.
Email marketing complements your SEO and social media campaigns perfectly. As engagement has gone up during Covid-19, now is the perfect time to send out emails.