Understanding email marketing

The What, Why and How of Email Marketing 2016

Date: Posted: November 2, 2016

Much like content marketing, there are myths spread all over the internet saying email marketing is dead.

It isn’t.

In fact, to this day, it is dubbed the King of ROI in the marketing industry. What with a whopping “3800% ROI and $38 for every $1 spent.”

To further prove email’s rule over every other medium, a study by Marketing Sherpa showed that email is the preferred business communication channel across all age groups (18-65+).

To put all of these numbers in perspective, let me ask you, how many times a day do you check your email account or accounts? According to a report by The Relevancy Group, 66% of online consumers go through their emails multiple times a day. 13% even said they actually check theirs hourly or even more frequently than that.

Quite large numbers, aren’t they? That’s the power of email marketing for you.

What is Email Marketing?

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Email marketing is delivering your marketing message to one medium that has been present since the early days of the internet – electronic mail.

Your business can use email marketing in a variety of ways, some of which include:

  • brand and customer loyalty building
  • customer engagement
  • advertising of new products and services
  • delivery of promotional offers

And more. It’s basically the most efficient way to stay connected with your clients.

Don’t be deceived though. Email marketing takes just as much effort as marketing on social media, search engines and other mediums.

We’re talking about building an email list to reach both your established and potential customers. Then there’s creating the content of your email and sending them to specific members on your email list. Because after all, to quote Mohit Sani, “When your audience signs up to receive your emails, they expect to be rewarded for it. They expect you to add value to their inbox, not to clutter it.”

Why Email Marketing?

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There are a number of reasons why email outperforms other mediums known to internet marketing. Here are some of them:

  • All in the Statistics

Aside from being the king of ROI, email drives the most traffic compared to other mediums. Emails receive an average click through rate of 5.2% while Facebook and Twitter – two of the most popular social media platforms – only get 1.49% and 1.69% respectively.

Email is pretty much the king of everything because it does wonders for conversions as well. Compared to social media (with only .59%) and search engines (2.49%), email marketing garners 4.24% of purchasing visitors.

  • It Delivers

Nothing is more annoying than your message being ignored. And in social media, you have to face that reality. For your potential clients, it’s so easy to scroll past your post or worse, block you out of their newsfeeds forever. According to Forrester, 90% of emails get delivered to the intended receiver. Compare this to a measly 2% of your Facebook followers.

With email, your message is delivered straight to their inboxes – which means, it has a higher chance of being read.

  • It’s Timeless

Some platforms die horrible deaths. Remember MySpace, Xanga and Friendster? Their times have passed. But email, on the other hand, has been stable ever since its inception. It’s only been evolving since then and it doesn’t seem to show any signs of stopping.

How do I start Email Marketing?

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Now it might seem like email marketing is all glitz and glamour. Here’s the reality: it isn’t a walk in the park. Not everyone experiences the transformative ROI that comes with email marketing. Why? Because they probably didn’t think about it as much as they should have.

Before hitting send, ask yourself these questions first:

  • Have I already asked permission from this client?
  • Have I checked my email list for any inactive address?
  • Is my subject line interesting or does it sound too spammy?
  • Have I added in my call-to-action?
  • Did I personalize the content of my email?

The last one might be the most important of all. Remember: your established and prospective clients’ value their email accounts a lot. It’s their personal space in the vastness of the very public internet. Everything is there. Important messages, documents, even their to-do lists. And since everything is there, you – as the email marketer – have to realize that you’re in their turf.

Here’s a suggestion from Ryan Stewart, “Birthdays, anniversaries and other data points are easy ways to build stronger relationships.” Who wouldn’t want to be greeted on their birthday? Add in a little freebie as a gift and you’re sure to capture the heart (and loyalty) of that particular client.
A valuable email goes a long, long way. Creating an email marketing strategy will require a lot of your time and attention. Much like all other marketing strategies, email marketing involves trial and error as it is the best way to learn what works and what doesn’t. And, of course, don’t forget to track all your results!