“I turn on my computer. I wait impatiently as it connects. I go online, and my breath catches in my chest until I hear three little words: You’ve got mail. I hear nothing. Not even a sound on the streets of New York, just the beating of my own heart. I have mail.” – You’ve Got Mail
With so many different ways to reach your target audiences online these days, email marketing may seem a bit old hat. Meg Ryan’s innocent wonder depicted in You’ve Got Mail sums up a feeling about email that belongs strictly to the 90s. However, just because email has been around for a few decades now, does this mean it has lost its value entirely?
The short answer is a resolute and definite NO! When it comes to communication technology, email may be an old timer in comparison to SMS, IM, video calls and augmented reality selfie messaging, but it still has more than a few tricks up its sleeve. Here are the top 4 reasons why ignoring the value of email marketing is a terrible mistake:
Email is essential for B2B
Consider the humble personal business card for a moment. Even today, in the midst of social media channels and instant messaging applications, it is the email and phone number that make it onto the business card. One reason for this is because everyone has an email… bar most kids under the age of six, but even they’ll have one in a few years’ time!
The sheer proliferation of email combined, with its flexible design and ease of use, has made it the undeniable favourite method of communication in business. According to HubSpot, 86% of business professionals choose to use email for work-related communication. When comparing B2B and B2C email marketing campaigns, the CTR is 47% higher in B2B (emfluence).
Although innovations in communication technology have been infiltrating modern enterprise for decades, the email has been consistently relied upon in businesses all over the world as a go-to for a professional communication format. Therefore, if you are B2B, it only makes sense to make sure you are in your client’s inbox!
Email is action-oriented
Emails demand interaction from the moment they land in your inbox. Sitting there, nestled in their neat, narrow rows, with only a few teaser words on show, they prod you persuasively to “Click me!” Not to mention that little number notification that tots up just how many unopened emails you have impatiently waiting for you – emails really are very insistent!
The fantastic thing about this is that when the customer clicks to open your email they have already started actively engaging with you. This is a valuable moment for the reason that your target customer has voluntarily given you their complete attention. Now is your opportunity to capitalise on this by creating a domino effect from that initial click.
Emails are instigators for action and should be designed to encourage this, whether it be with coupons, discounts, promo codes and/or those all-important Calls to Action (CTAs). In fact, email is particularly effective for permission-based promotional messages, as 77% of people prefer this channel for this kind of communication over SMS, phone call, post or social media (ExactTarget).
Email is targeted
Email marketing, done effectively, should always be supported by a list of legitimately interested people. The most valuable email list is usually organically grown, whether it is through networking or by an opt-in subscription option on the website or by a marketing campaign requesting such details. By carefully curating your list in this way, the result is a highly targeted group of potential or ongoing customers who you can connect with at any time.
The more you segment your list the more targeted your emails can be. You can address people individually by their name and supply them with information and offers specifically tailored to their interests. This level of in-depth customisation means your emails are of more value to your customer, and, in turn, bring more value to your business.
This high level of customisation results in a lot of juicy data if you are keeping an eye on your email analytics, which you should be! By analysing who clicks what, where they go after they click, which content does not receive attention, which email titles work and which don’t, you can gather real insights into your audience and adapt to their preferences.
Over time, your email marketing campaign will run like a well-oiled machine – you will always have to keep your hands on the steering wheel, but every element of your email marketing will be astutely customised for optimum results.
Email is cost-effective
To top it all off, email is very affordable. Most email marketing platforms offer a free version that will get you going while you are growing your list, and even after you have it still does not cost an arm and a leg. This makes it an accessible form of marketing for all sizes of business. Considering email has a higher conversion rate than any other marketing channel, and this includes search and social, this small investment can have dramatic effects for any type of business (Monetate).