What Is Email Marketing and Why Do You Need It?
Since the days of dial-up internet and logging on to hear “You’ve got mail,” the world of email has changed significantly.
Email marketing has erupted over the last 15 years. Nearly 105 billion emails are sent every day, a number expected to reach 246 billion by the year 2020.
In order to tap into this growth, several companies have started to provide email marketing services to businesses large and small.
Below are some of the most popular email marketing platform providers:
- Constant Contact
No matter which email marketing platform your company chooses, the opportunity to grow your business using compelling campaigns is endless. Let’s look at what email marketing is and what it can do for your business!
What Is Email Marketing, Anyway?
Email marketing is sending emails to create new or strengthen previously formed relationships with customers, encouraging brand loyalty and repeat business.
Email marketing is a direct form of messaging, just like sending a letter in the mail. While some might think that email marketing is a dated marketing practice, we beg to differ. In fact, we’d argue that email marketing is more efficient, beneficial and important today than ever before.
Why Use Email Marketing?
There are many ways to reach your customer, but not all are created equal. In today’s digital age, marketers have a plethora of messaging options – social media, direct mail, outdoor advertising, digital ads, television, radio and more.
So why is email marketing such a popular marketing tactic? There are many reasons that the messaging platform has risen in the ranks as an advertising tool in the last several years.
Here are five reasons you should be using email marketing:
- Email is outside of the chaos – Unlike the busy environment of social media, email is a quiet, intimate and direct form of communication. Think about the last time you saw an ad on Facebook. The ad was probably one of several in your timeline, essentially becoming a shout into the void among clickbait news stories and cousin so-and-so who just started her own essential oils business. Plus, that ad had to beat out Facebook’s tricky targeting algorithms to get in front of your rapidly scrolling finger. While a marketing email in your inbox surely isn’t the only email you’ll receive, if you choose to open it, it will, for at least a moment, have your undivided attention.
- Email is opt-in – No matter how well-targeted that social media ad is, the customer didn’t tell that advertiser that you wanted to hear from them. That’s where email marketing has an advantage – your customer signed up to receive messaging from you. Further, you’ll potentially reach more and different people on email (94% of internet users) than you will on social media (61% of internet users). That’s where your customer wants to hear from you, anyway: According to a study by HostPapa, 75% of adult online users say that email marketing is their preferred means of receiving marketing messages.
- Email has measurability – In order to determine a campaign’s success, it’s important for marketers to be able to track results. While it’s extremely difficult to track the success of a TV ad, billboard or direct mail piece, it’s very easy to see into the performance of an email marketing campaign. Many email services offer unique insights into open rate, clickthrough, bounce rate, and conversions that allow campaigns to be tested, measured, improved and re-tested.
- Email is cost-effective – While other forms of marketing are expensive and have low return on investment, email is highly cost-effective. In fact, a 2015 study by the DMA found that for every $1 spent, email has an average $38 return on investment. Low-cost sends (you don’t have to put a stamp on an email) and high clickthrough rates combine to make email marketing very cost-effective.
- Email can be personalized – Email allows marketers to deliver highly personalized, relevant messages to their customers. While other marketing mediums are more static, email can greet customers by name; serve them a photo of a product they recently browsed, purchased or placed in their shopping cart; or present an offer based on their previous behavior as a customer. No target customer is the same, so luckily, hitting the masses repeatedly with batch-and-blast messaging is not your only way to go. Personalized content takes a little more effort up front, but can result in higher open rates, lower unsubscribe rates and increased revenue.
With so many advantages, it’s easy to see why email is such a popular marketing platform. When it comes to keeping costs low and measuring success, email is a very powerful way to market to customers.
Types of Email Marketing Formats
With so many customizations, email is the perfect medium for testing out messaging in different media forms. When it comes to developing and structuring your email campaign it’s best to experiment with different formats. Send the same email repeatedly, and you’re likely to see a skyrocketing unsubscribe rate. Rather than exhaust them, keep your subscribers engaged with varied email strategies.
There are many formats for email marketing campaigns. Here are a few of the most common:
- Newsletter – Email newsletters are an opportunity to regularly update your audience on what’s happening with your company. Whether your brand has an upcoming event, a new product or a special promotion, email newsletters are one of the most commonly used forms of email campaigns. Usually broken out into a few topics, newsletters utilize many forms of media to inform the brand’s audience.
- Dedicated – Similar to an email newsletter, a dedicated email takes just one topic and informs a brand’s audience with a single-topic send. Events, products, announcements and other single informative updates are well-spotlighted in a dedicated email send, along with a clear, specific call-to-action.
- Deal/Offer – If you’re having a sale, let your customers know! Offering your reader something of value encourages interactions with your products, services or website, and often leads to conversions. To endear customers to your brand and give them a sense of exclusivity, consider promoting email-only deals or launching sales with emails first (prior to other channels), making a subscription to your email list valuable.
- Abandon Browse/Cart – Your customer shopped, selected your product or service and … left. So close, yet so far away. To encourage completion of that conversion, give your customer a helpful nudge with an email. Whether it’s a customized email with an image of the item left in their shopping cart or a special offer to entice them to finish their shopping, “abandon browse” emails are incredibly successful campaigns with a 63% higher open rate than traditional emails.
- Welcome Emails – As users become new customers or subscribe to your email list, sending them a welcome email is an easy way to set an expectation. After receiving a welcome email, your customer knows what your emails will look like and hopefully will recognize your brand look and feel. According to ReachMail, welcome emails generate 320% more revenue than other promotional emails. Welcome emails are easy to automate and are often very successful in establishing your brand in your reader’s inbox.
- Nurture Campaigns – A nurture campaign is a behavioral-based email series. As a brand gathers customer behavior data over time, that data can be used to deliver timed and targeted messaging that presents products and offers that are curated to the customer. While this format is a time-consuming tactic, it can be highly rewarding for growing your relationship with your customer overtime.
- Drip Campaigns – Very similar to a nurture campaign, a drip campaign is a series of emails. Unlike a nurture campaign, though, a drip campaign uses only time-based sends to deliver messaging to prospective customers. Drip campaigns continually keep your brand at your customer’s top of mind.
- Re-engagement Campaigns – When an audience member ceases engagement – decreased clickthrough rate or not opening emails altogether – it might be time to include them in a re-engagement campaign. Using customer behavior data, re-engagement emails can highlight products, special offers or messaging to compel disengaged customers. Personalization can be a very useful tactic with re-engagement campaigns.
- Anniversary Campaigns – As we discussed earlier, personalization in email campaigns is compelling. That’s why anniversary emails are a great tactic to grow the connection between your brand and your customer. Sending emails around your subscribers’ birthdays or their anniversary of joining your email list shows them that you know them.
- Video Emails – Have a great video to share? Send it to your email list! Video content is a great way to inform, compel and engage your customers. A study by GetResponse found that video emails received a 96% higher clickthrough rate than non-video emails. Videos are a quick and easy media form for your viewer to consume about your product or service.
Email campaigns can slowly grow your company’s customer base, or they can turn around a conversion more quickly. Though it takes time to create email campaigns, your business is sure to see the return. While some customers on your list will respond to one type of email, other customers will favor another type. When in doubt, test, measure refine and repeat!
Email Marketing: The Marketing Tool You Need
With spammy content creators and Nigerian prince schemes, email marketing has gotten a bad name in recent years. But the truth is that if you use email marketing well; to send relevant, useful and valuable messaging to your audience, email marketing is a tremendous opportunity to grow your business.
With a high ROI and easily accessible and accurate metrics, email marketing is exactly what you need to attract new customers and keep existing clients coming back.
At Oneupweb, we’re experts in all things email marketing. From fighting spam filters to designing dynamic templates your customers will love, find out how our email marketing services can work for your business.