It’s amazing to think that email – the communication tool that billions of people know and are familiar with – has been around since 1965!
Invented at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, USA nearly 60 years ago, email plays a huge role in daily communications in the personal and business context, with over 3.9 billion email accounts in existence across the world.
And whilst in the early days receiving an email was a groundbreaking and exciting event, these days people have become more wary of spam emails and email overload.
So, as digital marketers, is email still a useful, relevant and effective tool to add into a general marketing strategy?
Simply put, yes! And here’s why…
1. It’s a Numbers Game
As we mentioned above there are nearly 4 billion email accounts in the world – that’s more users than Facebook and Twitter combined! So the audience is already there, it’s a matter of defining how to find them and how to communicate with them legally and effectively.
Secondly, whereas in the late 1990s you’d have to wait for someone to ‘get back to their desk’ to check their emails (perhaps only once a day), the impact of smartphones means that people are now accessing their emails anywhere, and importantly, any time of the day or night.
2. It’s more affordable AND more effective!
There are many digital marketing channels available, from paid search and social media to affiliate marketing sites and more. Most (if not all) are paid channels and require a fairly substantial financial commitment to ensure effectiveness.
Conversely, email is still one of the least costly and most effective channels to use to reach a target audience. There are bulk mailer services such as MailChimp that offer various options to send out emails to set audiences, with the cost per mail becoming cheaper the more mails are sent out.
Moreover, email still enjoys the highest conversion rate of any marketing channel – a recent study by DMA and Demand Metric showed that email brings an average return on investment of 122% (yes, you read that correctly!) – that’s approximately four times more than any other digital marketing channel!
3. All the same data, tools and analytics apply
The key components of digital marketing strategies is to
· targeting the right audience at the right time
· using the right medium
· with the right message
· and tracking the outcome
Whilst all digital marketing channels include the ability to do so, the perception is that email doesn’t have this capability – not the case, as it happens.
You’re just as able to build segmented lists using various methods (subscribe buttons on your website, for example) so that you can target your customers with relevant mails at the right time. There is a wealth of supplementary data which can help you not only create the right lists but know when best to send out mails to get the maximum open/click-through success, track user behaviour through the journey, understand more about their engagement with your brand, and more.
You’re also able to set up A/B tests to see which mails work best so that you can constantly optimise and improve your messaging (including subject lines), audience targeting and more.
What do you need to take into account if you want to get an effective email marketing campaign up and running? Here are some pointers:
· you’ll need to word your subject lines and messages carefully to avoid being considered spam – there are certain words and phrases to avoid – there’s a really good list of words to avoid here https://ortto.com/blog/email-spam-trigger-words/
· you need to write compelling subject lines and headlines to entice the receiver to open the mail in the first place.
· You need to create your target list using the right tools, with GDPR in place to ensure you don’t fall foul of the law – you can use an opt-in form on your website or social media channels and build your database from there
· You’ll need to explore which bulk email service works best for your needs – MailChimp is a default first choice, but there are others including ConvertKit which offer similar functionality. Many of these will also help you create compelling emails using design templates that allow you to insert images, logos, videos and more. They should also offer you analytics and data to help you optimise your campaigns as you go.
If you’re considering setting up email as a marketing channel but need some guidance, we’d be really happy to help!
Give us a call today on 01223 550800 or email email@example.com and let’s get started.