Email marketing is the use of email to build brand awareness, nurture B2B and B2C relationships, generate leads, and motivate prospective and existing customers to take some type of action that benefits your business.
From a brand standpoint, every email your business sends out is serving your marketing needs. The term email marketing usually refers to a concerted campaign in which hundreds or even thousands of emails are sent to targeted recipients and designed to:
- Enhance relationships with current customers to encourage loyalty and continued business, or
- Acquire new customers and motivate existing customers to purchase products and services or take some action that benefits your company.
Benefits of Email Marketing
Other than the possibility of emails being flagged as spam and not reaching the end user (much less of a problem today with the proliferation of “opt in” programs) or the sheer volume of emails clogging inboxes causing your email to get lost in the clutter, there are no big disadvantages to email marketing. But there are a number of reasons why you should get on board with email marketing.
- Low cost. Compared to direct mail, print, and even online banner advertising, email is cheap, particularly if you have the capacity to create your own content. Even if you hire a writer and designer to produce your emails, the cost to reach thousands of targeted customers is a fraction of what you spend on other channels.
- Global penetration. According to the Pew Research Center, only 11 percent of adults in the U.S. do not use the internet. That means 89 percent have access to email.
- Impressive reach. In the social media realm, “reach” refers to number of followers or Likes. But even if you have thousands of Facebook likes, only a fraction of those people will see all of your posts, so actual reach is much less. The ability to leverage opt-in emails ensures that your email reach will be much higher in comparison.
- Shelf life. Social posts and tweets are constantly being replaced by new posts and tweets in a continual stream, so your messaging just doesn’t stay in front of customers for very long. Emails sit in the inbox until they are either read or deleted. Some people read emails sent days earlier.
- Measurable return on investment (ROI). According to the DMN National Client Email Report 2015, email averages an ROI of $38 for each $1 spent with one of every five companies reporting an ROI of over 70:1. Learn more about ROI.
- Availability. Studies indicate that two-thirds of Gmail messages are opened on mobile devices. According to the Pew Research Center, one in ten American adults are “smartphone only” internet users. This means they access their email on their mobile device 100 percent of the time. This also means your customers are collecting emails in and out of home and work.
- Personalization. Even an email message sent to thousands of people can have some level of personalization if you’ve segmented your audience by demographics and stated needs. The degree to which you target your message is limited only by your capability to segment your markets using accurate data.
- Success Analytics. There are numerous apps that can help you measure the effectiveness of email campaigns and identify what works and what doesn’t.