What is email marketing and why use it?
One of the first things I do when I wake up every morning is check my phone. I check my messages, I check for missed calls and I check my emails. Do you do that as well? If yes, then checking emails has become a part of your daily routine. Whether it’s in the morning or on our way to work or even at work, checking emails on our phone has become a habit. Businesses need to leverage that.
You and I are not alone. Others do it too:
So what is email marketing?
Email marketing is the process of nurturing and engaging with your prospects and clients through emails, in such a manner that they think of you, remember you and hopefully buy from you.
Let me elaborate.
As a business, you must be generating a lot of leads from online and offline channels, like PPC ads, website, third-party sites, phone calls and so on. Now everyone who contacts you may not be interested in buying your product or service right away. It might just be a mere inquiry about your business offering.
But the fact that they contacted you shows that they have a slight interest in what you do. You need to take advantage of that. You need to work around that initial interest they showed and see how you can turn that into a buying opportunity. “It is your job to engage them until they convert, or at least grow fond enough of you to start spreading good word about you!”
In fact, there are several reasons why you should do email marketing. Below I have listed a few to help you get started.
Why should you do email marketing
1. Because it works
Take a look at the research data published by Ascend2, to understand the importance of email marketing as a digital marketing activity in 2017.
This data is based on the responses of 265 B2B and B2C research subscribers and marketing influencers. They were asked to name their most effective digital marketing channel, which they would also include in their 2017 digital marketing strategy.
The above survey clearly indicates that people still think email marketing is among the most effective digital marketing channels.
And that’s why businesses are willing to spend on it as proved in this report from 2016.
These are averages of course. However, they definitely signify a decline of traditional methods like direct mail, print advertising, radio-television advertising and the increasing spend in email, social, display and mobile advertising.
2. You can reach a global audience with one click of a button
I send an email with a click of a button and it reaches people in Tokyo, Toronto, Timbuktu and Trivandrum within seconds. That’s the power of email marketing.
Not just that, more and more people across the world are opening email accounts.
Take a look at this email user forecast for 2017 (in billions) by Radicati:
According to Epsilon’s Q2 2016 North America Email Trends and Benchmarks results, email open rates are rising as well. Business as usual (BAU) emails are reported to have open rates of 35.6% in Q2 2016, higher than any other quarter in a two-year period (Q2 2014 – Q2 2016):
So apart from reaching a global audience, you actually get an audience who are likely to open your emails.
3. You can pass on important information in real-time
Someone registers for your event or workshop. They want to know if their name was successfully registered. You send an automated email confirming the same in real time, no matter what the time is at their location.
Let me give you an example.
Some of our may know that at LeadSquared, we run webinars regularly. So once they register for a session, we send them an email saying their place has been reserved, as show here:
Not just for webinars, you can send automated emails for several different activities. For instance:
- Confirmation for scheduling an appointment with the doctor
- Confirmation of flight tickets booked
- Confirmation for signing up for a product or service demo
It’s most helpful when the registrant needs to be reassured that their activity (of signing up or registering) has been noted.
4. It’s mobile
Your readers can read your emails from wherever they are. Whether they are travelling or at work or relaxing at home, your email is ready in their inbox and available for them to view it from a mobile, laptop or tablet device.
What’s more interesting is that more people are opening emails on their mobiles these days. In fact, the graph below compiled by eMailmonday, says that this has been happening since 2014!
My parents recently got smart phones and now even they are checking mails on their phones. So you see, this number is only going to increase
And now that you know that the vast majority are opening emails on mobile devices, you must make your emails mobile responsive!
5. You can send highly targeted campaigns to different groups of people
Targeted emails are highly beneficial. See for yourself:
- According to eConsultancy, 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement.
- As per a DMA report, segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue.
- As per a DMA report, 77% of ROI comes from segmented, targeted, and triggered campaigns.
Try to invest in a good email marketing tool. It will help you send highly targeted email campaigns. As you can see, the benefits are plenty.
6. You can increase brand awareness
Not all the emails you send will result in a sale. So even when your readers are not buying right away, you are not abandoning them. You are still nurturing them with nurturing emails. And if the emails are good, your readers are very likely to remember you. That’s brand recall. And email marketing is a great way to do that.
Take a look at this email from Eat24.
This particular email is funny and that’s why people will remember it.
7. You can easily analyse & track the performance of your emails
You will need a tool to do this. A good email marketing software (like LeadSquared 🙂 ) will tell you exactly what’s working and what’s not. You’ll know who opened your email, which links did they click on the mail (if any), when did they open the email and on what device. Not just that, here’s more of what you will be able to analyze:
Once you have analyzed how well your emails are performing, how many conversions they got you, you will have more clarity on how much to invest on it – time, effort and money. So it’s really important for you to get an email marketing tool in place. There are of course several other tools out there. Take a free trial of any and see what works for you.
8. You can test email campaigns and invest more time on what works
You don’t need to look very far for a system that helps you identify email campaigns that are working for you. Emails with the highest open and clicks rates will give you an idea of what’s working. Work around that to make it even better.
Let me share an example. Given below is a summary of the top performing subject lines in 2016 (in case of LeadSquared).
The report tells me what kind of subject lines have been giving me the best open rates. So LeadSquared allows me to test and implement very easily.
9. Because it’s easy to execute, compared to most other marketing strategies
Surveys show that it is easier to execute, implement and find success in email marketing compared to other marketing channels. Take a look:
Moreover, there are several free email marketing tools out there. Of course, the features for those maybe limited but at least it’s a start, specifically if you are a small business and just starting out.
So you get it free and it’s easy to execute. That’s a win-win.
10. You can maximize your marketing ROI with email marketing
Based on this survey report published in September 2016 by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and Demand Metric, “Email has a median ROI of 122%, 4 times higher than other channels such as social media, direct mail and paid search!”
In another word, even with such minimal investment, the ROI it gives is the highest (which makes it the most cost-efficient). And marketers agree! Here’s a report.
Knowing that a certain activity you pursue (whether marketing or otherwise), will give you some sort of a result – whether good or bad – is always useful.
11. It saves paper
We often forget this but I really think this is one of the most important benefits of email marketing. Why? Because of global warming!
This is not a guide on climate change so I won’t elaborate. But given the heat outside, I’m sure you’d agree.
So now that you know what email marketing is, the various options available to you and why you should use it, let me share a few examples of great emails that I have come across. They include emails from different types of businesses. You might be able to relate to some.