We need to address a myth that still circulates between businesses and marketers alike.
That myth is this: Email marketing is dead.
With the continued rise of social media and a new social platform popping up every other day, it seems like that is where businesses should focus their efforts. That’s where the people are migrating now anyway, right?
Social Media vs Email Marketing
While it is true that people spend a considerable amount of time on social networks, that doesn’t mean it’s the most effective place to market your business. In fact, according to a Hubspot study, 77% of consumers prefer email for marketing communications. Along with being the preference of most people when receiving marketing communications, email also has an ROI of 4300%. That means for every $1 you spend, you get $43 of returns. The numbers can’t lie; that clearly indicates that email marketing is still a viable–and favored –choice.
If you take a minute to think about it, it makes sense. Emails sit in your inbox until you either read or delete them. They are messages that your subscriber is guaranteed to see, even if they don’t open or engage with you. This one-to-one relationship allows you to speak directly to that individual, and provide highly contextualized content. With most social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, you have to hope your target audience is around when you schedule your blasts. If they aren’t, your message gets lost in a sea of other tweets and posts, tragically buried within a few short hours.
A Natural Extension of Your Business Activities
Now, think about how YOU do business today. Yes, maybe you poke around on Facebook and send a tweet or two. You might even have some stimulating conversations through LinkedIn connections. But when it comes down to your real business talk with suppliers, partners, and your customers, you utilize email.
So why would you not use it to communicate and nurture your leads as well?
To be clear, this doesn’t mean this is just focused on those who sell B2B. This can work for B2C businesses as well. In fact, Custora recently published results from a study of online buying patterns and they covered over 72 million customers that spanned 14 different industries. The results clearly pointed to the benefits of email marketing when they revealed that over 40 times as many purchases came from links in an email message than from Facebook or Twitter.
The Question Isn’t Should You do Email Marketing…It’s How Should You Do It?
It’s pretty obvious that email marketing is going to continue to be a viable and powerful marketing tool in 2016. But that doesn’t mean that just by doing email marketing you will get positive results. It needs to be done right to be an effective part of your overall marketing strategy.
Here are some quick tips on how to make email marketing work for your business in 2016:
- Catchy titles: Yes, it’s true that having a catchy title only is as good as the content on the inside, but your first job is to get them to open the email. What if you have the greatest content on the inside but no one opens it because the title doesn’t grab their interest or seem worthwhile?
- Relevant information: As much as we’d like to think our followers are interested in every little fact about our business, chances are they aren’t. They are more interested in ways that you can help them. So give them what they want! Tips, tricks, guides, and training in the area that you specialize in is key to growing and maintaining a loyal following.
- Personalization: No one likes to feel like one out of a million that you are advertising to, so adding a personalized touch really helps to create a connection with your followers. Lists are also a great way to ensure this personalization is realized. Properly segmenting your audience by buyer’s personas and where they are in the buyer’s journey to provide your subscribers with relevant content that speaks to their point in the sales process.
- Test and adjust: Use A/B testing to see what techniques work for your business and your audience and adjust accordingly. Remember: Only change one element at a time to isolate variables and identify the true game changers.
So, is email marketing dead? Not at all. In fact, it's very much alive and is still one of the number one ways to grow a relevant and engaged following.
Looking for more tips on how to put out stellar newsletters for your subscribers? Download our free whitepaper – The Anatomy of a Great Email Newsletter for more tips!