Email Marketing - why you should be using it


Email marketing - why you should be using it

In the technical world, the death of email has been predicted for nearly ten years, yet businesses clearly aren't listening - they are continuing to use it successfully.

Email marketing in particular has a fantastic return on investment and that's the main reason why so many SMBs are still using it. Why is this?

Fantastic reach

Firstly, email is generic. Social media can be a fantastic marketing tool but you need to gather an audience and create posts for each different platform. If you attract a customer or prospect to your Facebook page they won't necessarily see your tweets, Instagram images, Pinterest boards, LinkedIn posts etc.

You have to build up a following on each different platform, whichever ones are appropriate for your market, and create your posts for each platform too - an Instagram post is unlikely to work for LinkedIn and vice versa, for example, without being tweaked. The overhead is high even with automated tools to help.

Common format

In contrast you can send text, images and links to other content very easily in an email. You may have to be clever with formatting it so that it works well, on mobiles and different browsers too, but you don't have to care what email platform anyone is on - all you need is their email address.

You can send the same email to everyone on your list, or you can use email sending software to tailor emails to different groups of recipients, even individuals.

Mature automation with email

There are many different email platforms with a wide variety of features. You can run your own email server but there's little point as there are so many cloud-based services with lots of useful features, including:

-Scheduled sending
-Personalisation of emails
-List management, segregation, grouping
-Testing slight differences on some emails to see what works best (split testing)
-Handling of unsubscribes
-Reputation handling
-Reports on success/failure of sending, delivery and opening

There's a lot more, depending on the service you choose and what you want to do with it.

Email marketing - a smart move

Businesses of all sizes are embracing email marketing because of its low outlay and excellent returns. Email addresses can be collected from simple forms on websites and, as long as you conform to marketing preferences regulations, you can send special offers, regular newsletters, bulletins, new product announcements and news of interest to the market you're serving.

In 2017,according to SmartInsights UK email marketing statistics rates were impressive. Nearly 25% of emails were opened ("open rate") and over 4% clicked on something in the email ("click-through"). Although everyone talks about open rates, and it's good to know if your subject line is enticing people to open your email, it's the click-through's that really matter.

It's far better to have fewer people opening an email and more taking an action. You can also tell what people have clicked on so you can hone your success rate. Bear in mind that the above quoted rates are averages. Open rates and click-through rates will differ across sectors and according to the type of email - a special offer may interest more people than a regular newsletter.

Added value from email marketing

For a service that doesn't cost much money to run and doesn't take a lot of time to set up, these levels of engagement are excellent. Email marketing can be used to keep your company's name uppermost in people's minds so that when they are ready to buy, it's you they think of. But it's the level of data that you get back from an email campaign that creates the value.

Because you know who's opened an email and who hasn't, you can work out what's working and what isn't. For example, with cloud-based email services you can repeat an email campaign but only send it to those who haven't opened it. This increases the chances of them opening it while not annoying people who've already done so.

There are many more options like this and you can automate a series of emails to entice people down a buying path - although this requires intelligence that isn't in all mail servers.

To find out more about the various email servers you can use to improve your bottom line, browse through our list of top email marketing providers