Is Email Marketing Dead?
Most marketers and companies that use email as part of their strategy probably don't need to be convinced. The rest of you, however, might be thinking that at best, email marketing is an outdated tool for boring newsletters. Or, worse, that email has the potential to be damaging to your brand.
Where Email Fails
Before we can understand why email is still a valuable marketing tool, we have to know where it is definitely not working. The most important piece to the email marketing puzzle is the integrity of your list. If you have acquired a list of people to email from any source other than specifically crafted opt-ins that were made just for you, your email marketing campaign will fail.
If you buy or rent a list from a vendor, or use a list that was built for any reason other than to market your material, you are a spammer. You will do more damage to your brand, your reputation, and your IP address than could ever be justified by a few new leads. Not only is spamming illegal, but it is also annoying and ineffective. Let's move on.
Where Email is Awesome
There is one task that email does better than any other marketing tool you have available to you: nurturing existing leads. You have someone who has already expressed interest in your products and services, most likely from one of your landing pages, and it's time to start sending them down the sales funnel. With all the information that comes from the landing page form (including what page they were on when the information was provided), what better tool than email to launch your nurturing campaign?
66% of consumers have made a purchase as a result of a marketing message sent after an opt-in.
Consumers Want Email
Not random email, mind you. People still hate spam, but everyone becomes a consumer at some point. When they do, most people would rather turn to their inboxes for information relating to a purchase instead of sifting through bills and mailers sent via the USPS.
74% of American adults prefer to get their commercial communication via email.
Sending the right kinds of information using email is important, and I'll get into that more in the coming weeks. In general, people like to get alerts to promotions, sales, coupons, and similar messages in their inboxes. They want to hear about your new products or services, and any big news about your company. Give them what they're looking for!
Email is Affordable
Other advertising outlets are expensive. Print ads require not only an initial design, but also ad space somewhere to run them. Direct marketing needs a design; then you have to pay for printing, preparation, and postage. Commercials aren't even in the same ballgame. Email content is infinitely modified so you can make changes as you see how well they are performing without requiring a trip to the printer. Plus, if you're running a small business, you can probably manage your email lists yourself. If your subscriber list starts growing unmanageable (which is good!), some services start at $15 per month.
Email is Outperforming Facebook
An article on Forbes discusses the results of recent surveys. Email marketing is second only to organic search results. Email is outperforming Facebook and Twitter combined when it comes to acquiring customers. There's a lot of talk about social media, and it is definitely not something to ignore, but the numbers still stand behind email.
Email Marketing is King
You might not take my word for it, but the Harvard Business Review is saying the same thing. When used in conjunction with a good inbound marketing strategy, and alongside the rest of your marketing tools, a well-planned email campaign will be working hard for you to nurture your leads into customers.
To compete in the email game, you have to optimize your messages to give consumers what they are looking for. Stay tuned for more posts about using email as a contemporary tool to grow your business.