MarketingSherpa recently conducted a survey asking American adults asking how they prefer companies communicate with them. The results show that a large majority of U.S. adults, about 72%, prefer to communication via email.
Even though digital marketing is growing at an outstanding rate, email was the only digital channel to outperform traditional tactics such as postal mail, television ads and print media – across all demographics. Is your company’s target audience males aged 35-44? Well, you should consider starting to plan an email marketing strategy: 87% chose email as their favorite channel for brand communication.
We’re not surprised by this; email marketing can have great ROI for companies, and is especially valuable for small business marketing. We’re no longer in the ‘You’ve Got Mail’ era of email – this channel is being used anywhere and everywhere, and its significance in both B2B and B2C marketing landscapes has been proven.
Here are the top three reasons to include email marketing as part of your business strategy:
1. Low cost, high return
Email marketing can be a highly cost-effective way for any company to communicate with consumers – tier one to small business and anyone in between. It can be especially great for small businesses with tight budgets as there are several low cost programs and services to create and distribute your messages.
According to Econsultancy’s Email Marketing Industry Census 2014, email marketing was ranked as the best channel for return on investment. Especially with the majority of consumers using smartphones, and email being the top activity for consumers on mobile, you can reach a large number of people at a very low rate – we’re talking pennies per person, in some cases, or even free depending on your program and level of DIY proficiency. One study found that 85% of U.S. retailers consider email marketing one of the most effective customer acquisition tactics.
Plus, since emails are customizable and have enough space for you to really get your message out there and tailor your content to specific audiences depending on demographics, seasonal activities or stage in the buying cycle.
2. Email measures up
With any marketing tactic, you want to be sure your efforts are worth it. Email marketing is especially great because you can measure results and adjust your strategy accordingly. With programs like Hubspot you can see your open-rate (to determine the success of your subject lines, for example), who’s opening and engaging with your content, which content they respond to most, and what parts of your website they’re visiting based on link clicks. All of these measurement and detailed analytics provide valuable consumer data that you can then use throughout your marketing strategy.
3. Lead nurturing
One great thing about email is that it’s permission-based. Your consumers have given you direct confirmation that it’s A-okay to communicate with them, so you know you’re reaching the right people each time. Now that you have a direct channel with leads, it’s time to keep up to keep up the communication.
The importance of staying in contact with your lead is two-fold: you can influence key thoughts through education. These leads may not enter the buying process for a long time, but every message you send them and every new piece of content, or new idea, you introduce them to, may bring them one step closer to a purchase. Secondly, you can watch for signs of progress through the buying cycle and collect significant data to help you, help them through the journey. Do they visit more and more pages on your website? Do they add anything to the shopping cart? What content do they like or dislike? Adjust accordingly to persuade or give them incentive to purchase (or re-purchase!).
We can’t stress enough the importance of keeping in frequent communication with customers and potential customers. Stay in their line of sight and helping them decide to purchase your product or service may only be one message away. There is, however, a fine line between staying relevant and in the forefront of their minds, and being annoying. Finding that sweet spot may take some trial and error, but with a cost-effective and easily accessible channel like email, you can experiment to realize what really works for your business.