The first-ever email marketing message was blasted out to 400 people in 1978. It was a wildly successful message, generating $13 million in sales. From that first message to now, email marketing has proven to be one of the most effective forms of digital marketing. It is a convenient way for businesses to communicate with their target audiences.
To be effective, email marketing campaigns must be targeted and intentional. With the right email marketing strategy in place, you can drive brand awareness and increase sales. In fact, according to an infographic from Litmus, email marketing has an average return on investment (ROI) of $36 for every dollar spent. That 3,600% ROI is higher than that of any other marketing channel.
What is email marketing?
Email marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves communicating business news, sales, promotions, confirmations, coupons, updates and other relevant information to your target audience via email. There are several types of email marketing campaigns, including:
- Sales and promotional emails
- Reengagement email
- Transactional emails
- Lead-nurturing emails
All marketing campaigns should be optimized for both desktop and mobile devices. When building an email marketing campaign, consider factors like campaign type, target audience and market segmentation.
Why should businesses use email marketing?
Email marketing is one of the most popular and effective ways businesses can reach their customers. However, if you are unsure about using email marketing as part of your digital marketing strategy, here are 10 ways it can benefit your small business.
1. It effectively generates sales.
Email marketing is incredibly effective at acquiring new customers and encouraging previous customers to make another purchase. Research by Harris Interactive found that customers are more likely to make additional purchases as a result of targeted emails. You can use marketing emails to drive more traffic to your website, which gets consumers in your sales funnel.
2. It is affordable.
Email marketing is one of the cheapest forms of outreach available to a small business today. It also has one of the best ROIs available for brands of any size. The advantage of email marketing is that you can include the same elements of direct mail, including its interruptive effect with send-time optimization, without the printing and postage costs. Sending an email blast to an entire list often costs less than the price of lunch.
Many small businesses avoid email marketing because they fear it will be too expensive. However, there are monthly plans for various budgets, typically ranging from $300 to $2,000. Some providers also offer per-email or pay-as-you-go pricing.
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3. It is personal.
When you address recipients personally in the subject line, according to marketing analytics firm Retention Science, they open the email 2.6% more often.
A good email subject line is just the first step in making an email feel like a personal message instead of spam. These are some other ways your small business can encourage a click-through:
- Send a specific email to subscribers on their birthday or anniversary date with your company.
- Offer a product or discount related to their previous purchases with your business.
- Include topics that cover items of interest for your subscribers.
With a well-constructed email, you can automate this process to benefit your brand without a large time investment.
4. You can use segmentation.
One great thing about email marketing is that you can easily create segmented lists to send out emails to specific people. These email contact lists can be created based on factors like geography or engagement, and they are great for ensuring you are sending relevant emails to your audience.
According to SuperOffice, 89% of marketers do not segment their database, but this mistake can be costly. Segmented emails not only make messages feel more personal and relevant to your consumers, but they also increase your click-through rate.
5. It creates a call to action.
People are more likely to purchase something when they feel like they’ve invested themselves in a product or service. By encouraging a click to open email, you begin that investment process. Encouraging another click after the recipient reads the email is the next step on the path to conversion.
Even if a click doesn’t happen, continued emails to interested subscribers create a drip campaign that can lead to success. That is why you’ll see some results immediately and others over time.
6. It provides value to your audience.
While email marketing provides value to you by driving leads, in order to be truly successful, it should also provide value to your audience.
You can create multiple email campaigns that offer a variety of valuable content to your readers. Embrace your creative side and offer a strong value proposition. For example, consider mixing in entertaining or informational emails alongside your promotional emails to keep your content fun and engaging. This shows subscribers that your emails are valuable in more ways than one.
7. It increases brand recognition.
Brand recognition is a key driver of success in today’s marketplace. You need to create a brand that your target audience recognizes and that resonates with them. The Data & Marketing Association’s Consumer Email Tracker 2021 found that 96% of consumers check their email every day, so take advantage of that. Appearing in your customers’ inboxes with relevant content will increase your visibility and brand recognition over time.
8. It gives your brand access to mobile users.
According to global tech care company Asurion, the average person checks their phone 96 times per day – that’s once every 10 minutes! The use of mobile has exploded in recent years, and email marketing gives you a way to reach users where they are. According to research from Litmus, mobile users account for 41.6% of all email opens. This is why email marketing is such an important component of a small business growth strategy. It puts your message right where your prospects happen to be.
9. You can survey your consumers.
Many businesses benefit from using email to survey consumers. You can create an email campaign that sends out surveys to collect customer feedback. Surveys are an easy way to gain customer insight into what is working and what isn’t. It can help you tailor your products, services and future marketing campaigns to consumer needs.
10. It provides measurable results.
Unlike with other forms of marketing, you gather measurable results with email marketing. You can see which campaigns are effective and which are not. You can even test different email outreach efforts to determine which one will make the greatest impact.
Many other forms of paid marketing cost more and do not offer these advantages. The ability to tailor a message to each consumer may be the greatest advantage that email marketing provides to small businesses.
Top email marketing services
If you’ve decided that email marketing is right for you, check out some of these highly rated email marketing services to get started.
- Constant Contact: This affordable platform has robust campaign features and a 60-day free trial. It can help you automate your email marketing process. Read our Constant Contact review to learn more.
- Benchmark: This software comes with an easy-to-use interface and helpful automations. It is ideal for users looking for a low-cost marketing option. Read our review of Benchmark to learn more.
- monday.com: This project management software has features to help you streamline your email marketing workflow. It is customizable to fit any sales cycle. Read our monday.com review to learn more.
- Freshworks: This solution integrates CRM and marketing features into one seamless platform. It offers flexible add-on packages so you can customize it to meet your needs. Read our Freshworks review to learn more.
Before starting a new email marketing campaign, do a little research to find out which email message marketing service is best for your business.
Drake Duenwald contributed to the writing and research in this article.