The concept of email marketing is simple. You use email to promote products or services. In addition, email marketing is a digital marketing strategy for developing relations with current customers, and for reaching out to potential ones.
How effective is Email Marketing?
According to a Statista report, there were 3.7 billion email users in 2017. This is estimated to grow to 4.3 billion in 2022. In other words, marketing by email has the potential to reach half of the world’s population.
Some may think that email marketing is ancient compared to more modern marketing methods like SEO and social media marketing. However, the 269 billion daily emails sent/received in 2017 is projected to become 333 billion by 2020. Moreover, for every $1 spent on email marketing, an average return of $32 can be expected, states the UK’s Data and Marketing Association 2018 marketer email tracker report.
Who uses Email Marketing?
Most companies, in one form or another, use email marketing, simply because it helps grow business. In particular, small and midsize businesses use it as their main tool for keeping customers and acquiring new ones, 80-81% of the time. From fund raising specialists to therapeutic spas, from pet rescuers to gym and fitness centers, from realtors to event coordinators, and for everybody else, email marketing remains to be very effective.
Email Marketing stats and trends
Research shows that email marketing still comes out on top when compared to organic search, paid search, or social media in terms of keeping customers and getting new ones. In a 2017 benchmark by GetResponse.com, the average open rate of a welcome email is 82%, a very high rate and a great opportunity. Still, people have become more cautious in opening emails for security concerns, and that can affect email marketing.
Advantages of Email Marketing
Here are some of the advantages email marketing can bring to your business:
1. Brand awareness
If you are consistent in your email marketing efforts, as well as its design, tone, and content, your audience can start recognizing your brand. They can remember it and even differentiate it from other brands. When your brand is already recognizable and memorable, people can feel a connection with it and remember it when they are already deciding to purchase.
2. Industry expertise
With email marketing, you can easily share industry information with a great number of audience in a short amount of time. This is a way to establish and promote yourself as a thought leader in your specific business domain. A business that is considered an industry expert automatically gets high brand credibility and reputation. It becomes a reliable source of information, products or services that are recognized to be effective solutions.
3. Quick and cost-effective
It does not take much time and resources to perform email marketing, as compared to other marketing strategies and campaigns. Email is comparatively cheaper than paying ads. Auto-responder software can be around $15 per month, and some basic ones are even offered for free. In the UK, the average cost can be about 50 pounds per month for a small business. And sending email can take only seconds, which gets directly to the audience. Furthermore, you can schedule what to send, to who, and by when.
4. Regularly checked by the audience
Email marketing is an effective way to stay in contact with your customers. About 2 out of 3 persons will check their email account several times a day. Therefore, you can be sure that your audience will see your email in their inbox within a day. There is even a greater chance it will be opened and read by recipients with their mobile phone as soon as they receive a notification.
5. Traceability and reporting
Most email management and auto-responder software comes with tracking and reporting functions. So, you can get statistics as well as insight in how successful your campaign was. Some of the data you can analyze are the number of emails sent successfully, how many were opened, how many clicked, and how many led to sales, among others. Furthermore, you can get valuable information on your market to know who are the audience that responds to you. As a result, you can even refine and improve your brand identity to closely match your audience.
Disadvantages of Email Marketing
Along with advantages comes disadvantages, and here are some of them:
1. Stiff competition
With just email marketing, it can be difficult to stand out from the competition. Most probably, they are also doing their own email marketing. So, your email gets to compete with other emails from legit competition, as well as with spam and junk emails. People who do not use spam filters or segregate emails may likely just never open commercial emails at all.
2. Delivery issues
Over time, some of the email addresses in your list may get inactive. You may be sending emails to no one. Unmaintained inboxes get filled up, and it will reject any new mail sent to it. And for those who use spam filters, your email subject may appear to be spammy and get caught, never to be seen by the recipient.
3. Design problems
Today, people are using multiple devices with varying screen sizes. You should be careful to design your email such that it will appear readable no matter what device or screen size is being used. Emails with images can cause inconsistency with smaller screens. They may also be bigger in size, and therefore slower to download. On the other hand, some may find text-only emails as monotonous and dull.
4. Mailing list build-up
If you are new to email marketing, you may not have a mailing list yet. Building a list means getting subscribers, and that takes time. You may have to set up your website, create signup forms, and attract enough visitors who may sign up. Time and resources are needed to build up your email address database.
5. Resources and skills
Email marketing can be effective, but it has to be done right. It is easier if you have experience and expertise in your industry and market. If this is not the case, then you might have to outsource email marketing in order to have the right list, design, copy or content. It is also essential to have basic knowledge of the legal aspects such as privacy laws, data protection regulations, and other information as well as security regulations.
While email marketing statistics are impressive compared to other digital marketing methods, it is important to remember that it is still one option among many to build brand awareness, to keep existing customers, and to acquire potential ones. Knowing the pros and cons can help you make an informed decision as to how you can take advantage of email marketing while avoiding the potential pitfalls that come with it.