Today, while social media marketing gets a lot of hype, email marketing is often overlooked. But those who overlook it might be making a big mistake. The number of email accounts is projected to grow by almost 27% from 2014 to 2018, from over 4.1 billion in 2014 to over 5.2 billion by the end of 2018, according to the Email Statistic Report, 2013- 2017 by the Radicati Group, Inc.. Also, the same study predicts that the total number of worldwide email users will grow by 12% between 2014 and 2018, from 2.5 billion to 2.8 billion. Considering these mind-boggling figures, to play down or ignore the potential that email marketing can have when done properly is a marketing blunder.
The Share-ability of Emails
When people talk of ‘viral marketing’, they think of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and the many other social media sites on the Web, but not about email. That is because emails cannot be shared as easily as Facebook updates, tweets, blog posts, or YouTube videos. There’s no sharing button at the end of an email (other than the occasional forward to a friend button), only a link to a Web page which itself can be shared on social sites; there’s no denying that emails, by their nature, are not as ‘social’ as social media.
A Great Format
But this doesn’t make newsletters ineffective, or email marketing dead. According to the infographic from MarketingProfs 10 email best practices, no less than 122,500,453,020 emails are sent every hour. That’s right: 122,500,453,020 emails! That means a lot of spam, that’s true, but it also showcases how used the email platform still is. The email format remains a great choice for communicating news, promotions, or providing valuable content and insight. What’s more, some of its apparent limitations, such as the lack of like or sharing buttons, and the fact that each email has to be opened manually, actually give it some advantages over social media posting formats, making it more focused and less distracting.
Email Generates Sales
Even more significant than all the stats above is this one: email is almost 40 times better at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter, according to McKinsey Insights. When well-written, marketing emails are forceful, encouraging sales through their own directness. Moreover, it can be said that email as a platform is more businesslike than social media. People are used to receiving offers and promotions in their inbox, and they also rely on email to complete many of the orders their place online. By contrast, people don’t log into their Facebook or Twitter accounts to get special offers or view ads, but to socialize.
Understanding Email Marketing
Email continues to stand its ground as an essential Internet technology, one which most of us use on a daily basis and which makes our lives easier. For these reasons, email marketing remains to this day a great marketing tool, when used properly that is. What is crucial to understand, however, is that email marketing doesn’t clash with social media marketing, online advertising, paid listings, search engine optimization, or any other online marketing strategies.
Email marketing isn’t about spamming people with offers, but about connecting to an audience. And it can help establish more personal and more meaningful connections than most other marketing tools available. When used effectively, email marketing can create a strong personal connection with a potential customer or with an existing one in a way that neither search traffic nor social media buzz can. Even when there’s a lot of incoming traffic from Google, and even when you get lots of likes and shares on Facebook, it’s still possible to fail to convert the interest people are feeling for your business into actual sales, simply because people have so many options to choose from that they have become indecisive.
The Power of Newsletters
And that’s where good old email marketing kicks in. Newsletters remain a great way to remind people who visit your website about your business after they have left your site, in a direct and personal way. It gives you the chance to introduce them to your most valuable content as well as to your brand mission and history, and to keep them up to date with significant events in your company’s history. At the same time, it offers you the space you need for promoting your best products and services, or to share news about offers and promotions in a direct yet unobtrusive way. Email marketing is not dead – it’s as lively and as effective as ever.