Social media has become the holy grail for marketers. Not only does it allow them to reach an exact demographic, it also allows them to speak directly to potential customers. So what about email marketing? This older tactic has been around since email first emerged, and it might not seem as effective, considering you have to compete with spam filters and shorter attention spans.
Still, that doesn’t mean email marketing is dead. In fact, it’s alive and well. Whether you’re marketing to college students or working adults, email marketing is effective. Many actually prefer companies communicate via email. So what are some of the advantages email has over social media or other types of marketing?
There are billions of people using email worldwide, with many checking their email at least once a day. Most, however, check multiple times a day thanks to the advent of smartphones. People check during their office commute, in waiting rooms, while waiting in lines and more. It’s no surprise then that accessing email is the most popular daily activity on a smartphone.
What does that mean for you? It means you have more opportunities to reach your subscribers throughout the day. However, if your material isn’t mobile friendly, you’ll likely end up losing subscribers and seeing even lower click-through and open rates.
Even still, you have a bigger chance of reaching your audience through email than Facebook. Consider this: Even if you have a large amount of followers on your social profiles, only a very small fraction of that number will actually see your content. While only a handful of subscribers will open your newsletter, your newsletter will reach its destination, so it’s up to the consumer to read it or not.
With that said, consumers receive dozens of email a day and often don’t have the time to read through every single one, especially promotional ones. If your open rate is pathetically low, it doesn’t necessarily mean email marketing itself is dead. Instead, look at your subject line, content and call to action to see where you can improve. Ask yourself the following questions:
If you’ve answered no to any of the questions, think about where you can make changes to your email campaigns.
It should come as no surprise that social media posts have a short life span to reach the intended audience. Twitter is by far the shortest at only a few seconds. While Facebook might have a longer life span of a couple hours, and Pinterest might boast a few days, it still pales in comparison to an email. Unless it lands in someone’s spam filter, an email lives on in an inbox forever until the user acknowledges it, even if it’s just to delete it.
Of course, you don’t want to bombard your subscribers with emails every day—that’s a surefire way to get your emails marked as spam. Instead, focus on sending material out at certain intervals to keep people interested in your company and fresh in their mind. If you send information out too infrequently, your emails will likely go straight to the trash bin and people are more likely to unsubscribe since they won’t remember you.
While social media advertising can be as cheap or expensive as you want, email marketing is even more cost effective. It costs pennies per message and produces a high return on investment. People who have already subscribed to your newsletter or mailing list are already interested in what you have to offer. Those that employ good email marketing tactics generally see an ROI of 3,800 percent.
Of course, your ROI is only as good as your campaigns. If your email marketing game is weak, then you likely won’t see any returns. Make no mistake about it; crafting a good campaign takes work and time. The most successful campaigns segment their subscribers for personalized messages. While it might take some time to craft these different segments and emails, you’ll definitely see better results than if you take a one-size-fits-all approach. You can segment by gender, age, location, years subscribed and more to provide emails that will engage your customers.
Of course, not everyone who signs up for your newsletter will be ready to make a purchase every time he or she receives an email. However, emails are still great ways to nurture your leads to convert into customers later.
There’s still debate on how to measure the success of social media campaigns, and many businesses go about it differently. Not only is it difficult to measure the ROI, but it can also be complicated to track the traffic from these sites.
On the other hand, email marketing is fairly straightforward with a solid set of metrics:
From there, you can input all of this into a simple formula to find out the monetary value of your subscribers and track sales and revenue.
Besides tracking value, you can also perform A/B testing from your email software not only to see what layout works the best but also to provide insight into your customers. Are they taken in by tempting subject lines, or do they prefer more informative ones? You can easily test, measure and improve upon all of this with email.
While email is no longer the only means of communication, it is one of the few that remain private and serves as a direct connection between you and the customer. While email marketing might be an old tactic, it’s still incredibly effective, cheap and easy to start. With all of the benefits, if you haven’t started an email campaign yet, it’s time to get started.
Do you have an email marketing strategy? If so, do you find it more successful than social media? Let us know in the comments below.