It is unusual to think of anything to do with the Internet as being old fashioned, but that is how many people are now viewing email marketing. With the increased popularity of social media, lots of businesses are now bypassing email marketing in favour of posts and statuses.

Several businesses are starting to wonder how important email marketing is with many questioning whether it actually works at all. After all it takes a lot more time and thought to write, design, and distribute an email than to write a post and share it via our chosen social media outlets.


The Facts

If your business is considering the merits of email marketing there are a few important statistics you should be aware of. A recent study has revealed that 91% of consumers check their emails every day; this number is far higher than the number of people who use Facebook, which is the most popular social network. Thanks to Facebook’s algorithm not all of the posts published by a business are shown to fans, whereas all recipients will have the ability to view an email.

It is also important to consider that not all of those who use social media wish to be marketed to. In a poll 77% of consumers stated that they preferred email marketing to the social media alternative. This is further reinforced by last year’s research into lead generation, which highlighted email marketing as the third overall lead generator, producing 13% of leads.


Utilizing Email Marketing

The primary reason email marketing is still so successful is due to businesses ability to personalise emails, targeting specific demographics. The blanket promotions, often used on social networking sites, tend to only appeal to a certain type of person. This is due to the inability to vary the language and images used to successfully appeal to various clientele.

Email Marketing offers us the ability to speak directly to a demographic, we can even create emails that use a recipients name to further personalise the advertisement. Obviously the user will know your business has not written individual emails, but it will show that you have considered the best way to appeal to that person, making them 3-5% more likely to open said email.

These emails should not be seen solely as a way to market your services; email marketing can help a business successfully build lasting relationships. As such it is important not to “spam” your customers with several emails. Over emailing is the reason given for 69% of un-subscriptions.


Creating Your Email

Once you have selected the demographic you wish to appeal to there are a few things you should consider.

Ÿ Subject. Unlike social media, the title or subject of your advert is key in getting individuals to open the email. After all 33% of email marketing recipients open emails based on subject title alone. With this you should describe the offer or service in no more than 50 characters.

Ÿ Voice and tone. It is important to consider the language used in the emails text. The wording of an advertisement aimed at younger women would vary wildly from that used to appeal to middle aged men.

Ÿ Provide a clear call to action. If you are promoting an offer or a new product there should be clear instructions of what the customer should do next, whether that is purchasing an item by a certain date, or entering a competition.

Ÿ Enable social media buttons. It is vital that you have social media buttons placed at the bottom of emails. The inclusion of these has been seen to produce a 158% higher click-through rate. Social media buttons have also been seen to generate new leads.

Ÿ Include a bold image. Try not to overload your email with several images; it’s worth spending a bit of money producing one bold, striking image. Be sure to also include your businesses logo.

Ÿ Test. Test your email on a selection of your customers, this gives you the chance to change and adapt certain aspects that may not be working as well before sending it live to the rest of your client base.


Why to Use Email Marketing

There are several benefits of utilizing email marketing campaigns. They may cost slightly more than free social media, but compared to other marketing methods they are still relatively affordable. Unlike social media, less is more, by providing action orientated information about your business your customers will be more likely to interact with the offers.

Unlike social media, it is extremely easy to measure the success of email marketing campaigns. Particular attention should be paid to bounce and un-subscription rates, this will give you a good example of improvements that should be made immediately. Click-through and delivery rates will provide you with the aspects you should reuse throughout your other campaigns.

A successful email marketing campaign will remind customers of your business and help to build a positive client to business relationship. Most people have emails on their Smartphones and as such the ability to access emails anywhere. The rate that customers act on those emails has increased significantly in recent years.

The benefits of these campaigns are innumerable. As a result of these they tend to have a much more substantial life span than that of social media alternatives. It may have been the result of spamming that resulted in email marketing losing its appeal to businesses. But if done correctly, this type of marketing campaign can be very beneficial to large and small businesses alike.