Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest - the world of social media regularly consumes the realm of online marketing, leaving its less trendy counterparts - including email - off the radar of many small marketing teams.
Email might not be one of the cool kids, but it definitely achieves tangible results according to experts including the CEO of the Association for Data-driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA), Jodie Sangster and the CEO of the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), Joe Pulizzi.
Data collected by several market research agencies affirms email as an effective tool for businesses to achieve quantifiable results, sales conversions and therefore a return on investment.
CEO and founder of CMI, Joe Pulizzi explains the effectiveness of email as an online marketing tool rests heavily on the quality of the content it contains. Quality content that speaks loudly to the audience you most want to reach - that "adds value" by providing relevant and interesting information, a visually appealing design and a clear call-to-action achieve the greatest results.
Why is email still so effective?
These three basic traits of email marketing - whether it is a regular eNewsletter or a one off eBlast - underpin the continued relevance and success of email:
1. Email is personal
Email marketing techniques rely heavily on a database of voluntarily accumulated contact details from individuals who have previously engaged with your brand and intentionally provided their personal information. This may occur during a business transaction, event or seminar or simply while browsing your business website. Solely interacting with willing subscribers increases the likelihood of audience engagement when rolling out an email campaign.
Email communication directly addresses the recipient, landing straight in their inbox along with the messages of trusted friends and family. This affords an email greater intimacy than other modes of content marketing.
The direct nature of email communication allows for increased data collection from the personal information readily volunteered by subscribers. This may be used to inform content and heighten the efficacy of subsequent emails.
Mass email marketing platforms such as Vision 6 enable a sophisticated level of audience segmentation to send marked groups more relevant information by tailoring content to a particular audience. This is achieved through splitting the list of contacts on your business database into various audience groups.
Test emails sent to limited subscribers give marketers the ability to monitor and compare the effectiveness of various types of content and to design email campaigns that speak directly to the people you most want to engage.
2. Email is mobile
An increasing number of internet users regularly prefer to access the internet via portable devices including tablets and smartphones. Content that is not easily accessed, viewed or navigated across multiple devices is consequently disadvantaged.
Email has nothing to worry about! Mobile friendly, visually pleasing, easy-to-navigate and accessible from any device at any time, users are able to engage with your content whenever and however best suits them.
3. Email is social, too
Shareable content is often relegated to the world of email's younger and cooler cousin, social media, where information is readily passed from user to user. An email does not initially appear to provide the same level of interaction because its contents are rarely posted to a Facebook timeline and shared to hundreds of social media contacts.
They are, however forwarded by subscribers to people they feel will also have a vested interest in the content provided. Statistics indicate those who receive a forwarded email are far more likely to engage with its content in a meaningful manner.