Email Marketing- What is It?
Amongst the most efficient digital marketing channels, email marketing inevitably ranks quite highly due to the assistance it provides in promoting a business’ service, or product. Essentially, it increases awareness between a customer, and a business, since it integrates the latest offers, and items, into the marketing automation practices of a company. It further contributes towards a company’s marketing strategy when it comes to brand awareness, lead generation, building relationships, and ensuring customers remain engaged, across their different purchases, through various forms of marketing emails.
As per campaign monitor, Email marketing is regarded as the most effective form of digital marketing. This is because for every $1 a business spends on email marketing, the ROI, return on investment, is an average $44.
Why is Email Marketing Essential for Businesses Today?
It is exceedingly crucial in today’s economic world since the platform is, largely, the most adequate way of reaching out to target customers specifically,
(rather than shooting your shot blindly). Due to its personalized form of utilization, it can be tailored as per a customer’s actions in order to showcase content which is relevant to their interests. This could entail a large variety of topics inclusive of the company itself, feedback requests, and victories. With over 2.5 billion users today, email marketing is projected to grow only further.
Colin Nederkoorn, the founder of Customer.IO states, “If you’re running a real business, email is still the most effective way to universally reach people who have expressed interest in your product or site. For that, it really can’t be beaten.”
And yet, aside from its definitional uses, email marketing is meant to propel the overall growth of a business. It possesses the potential to attract new customers, generate leads, and maintain important relationships with clientele, across the globe, in a highly efficient manner. After all, emails have long been a go-to method of exchanging custom messages globally. When implemented adequately, it permits the smooth conversion of users into customers, or long-term clients.
In 2019, as depicted by Statista, the number of email users, across the globe, amounted to an astounding 3.9 billion, with an expectation to grow to over 4.3 billion by 2023.
Seeing as that’s half of the entirety of the world’s population, suppressed usage of email marketing is a major bane for businesses globally.
Regardless of whether businesses across a range of industries can heavily benefit from the usage of email marketing, it has proven to be more effective across certain industries. This isn’t necessarily due to larger audiences within particular industries, but more so because or better utilisation of email marketing by businesses within those industries. Amongst these, a few particular industries perform better than others, as elaborated upon below, alongside why they are able to do so.
Which Industries Best Utilise Email Marketing, and How Do They Do It?
Travellers are known to focus on reviews, and prices, when selecting a hotel. Marketing hotels happen to use this data to their advantage; this can be seen when a potential customer visits a site, browses through hotels, but doesn’t make a booking. Following this behaviour, the company ensures the viewer is sent a customised list of hotels, through email, as per the prices and reviews mirroring their own search. It will also contain important CTAs such as links to particular hotels.
Given that the hospitality industry generates $7.6 trillion annually, with the U.S. generating $3 trillion itself, the industry has long been prone to the utilisation of effective practices which enable its growth further.
This behaviour is visible through the global giant Airbnb. The company utilises software which enables them to quickly send emails once certain behaviours have been monitored, such as searching for a hotel, but not following through with a booking. If a viewer does not make a booking following the first email, Airbnb proceeds to send out a second email, consisting of promising alternatives, in comparison to the first.
Airbnb’s practices vividly display automation policies widely utilised across the email marketing spectrum, rather than simple usage of email marketing.
The Retail Industry
Since sales are distinctive towards activity generated by email marketing, retailers, including those in the e-commerce industry, are able to track results. This is singular to the retail industry since several other industries are unable to track sales from emails directly.
Retailers are able to benefit from email marketing by incessantly reminding customers to make a purchase repeatedly. In fact, the more data a larger retailer has, the more conversions they are able to enjoy. The vast audience to which larger retailers send emails permits them to increase their potential revenues through diverse email campaigns.
In fact, over 80% of professionals, within the retail industry, state email marketing is the largest force of customer retention, followed by social media at just 44%.
The Wedding Industry
In order to attract conversions and be successful, email marketing typically requires immense trust between the audience and the respective company. To build this trust, companies need to cater to an audience’s wants for a lengthy period of time, which is why the wedding industry, given the average length of an engagement being 14.5 months, is able to enjoy the benefits of email marketing.
Moreover, since several sectors of a company’s work are automated, they are able to cut down on costs and improve email marketing campaigns without increasing their spendings.
It is statistically expected, by 2022, that over 50% of the world’s population will be utilising emails both as a part of their businesses, and their personal lives.
Emails are the perfect tools for luxury brands since it allows them to effectively utilise two of their biggest selling points: stunning visuals, and vivid storytelling.
Since email marketing requires far less funding than other campaigns comparatively, the Return on Investment (ROI) is exceptionally high within the luxury industry. One of the primary ways luxury brands are able to accomplish this is by sending audiences pictures of their products being utilised in the wider environment. This promotes its usage, whilst providing audiences with content on how the particular product resonates with their lifestyle.
Within the luxury industry, around 82% of customers readily engage with brand emails, whilst the average ROI is over 2,500%. This has long made email marketing a sound favourite of digital marketers working for luxury brands.
Regardless of larger industries which utilize email marketing, it is highly essential for startups, and smaller businesses, as well. This is because email marketing, as established earlier, continues to be the biggest driver of customer retention, alongside the primary acquisition for smaller businesses. As per Emarys, over 81% of businesses classified as SMBs rely on email marketing as their primary channel, with over 80% of retention.
So Why Exactly is Email Marketing Essential for Small Businesses, and Startups?
Email marketing is more effective than social media marketing
When it comes to customer acquisition, though social media is exceedingly crucial for a business, email marketing is inevitably the backbone of a strong marketing strategy. When a business wishes to convert its viewers into members, or into customers, a popular study by Custora highlighted that customer acquisition, through the utilisation of email marketing, has more than quadrupled since 2013.
Cost Effective and Economically Effective
Given that email marketing is largely inexpensive, it allows various business owners to reach a larger base of customers at a rate of close to nothing per message. For startups and small businesses which often start off with a limited budget, it is a far better option in comparison to traditional choices such as radio, direct mail, or TV channels.
Moreover, if an email list is adequately maintained, small businesses will
be able to enjoy an increase in cost benefits alongside establishing closer relationships with their recipients. This leads to higher response rates, coupled with positive responses at a quicker, and lower cost per unit.
Customisable and Personal
When businesses utilise email marketing, they are ensuring that their audiences are segregated into lists which each receive personalised email messages resonating with the viewer.
Statistically, according to DMA, targeted emails generate over 58% of all revenue, whilst marketers utilising degenerated campaigns have enjoyed a revenue increase by an astounding 760%, as observed by Campaign Monitor.
When this is combined with personalised tactics, the growth rate of a business is far more. A popular practise within email marketing is the utilisation of a recipient's name within the subject line; this tactic in itself is 26% more likely to be opened by a recipient.
Email marketing differs greatly from spam, and should never be treated as such. It is an important practice for startups, and small businesses, to establish relationships, generate leads, and increase engagement by current customers. If utilised inadequately, it can often come across as an invasion of space.
Email marketing is subjected to primary actions which recipients are expected to perform; these are inclusive of a reply, forwarding the email, signing up, straight up purchases, or even a click-through. In fact, given the transactional nature of email itself, it is best utilised to direct traffic to your website in order to drive sales.
Therefore, when developing your marketing strategy as a small business, it is important to use email automation based on various riggers generated by customers, rather than simply sending out newsletters.
According to Experian, transactional emails generate eight times the normal clicks and opens ,in comparison to other kinds of emails, while further leading to generating six times more than the average revenue.
Mobiles allow the constant checking of emails
In today’s world, emails are being checked everywhere from a Starbucks line, to an office commute, or even within a doctor’s waiting room.
In 2014, a study conducted by Exacttarget reported that 91% of populations, across the globe, utilise their smartphones in order to check their emails.
Withholding usage of email marketing as a crucial part of any marketing strategy inevitably results in the loss of a major channel used by people all across the world.
Now that the effectiveness of email marketing has been established, particularly for smaller businesses and startups, there are several notable ways to grow your business via email marketing. Studies continue to reiterate customers’ preference of receiving marketing materials through their emails, propelling our focus on email marketing as a crucial part of any marketing strategy.
What are the Best Practises which Generate Sales and Allow Small Businesses to Grow?
1. Ease the Signing up Process
It is unrealistic to expect your email list to grow by utilising semi-hidden forms for signing up on your company’s website. In fact, you must ensure to have multiple subscribe forms across your website so viewers are able to better engage with your content in multiple ways.
These should be included within the content of a blog, the homepage, alongside widgets on the sidebar, and especially in the footer sections of different web pages. Moreover, it is best to add them to the navigation menu as well since this is easily visible, and often utilised, by customers.
Another popular option to take advantage of is the installation of exit intent technology software; this would display a popup form, just as viewers are about to exit your company website, providing them with one last opportunity to subscribe.
2. Incentive your Clientele
Comparatively, it is far easier to make people sign up than it is to want them to sign up for themselves. One of the best tactics to do so is by offering a content upgrade. This would encourage viewers to subscribe to your company’s email list, in order for you to send out lucrative campaigns which direct people to your site so they may indulge in purchasing products.
To put it simply, by offering viewers something valuable, you are allowing them to subscribe on their own accord.
3. Diversify your Content
Customers are known to dislike incessant email campaigns which are all promotional. This is because they like to feel as if a company is offering them something valuable, as mentioned earlier as well. Therefore, it is essential to vary the content you’re sending out as a part of your campaign.
A few notable options of differing content ideas are as follows:
Product and Service Information: sending out email campaigns informing customers of the launch of a new product, or a service, excites your audience of things which are both old, and new, on your website.
Event: small businesses and startups can host product demos, or educational seminars, at their business, to which local customers can be invited.
Newsletters: newsletters allows businesses to share diverse information which is inclusive of promotional content. This allows a business to promote a service, or product, without having it labelled as spam. Moreover, you could link your newsletter back to your website, specific blog content, or even your social media platform in order to boost sales and generate engagement.
Promotions: ironically, customers may not want to incessantly view promotional material. However, they would still like to be notified about special deals, or upcoming sales. In order to boost your revenue and CTR, utilising email marketing to offer coupons or benefits such as free shipping is highly beneficial.
4. Segmenting your Email Lists
It is impossible to send out generic email campaigns to every customer on your subscribers list, and expect conversions. This practice of conforming to blast emails is highly ineffective since customers demand personalisation in today’s world.
Therefore, it is important to segment email lists into various groups which account for something towards your business. Meaningful content is the only way to go now.
For example, small businesses can relate to sending out a specific email campaign to subscribers who have recently engaged in a purchase, a separate personalised email to subscribers who haven’t indulged in the email campaigns sent out for a while, and lastly an email to new subscribers. More importantly, you cannot simply make these all promotional emails since it contradicts the entire purpose of segmenting your email list in the first place.
Pro tip: Statistically, welcome emails have been observed to generate over 320% more revenue, in comparison to promotional emails.
5. Call to Action(s) are Necessary
Regardless of the content of an email campaign, a distinctive call to action (CTA) is extremely necessary within every single email campaign sent out. This should be implemented within emails which aren’t promotional as well.
By providing subscribers with an action, you’re increasing engagement within your website, your business, and your content.
Mentioned below are some important tips for getting subscribers to engage with the CTA button:
It should possess a compelling copy in order to make it exciting, and visually identifiable
The average word count for a CTA should not exceed more than five words. Making it wordy is impractical
Utilise action-oriented copies which tell people precisely what they are meant to do (“Download Now”, “Click Here”)
Ensure the CTA is easy to locate within the content of an email, while also simultaneously making sure it doesn’t distract the subscriber from the content of the email campaign.
What do we know now?
Email marketing is undoubtedly a highly integral aspect of businesses which is successful today. By being aware of its importance, alongside where, and how, to best utilize it, smaller businesses and startups will be able to revolutionize their revenue and propel business growth.