As we look to 2018, especially in planning for budgets and marketing strategy, there is one area that should not be overlooked - email marketing. While you might be tempted to keep up with the Joneses on the hottest social media platform or develop a mobile app, email marketing has held its place as one of the most dependable marketing channels.
No matter what type of business you are, email marketing can play a serious part of your strategy. And there are many reasons why:
- Email usage is massive. There are an estimated 3.7 billion email users worldwide. That’s more than the most popular social media site on the planet, Facebook. In today’s world it’s, almost impossible to do something online without an email address.
- Email is a familiar home. Gaining genuine steam in everyday life by the late 1980s, everyone from the oldest generation to the youngest is familiar with email. Remember Myspace, Ping, or Friendster? Those are just a few examples of social media platforms that have fallen by the wayside. I’m not saying that email will be around forever, but it has stuck around while social platforms come and go, and organic search faces a slow takeover by paid ads.
- Email is mobile. An estimated 86% of US mobile phone users check personal email on their devices. With more total internet usage on mobile devices than desktop now, email is one of the best ways to connect with your audience, especially for B2C businesses.
- Email delivers. In one study 73% of companies responded that email delivered good to excellent return on investment, more than any other channel. For retail professionals, 80% listed email as their best channel for customer retention. Email can be cost effective too. SMBs with a small list can find a number of platforms within their budget.
- Email can be diverse. Modern email platforms allow for powerful customization features including list segmentation, personalized content, and marketing automation. By utilizing these features you can target your audience in just the right moments and in just the right ways for higher open rates and more business:
- Give customers that abandoned their shopping carts a unique discount
- Move B2B leads from just mild interest to a sale with automated drip campaigns
- Send unique newsletter content to different audience segments
- Personalized content with names in the subject line and greeting
- Timely emails for customer birthday discounts, free trial expirations or subscription renewals.
Like any other channel, email marketing must be carefully planned. From design to messaging, email should be aligned with your other channels to maintain brand consistency and achieve your goals. Email is also one more opportunity to test, analyze and pivot as data comes back and the unique aspects of your industry evolve.
If you haven’t seriously considered email marketing as part of your strategy, or are looking to optimize your existing programs, there is no better time to start than 2018.