We often get the question from clients whether email still works as a means of marketing. Many seem to think that email marketing is dead, or that it's outperformed by other tools such as social media. This might be because of the hype that social media gets and the continued push for having a social media marketing strategy and presence, or simply, that email has been around for a while. Whatever it is, what's important to understand is that email and social media have different purposes; the former, is better a driving sales, while the latter, is better at expanding your reach. Email is still relevant and more powerful than ever.

Why email matters

Email marketing is a relationship building tool. Yes, that might sound strange, but it's the best way to convert leads to sales by nuturing relationships directly with the customer. However, it is not only a tool for generating leads, it's cost-efficient tool for generating a return on investment. If done well, company's that use email tend to see either higher sales, greater interaction, and/or loyalty from their customers.

Studies show that email marketing is still the preferred tool of marketers outrankinng social media as seen in the image below.

Marketing tool of choice

image from Medium

5 Reasons to use email marketing

The reach is huge

According to Radicati, the total number of email accounts in 2017 was around 4.9 billion, while active Facebook accounts came in at 1 billion, and Twitter only 255 million. Many think that social media is the most effective to method reach users and that social media presents the largest userbase, but in fact, this is a common misconecption.

The above numbers make sense if you think about it. We use email for pretty much everything online, from signing up to social media platforms, from getting notified about user activity, to streaming, to purchasing to name a few. In order to be online today, you need an email address, which means email has the widest reach of all other marketing channels.

Email delivers

According to Forrester Research, 90% of email gets delivered to the intended recipient’s inbox, whereas only 2% of your Facebook fans see your posts in their News Feed.

That is a huge difference when it comes to delivering your message, product or service to your user. One key reason for this is that subscribers have explicitly told you that they are interested in what you have to say since they subscribed to your email list; hence, the chance of them opening that email is far greater than them clicking on your advertising displayed in their newsfeed on Facebook. In addition, email is about 40 times more effective in acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter.

E-mail remains a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media—nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined

McKinsey

Email has an ROI of 4400%

According to Campaign Monitor, email offers a whopping 4400% ROI, that $44 dollars for every $1 spent.

If done right, email marketing is highly cost effective and give you a real bang your buck. The reason for this is that emails are personal and are able to deliver relevant messages to your target market, unlike social media where segmenting status updates, news or products to your followers is not possible.

Action oriented

Emails are by nature action oriented, meaning that by default we do one of several actions with emails we receive i.e. reply, forward or click. They are transactional by nature and are a great way to dive traffic to your website. However, emails are only the first step in conversion. If the rest of the funnel is not optimised, users are likely to not convert. According to McKinsey, "45 percent of all marketing e-mails today are opened on a mobile device. Yet many marketers fail to optimize landing pages for the platform. If you think that’s no big deal, consider this: Google says 61 percent of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing. And, even worse, 40 percent visit a competitor’s site instead."

It's measurable

Another key reason email marketing is so powerful is that it provides a treasure trove of data of how campaigns are performing and most email plaforms today provide powerful insights. Measuring the success of campaigns is very important because it will help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your campaign so that you can achieve better results and higher conversions.

Conclusion

Whether you are a small, medium or large sized business, making email an integral part of your marketing strategy is key as email not only outranks most other marketing tools today, but is expected to increase in the coming years. It also presents one of the top ROI-generating tools for both inviduals and organisations, and therefore making it part of your marketing strategy is key.