When it comes to digital marketing, there will always be some fancy new technology or platform that all the cool companies are using to hawk their wares. And that’s great. We love new things and we love figuring out the best ways to use them. But it’s important to put that same amount of energy and investment into mastering the tried-and-true techniques as well. And one of the oldest digital marketing technologies also happens to continue to be one of the most effective: email.
Most people have kind of a love/hate relationship with email; especially marketing emails. And we’re not talking about spam here, that’s a whole other thing. But if you’re a brand or company looking to engage with your audience, here’s 5 reasons why email should be at least one component of how you reach out.
1. Ubiquity. Everyone has an email address, everyone uses email, it’s not going anywhere. Currently, there are around 2.6 billion email users, well over a third of the entire human population. Facebook only has a measly 1.9 billion users. That’s right… email is by far the most popular social network.
2. Control. Unlike junk snail mail, email recipients can control who’s allowed to email them. They can unsubscribe or block any sender at any time. Having that much control makes all emails less annoying because we know we can always bail if a company gets too trigger happy with the send button. Plus, recent crackdowns on how companies are allowed to use customer email addresses give users even more recourse if those restrictions are violated.
3. Feedback. All email marketing platforms provide analytics, like open and click-through rates. Combine that with website analytics to get data like conversion rate, bounce rate, and pages per visit, and you’ve got a powerful tool for learning about what your customers want to hear. Throw in A/B testing on both emails and websites and you’re basically unstoppable. Just make sure to keep a close eye on that statistical significance threshold. False negatives–or even worse, false positives–are easy to miss when the numbers are too low.
4. Access. When someone gives you their email address, they’re granting you access to their undivided attention. That attention may only last for about half a second as they glance at your subject line, but they’ve specifically given it to you nonetheless and it’s up to you to make the most of it. This may seem deceptively simplistic, but the level of access you have with an email address is much higher and more direct than practically any form of communication outside a personal conversation. All other forms of digital marketing are controlled by their platform. Facebook decides who see your posts, Google decides who sees your ads, only email can guarantee that inbox ping.
5. Flexibility. The code that goes into an HTML email is basically the same as a really crappy website. It’s like a website from 1997. But just because today’s email clients are stuck in the late 90’s (looking at you Gmail) doesn’t mean your design, messaging, or strategy has to be. From plain text to animated gifs to dynamic server-side queries, you can use email to say whatever you want, however you want. Compare this to, say, a Facebook post, which has a very rigid structure and a set of pre-determined elements. All Facebook posts essentially look and act the same. But every email can be unique.
In fact, when it all comes down to it, the hard part about email is not deciding whether or not it’s an effective way to communicate. The hard part is deciding what to say. The messaging strategy, design, copy, and calls to action are where your marketing rubber meets the digital road.
If you’d like some help figuring out the best way to utilize the power of an effective email, Red Racer Advertising can help. Across the board, our clients’ emails outperform the average global click-through rate by 42% and beat the average open rate by 280%. Give us a call now to talk about how we can help you get the most out your emails.