Email is a battle-tested means of communication that has been around for 40 years, but it’s far from hitting its peak potential.
Email marketing today is arguably the most valuable strategy in any brand’s arsenal. Whether you’re a standalone business or an email marketing agency, you’re able to tap into the scale of email if you’re willing to put the work in.
In 2019, out of the 4.33 billion people with internet access, 3.93 billion use email. A report by Radicati projects the number of email users to grow to 4.25 billion by 2022, and each user is estimated to have an average 1.86 email accounts. To put this into perspective, the entire world is projected to have 8 billion people total by that time.
Better yet, email marketing services grant users a higher degree of ownership over the relationship they meticulously build with their subscribers.
For example, a brand that is overly dependent on paid social advertising on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter could have their customer base gutted if that platform says so. A brand that has invested heavily into content and SEO could also found its traffic decimated at a single Google algorithm update.
Email, however, isn’t controlled by a centralized authority like Facebook or Google. Your subscribers are your subscribers, and outside of any email service provider delivery costs, you can reach your audience for free.
This isn’t to say you can’t still leverage the power of paid social or SEO, but brands that neglect to use email as a core element of their marketing strategy are placing themselves at a seriously disadvantage.
Email marketing allows you to directly connect with your audience, promote your brand while taking custody of your story, and increasing sales along the way. When implemented properly, a brand or email marketing agency can create enduring, profitable relationships with their customers.
The Power to Personalize
According to a report by Salesforce, 84% of customers say that being treated like a human being, and not just another number, is important to win their business. Coincidentally, 84% of marketers studied claimed that personalization helps improve their overall marketing program.
Modern email service provider platforms allow for an extremely granular level of personalization, segmentation, and customization, helping brands create these humanizing relationships with their users. Better yet, the automation of these platforms allows brands to do so at scale, and replicate and test the experience for every new customer and subscriber.
What does personalization mean?
It’s more than just making sure you have a “Dear [Fname],” tag.
Personalization means building an intimate understanding of your customers and buyer personas, and mapping out several customer journeys. Here are a few preliminary questions to ask yourself:
- What should they see when they first subscribe?
- What should the next email look like? What service or product are they most likely to respond best to?
- How can we keep the conversation warm without bombarding them with promotional material and discount codes?
- How can we ensure each customer goes through their journey seamlessly while also building an affinity for our brand?
Email Marketing Campaigns
Email Newsletter: an email campaign that goes out on a similar cadence which usually covers one specific topic of interest.
In 2019, Robinhood, a popular investment app valued at over $7.6B, purchased a Millennial-focused daily financial news newsletter and podcast called Market Snacks and turned it into Robinhood Snacks, providing its subscribers digestible financial news.
Why it works: Robinhood intentionally hardly uses Snacks to promote its app, but what it does do very well is hold and own a high-quality investment conversation with its subscribers. Doing so helps it attract new subscribers (and potential Robinhood app users), while simultaneously converting its usual users into raving fans immersed in the Robinhood ecosystem.
Marketing Offer: An individual email or series of emails with the explicit intent to convert readers into paying customers.
Email is a highly effective means of direct response marketing since all of your email subscribers should already be aware of your brand and have some understanding of your value proposition. Segmentation even helps you reveal unique insights about purchase behavior, enabling you to send personalized messages primed to convert.
These email messages are typically very simple:
Showcasing the product or service.
Explicitly offering a price, often part of a promotion (i.e., “Last day to get 30% off!”)
A direct call to action to make a purchase (a bright red “Order Now” button).
Why it works: Direct response has been the bedrock of email marketing for decades because it works. Companies that are able to build highly-effective email sequences that warm up prospects and close are going to get an insane return on investment compared to alternative marketing strategies. In fact, according to a study by the DMA, for ever $1 spent, email has an average $38 ROI– roughly 38x!
Announcements: An email dedicated to share company news such as new products or services, or general company happenings.
Announcement emails are a quick way to get the word out on the street and directly into the inboxes of your subscribers. It’s an easy way to establish another touchpoint with your audience, keeping your brand mentally warm.
Why it works: Announcement emails allow you to own the conversation you have with your audience. Instead of having to rely on an external press release or a Facebook ad blast, you’re able to get your message in front of what is usually your most loyal subsect of customers.
When many business owners witness the power of email marketing first-hand, they experience a fundamental shift to their marketing. They start to view all their other digital marketing endeavors as being tentacles that bring more people to their email lists. Once their target audience is subscribed to their email, they employ a variety of marketing campaigns to keep them warm to buy, engaged with the brand, and loyal.
Email makes opting-in for communication standard, making it a less intrusive option to reach your customers and subscribers. It’s no surprise that email is upwards of 40x more effective at acquiring new customers than Twitter or Facebook, according to a report by McKinsey.
Brands that work with an email marketing agency, one that has an actionable visibility on other concurrent marketing strategies, are able to optimize their email strategy for the long-view.