Many including some notable market experts had said – ‘Email is dead’.
But email marketing fortunately is alive and kicking well, and what more, doing better than ever. More people across the globe today are using the Internet to send and receive emails. The numbers are rising with each passing year, and according to a projection by Radicati Group, the number of emails sent and received worldwide is forecast to increase from 306.4 billion in 2020 to 361.6 billion in 2024.
Many also believed that social media is the way of the future.
While there is no doubt that it indeed is, but when it comes to marketing, Facebook and Twitter are channels used by fewer customers, and where they are used, are for mainly non-business and non-transactional purposes. Marketing messages in social media channels still have not exactly clicked with the customers, and neither have they been able to sync well with customers.
According to one survey report by ExactTarget, around 71% of the consumers still favor email as their first online work in the morning. Also, in terms of performance, email still produces better results than social media, with the average open-rate and click-through rates still far better than that of social media.
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WHY EMAIL CONTINUES TO STAY A POWERFUL CHANNEL?
Email thrives even today because it is still the first channel that allows businesses to forge customer relationship, and build customer database. It is still seen as the most effective source for nurturing leads, making business sales, and above all, creating repeat business orders.
Also, it still
ALLOWS OWNERSHIP OF CUSTOMER DATA
Customer data is important. This is where email scores over social media platforms. With email, businesses will have their own mailing list, own the customer data, and can leverage digital tools to verify email addresses and other data points. Old and inactive email data can be purged out.
When it comes to social media platforms, businesses remain at the mercy of social media companies to gain access to the data. There is no way they can gain insight into whether the data is credible or not, and even if they are credible, they will not have the tools to leverage the data.
- HAS MORE USER-ACCOUNTS
According to a recent survey, email continues to have more number of user-accounts, about three times more than the combined user-account base of Facebook and Twitter. This means, it has around a staggering 2.9 billion user-accounts.
- Combined might of Facebook and Twitter form just a miniscule 0.2% the number of emails (excluding spam mails) sent each day.
- Every web search made on different search engines every day make up just 1/100th of daily email traffic.
- All the pages viewed on the entire web every day, inclusive of images and videos, make-up just a quarter of the net bandwidth consumed by email.
The above stats show how impactful email still remains even today. Despite the fact that many experts have written off email as ‘outdated’ and ‘dead’, it still holds a lot of clout, and is still used by many people the world over.
ATTRACTS MORE ATTENTION
Customers still prefer to spend more time with email than on Facebook or searching Google. They do it because email is still present in their mailbox which they see daily. This allows them to make repeated attempts to converse.
On the other hand, a Twitter tweet or a Facebook post may or may not be seen, since it is targeted in most cases at a wider audience rather than a single individual
Also, Facebook earlier used to allow users to post in the newsfeed. But that has now been discontinued. As a result of the changes made, there has been a dramatic drop in the number of people who actually used to see the posts in the newsfeed. Now, FB users need to use promoted posts to lengthen their reach.
Other aspects that make email superior in terms of attracting more attention are:
- There will be less number of emails received when compared to Twitter tweets or Facebook post status updates. This makes it much easier for businesses to convince users to sign-up for emailing list, and acquire in the bargain potential leads.
- Emails get clicked. Even when you want to delete it, the ‘delete’ click needs to be pressed. On the other hand, Twitter tweets or Facebook posts, can and are often ignored by users unless they have something that interests them.
- Even the most mismanaged inboxes will contain email messages that will still be waiting for the recipient’s attention. In case of Twitter or Facebook, unless the right window is clicked, a message can get ignored.
Finally, the better email messages are for reading, the more the customers would look forward to receiving them
EARNS MORE ENGAGEMENTS
In an opt-in list, the value of an email subscriber will always be higher than the value of a Facebook fan or a Twitter follower. Further, the click-through rates are also higher in emails than Facebook or Twitter.
Suppose, there is an email opt-in list of say, 5,000 subscribers. When compared with a Facebook page that has 5,000 likes, the Facebook page will attract more likes as long as it stays relevant or is of use to the readers. Once it loses its steam, it will have a very negligible rate of engagement between 2-6%. On the other hand, email will continue to engage many times more people for the simple reason; it is addressed personally to each person.
HAS THE SUPPORT OF MORE BUSINESSES
Even though some businesses use Facebook or Twitter or even Google Plus, for communicating with different kinds of people, they still do not make-up a large number when compared to those using email.
Businesses still prefer email for building business relationships and interacting with partners as well as clients. Moreover, they prefer to stick to a single marketing channel which they believe email is, to converse with their clients, rather than shift between different channels of communication. Also, a great majority of businesses do not like to use Facebook or Twitter for one-on-one conversations, and instead consider email to be the first, best social media channel for communication.
REMAINS A POPULAR CHOICE FOR PROMOTIONAL MESSAGES
Despite the growing sophistication of social media channels, people still continue to prefer emails for promotional messages, for the simple reason that it continues to stay as their main commercial channel. A survey conducted by ExactTarget a few months back revealed that more than 77% of the people still look upon email as their preferred channel for promotional messages.
Customers have been getting offers by email for a long time now and become accustomed to buying products through email. So they are used to it and still continue to have a high tolerance for offers by email. On the other hand, Facebook and Twitter still do not have the right ecosystem for accepting and disseminating promotional messages. They are more of a medium where people meet and chat up or where people find interesting things to share. It is very seldom that people look to buy anything when promotional messages are conveyed through Facebook or Twitter.
WHAT MAKES E MAIL MARKETING SO COST-EFFECTIVE?
Most consumers still want businesses to communicate with them through email, while most businesses still want to use email because it delivers the most ROI, and still remains one of the most cost-effective digital marketing mediums to reach out to and engage with their target-audience.
Even as traditional marketing mediums like print ads and TV are becoming costlier, email marketing on the other hand, still involves minimal costs, allowing businesses to still maximize their budget efficiently. It is still inexpensive in terms of costs involved in running and maintaining email marketing campaigns.
It is still cost-effective because it
CAN BE PERSONALISED FOR BETTER RESULTS
Email messages are more personal than a message conveyed by a Facebook post or a Twitter tweet. They can also be personalized a lot more easily than a message on social media channels.
One-on-one communication in E Mail creates better impact and scales positively, since the message is addressed personally and recipients who receive them feel a more personal touch. On the other hand, a Facebook post can either be addressed to one person or addressed to everyone in general.
CAN BE MADE INTERACTIVE
A digital marketing campaign that is interactive stands a higher chance of appeal and response rate among different target market categories. Email marketing allows interactive content that connects with the consumer’s aspirations, to be delivered straight into their inboxes, all of it at a very low cost, and integrate other channels into it.
This is far more effective than guiding the consumer to a landing page. Also, more types of interactive content can be experimented with in email marketing, from email carousels to embedded video content. Similarly, social media share buttons can be used to coax the mailed consumers to share the interactive emails on social networks.
FACILITATES BETTER DATA SEGMENTATION
With Email, it is possible to segment messages. This means, you can see what impact earlier email messages have generated, that is, whether they have been opened or not and whether the links contained in the message have been clicked or not. This study will allow marketers to understand recipient behavior and leverage the said data collated to segment subscribers automatically.
On the other hand, Facebook offers only a certain amount of control in the form of demographic targeting, but that does not exactly help in tracking it to the individual level.
The ability of email to segment and track at an individual level allows it to make a better job of attracting potential leads and increasing conversions.
CAN REACH MORE MOBILE CUSTOMERS
More than five billion people worldwide are mobile users, and the numbers still continue to rise. Add to this, around 2/3rd of the mobile users still check for emails and emails still are read on tablets or Smartphone’s.
Every time a person checks the mobile, it offers an opportunity for your business to reach out to and engage. Most marketing strategies are not make for mobile engagement but email marketing is and what more, it is extremely cost-effective and also offers abundant opportunities to get across their message to the mobile users. All that needs to be done is to develop powerful short email content with an eye-catching responsive design, and a few images or videos that can be clicked on.
CAN BE EASILY MEASURED
Email marketing campaigns can be easily tracked and measured with the help of email marketing metrics/analytics.
Your business will be able to find which of the users have opened their emails, clicked the links mentioned in them, and taken action, as well as how many of them have unsubscribed from your business email list after opening the email. It is also possible to perform A/B testing which will give you an insight into which specific aspects of the email messages have produced the best results. The data collected will help your business to analyze the digital marketing strategy and fine-tune it for improved performance.
With email, marketers will also have greater control over the design and content of the email message.
They can put more information in an email in a way without diluting user-experience or making it negative. On the other hand, in a social media channel like Facebook or Twitter, they are constrained by the limited capabilities of the social platform which means lesser information can be introduced, and which at times can dilute the very significance of the message.
Overall, email still continues to be technically far superior as a marketing medium.
Social media channels however are getting more sophisticated. They can effectively complement email by acting as a constant source of new subscribers to the opt-in mailing list.
MAKE YOUR EMAIL MARKETING CAMPAIGN SUCCESSFUL
To make your email marketing campaign more successful, you need to build-up your email list more; and use the right type of content that appeals to the sentiments of the consumers, engages them, and influence them to convert over time. The bigger the email list, the more your business will be facilitating successful conversions.
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