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In a world dominated by whatever is trending on social media and the buzz around new technology, it is important that marketers don’t lose sight of this fact - sometimes the old methods still work best.

As the descendant of direct mail, email marketing is rooted in a time before the ‘inbound’ approach came to dominate online branding and promotions. At a time when marketing is increasingly characterised by sophisticated data analytics and targeting, complex cross-channel integration and multiple content strategies, just sending a load of emails can seem overly simple, perhaps even crude and out-dated.

But the truth is, it works. For all the much-eulogised benefits of SEO, social media and PPC advertising, email campaigns consistently generate high ROIs that match or better any other marketing strategy.

Still not convinced? Here are 10 other reasons why email still deserves to be a cornerstone of your marketing operations.

 

1. Simplicity

Email marketing campaigns are among the most straightforward to launch and manage. Once you have gathered your subscriber list and built some templates, each mailout is just a case of adding some content and hitting send. You can literally reach 1000s of potential customers for the sake of a few minutes’ work.

 

2. Low cost

Simplicity also means great value for money. With no overheads in terms of things like advertising fees, and being much less time consuming than social or SEO campaigns, the only things you are likely to pay for are the means of capturing customer details, template designs and ongoing analytics.

 

3. Opt-in audience

Brands are rightly concerned about email campaigns becoming SPAM, but the simple solution to that is to only send communications to opt-in subscribers. Under the new GDPR rules, it is obligatory to be clear about why you are collecting email addresses anyway. Ultimately this benefits brands because you know any emails you send are to people who want to receive them.

 

4. Easy metrics

Email makes it extremely easy to measure campaign performance. You are always working with a fixed number of recipients, and from any standard email account you can easily measure things like bounce-backs and the number of unopened emails. It is just as easy to measure click-through rates from email using widgets on most CMS dashboards.

 

5. Encourage conversions

Email campaigns are built around calls to action - the whole point of sending the communication is to encourage recipients to click through to view a special offer or new product, or take part in a quick survey. With an opt-in audience, this leads to high levels of conversions.

 

6. Speedy results

Following on from this, email marketing also tends to lead to rapid conversions. Unlike many forms of content marketing, which are a bit like a fisherman dangling bait in the water and waiting for a bite, email encourages a quick either/or decision. Messages are delivered instantly, and on opening recipients will choose either to follow the link or ignore it.

 

7. Straightforward targeting

Marketers love to maximise conversions and ROI by making sure that messages are targeted as carefully as possible to appeal to audiences. Again, email makes this easy. Because you are working with a database of subscribers, it is very straightforward to filter recipients by age, location, gender or any other criteria based on the information you collect about subscribers.

 

8. Easy to personalise

An additional element of targeting is the ability to personalise emails. Using a mail merge wizard, you can make sure every message contains the name of the recipient. This encourages engagement and a feeling of closer association with the brand.

 

9. Global reach

More than half the world’s population use email, and the numbers are still going up. Unlike social media, there is no proprietary lock-in between platforms - Gmail subscribers can still mail Outlook and Yahoo! Mail users, for example. This also overcomes regional preferences for certain brands. Put simply, across regions and across demographics, email offers arguably the widest reach of any digital communications channel.

 

10. Outstanding financial returns

We started out by saying that email delivers outstanding ROI. According to eConsultancy, three quarters of marketers rate email as the best channel for ROI. In addition, the returns you can expect from ever £1 spent are still rising - up from £30.03 in 2016 to £32.28 in 2017, according to the DMA.

Because of its high conversion rate, email also returns exceptional results for driving purchases, and is often the channel of choice for previewing new products or launching special offers for existing customers. In total, email is thought to generate £29bn in retail revenue annually.

 

Interested in hearing more about how email can drive more traffic to your websites and boost revenue? Get in touch with our digital marketing team for a friendly no-obligation chat.

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Written by Carrie Shaw May of 2018