When starting a business, it’s absolutely crucial to invest your time and money as wisely as possible. In terms of marketing, it may be tempting to focus all your efforts on social media. It’s free, after all, and everyone’s using it. However, there’s another channel that’s just as important: email.
Email often gets a bad rap for being outdated – when actually, statistics show that it couldn’t be more relevant. A recent survey conducted by Ascend2 rated email as the second most effective digital marketing channel after your own website.
Think your startup can do without email? Think again. Here’s why you need to make it a priority.
#1 It offers great ROI
The great thing about email? It’s measurable – and it happens to have an excellent ROI.
In 2016, the Direct Marketing Association conducted a survey of US marketers together with Demand Metric, and found that email had a median ROI of 122%.
This is considerably higher than other forms of marketing, including social media. With the right email software, you can closely track each and every newsletter you send – right down to opens, clicks and, most importantly, conversions. In this respect, email lends itself to optimization – and results – like no other.
With such a high ROI on the table, email should be at the heart of your marketing strategy from day one.
#2 Email is universal
Email has been around for decades, but it’s just as popular with millennials as it is with older generations. In fact, email is perhaps one of the most universal channels. It’s not just businesses who use email, either – it’s very much an everyday communications tool in the private sphere too.
What’s more, most consumers have an email app on their phone and are likely to check it on the go. What does this mean for your startup? You can connect with your audience anytime, anywhere – and no matter what your target demographic, email is likely a part of their everyday lives.
#3 It’s efficient
Another advantage of email marketing is that it’s highly efficient. Of course, coming up with exciting content for every newsletter is a time-consuming task, but there is also plenty of room for automation.
There are two types of email campaigns that can be automated – and they are both crucial for customer retention. Trigger emails are sent out in response to certain user actions: for example, a customer makes a purchase and receives an automated confirmation email. Lifecycle emails, on the other hand, address the user at different points in their journey – such as on their birthday, or after a certain period of inactivity.
You only need to create these emails once and determine when and to whom they should be sent out. From then on, these emails will go out automatically – engaging your customers long-term with no more effort on your part. Win-win!
#4 Email is highly targeted
There’s one thing that email can do that many other tools can’t: address each recipient directly. Not only that; it’s incredibly easy to personalize your email content and tailor it to the individual.
The days of generic mass mailing are long gone. In just a few steps, you can provide each and every subscriber with relevant content that they’ll actually enjoy. Once you’ve segmented your contacts into different target groups, you can adapt your emails to speak to their interests.
No matter what channel you’re using, relevance is key. If you don’t recognize and address the needs of your audience, your marketing efforts will fall flat. Email offers so much potential for personalization, it’s almost impossible to miss the mark.
#5 It will help to establish your brand voice
In the early days of business, establishing your voice is key. This means finding the style, tone and language that best reflect your brand’s personality – and of course this needs to be consistent throughout.
Together with your website copy and social media, email is a golden opportunity to build up this voice and show your audience what you’re all about. Whether you’re a corporate brand or a casual company, email enables you to reinforce this and create an identity that your customers will remember.
#6 Email enhances your content strategy
You’ve no doubt thought about your content marketing strategy, but did you know that email can help drive it forward? Be it a blog post, survey, ebook or webinar; any content you publish can be promoted via email. Even if certain users don’t regularly visit your blog or follow you on social media, you can still make sure your content reaches them. Simply deliver it directly to their inbox and encourage them to share it!
If you’re taking the time and effort to produce valuable content, you want to spread it as far and wide as possible. In conjunction with social media, email is the ideal means for sharing your content and positioning yourself as an industry expert.
An email marketing strategy is crucial – both for establishing your brand in the early days and for nurturing long-term customer engagement. Finding the most effective email content for your audience requires plenty of data analysis and a great deal of trial and error. However, once you’ve found what works, email will serve as an incredibly powerful and sustainable marketing tool.