Is Email Marketing Still Effective?
Curious whether or not email marketing is still effective in the age of social media, SEO, and PPC?
As a small business owner, the decisions you make around marketing and advertising spend are crucial to the overall success of your business. If you’re looking for a marketing tactic that will allow you to generate new leads, engage current and potential customers, drive website traffic, and keep costs low, then look no further than email marketing.
We’ve collected our favorite email marketing statistics and the eighteen biggest benefits of email marketing for small businesses. We hope they’ll inspire you to make the most of your next email marketing campaign.
Email Marketing Stats
Email isn’t going anywhere, and neither is email marketing.
If you’re still dubious that email marketing is effective, keep reading for a list of email marketing stats from 2019 that show just how influential it can be. (All stats via HubSpot and Retail Dive)
- Email marketing generates $44 for every $1 spent.
In case you don’t have your calculator hand, that’s a staggering 4,400% ROI. Without a doubt, email marketing is (still) one of the most effective digital channels available today.
- 73% of millennials prefer communications from businesses via email.
This matches the people’s overall preference for business communications via email, but millennials seem to be particularly happy to see branded messages in their inbox.
Considering millennials are currently estimated to have somewhere between 1-3 trillion US dollars in spending power, this group is certainly worth paying attention to.
- More than half of US survey respondents check their personal emails more than 10 times a day.
Yeah, so we might be a little email obsessed.
Although with research suggesting the average American adult checks social media at least that frequently, this might speak more to the ever-increasing online world we live in. Indeed, mobile opens account for 46% of all marketing email opens, according to HubSpot.
Whatever the reasons, small business owners can be assured marketing emails will be seen pretty quickly.
- 59% of surveyed respondents feel like marketing emails influence their purchase decisions.
This just goes to show that promotional emails are still persuasive, even in the new decade. If you’re worried that emails won’t appeal to the younger generations as well as social media does, think again. The majority (68%) of millennials feel that promotional emails have influenced their purchasing decisions.
- Almost 60% of marketers report email marketing as their biggest ROI source.
We can attribute this to email marketing’s ability to give businesses of all sizes a healthy ROI. In fact, according to Statista, email marketing has a median ROI of 124%, proving that small businesses have much to gain.
While there are many reasons for this high ROI, the most notable success factors are: email marketing’s ability to move people down the marketing funnel, the growing number of email users, and people’s willingness to receive marketing messages via email.
- 78% of email marketers have witnessed increased email engagement over the last 12 months.
As you’ll soon read, email marketing naturally lends itself to increasingly positive results.
For more details on why email marketing is still so successful, keep reading for the top 18 benefits of email marketing for small businesses.
Top 18 Benefits of Email Marketing for Small Businesses
- Email Marketing is Incredibly User-Friendly
Email marketing is user-friendly, easy to start, and simple to manage. Compare this to the learning curves of tactics like SEO and Google Ads, and this digital marketing channel feels like a walk in the park.Email marketing tools are available at a wide range of prices, and most free plans can support small businesses for quite a while. From customizable templates, to automation tools, to email list importing, you can easily get your first email marketing campaign up and running in under an hour.Achieving great results with accessible tools? Sign us up.
- Get Regular Access to Your Audience
As you saw above, about half of surveyed American respondents reported checking their email more than 10 times a day. What’s more, a report by the Digital Marketing Community found that 80% of Americans check their email at least once a day.Okay, so Americans are pretty tethered to their emails. What does that mean for email marketers? Put simply, you’re getting in front of your audience on a regular basis. Compared to the fierce competition and algorithmic complications of organic social media marketing (looking especially at you, Facebook), email marketing is a clear slam-dunk.
- Consumers Prefer Email
While each individual has their own preference for interacting with brands, it’s undeniable that nearly everyone looks forward to email messages from businesses.In fact, a 2019 study found that 51% of consumers prefer email for brand communications. Email massively out-performs other marketing channels like social media (preferred by 25% of those surveyed) and text messages (9%).After all, your email subscribers have already given permission to receive messages from your business, which makes them much more likely to read, engage, and take action on your content. Why not reach your audience where they’re most looking forward to hearing from you?
- Automation Saves Time
Email automation comes in many shapes and forms, and it’s nearly impossible to go wrong. Drip campaigns are popular email marketing campaigns that send automated email messages on a set schedule. Once set up, these campaigns create automatic communication touch points with customers.Automations can also automatically send relevant messaging to your customers when they’ve abandoned an online cart, visited a specific web page, or even placed an order.Considering the massive number of individuals automated campaigns can reach after a one-time, set-it-and-forget-it creation, email marketing is an incredible time saver.
- Drive Conversions
Overall, email marketing drives more conversions than other marketing channels, including search and social. This is because email generally has a better reach, more engaged audiences, and more content flexibility. With well-written, automated emails that end in a clear call-to-action, email marketing can help your small business effortlessly drive more conversions.
- Drive Website Traffic
Email marketing provides unlimited space to craft messages and the ability to format CTA buttons. There’s also no limit on the number of web links you can include in a marketing email. (Now we’re looking at you, Twitter and Instagram.)With more space and no link limitations, it’s easy to write compelling copy linking to relevant content. Colorful CTA buttons at the bottom of an email are also much more compelling than the traditional (ugly) blue links available on social media channels.
- Increase Brand Awareness and Recognition
Regularly scheduled emails increase brand awareness by encouraging long-term, habitual interactions between your business and your customers. Businesses that make their marketing emails synonymous with their brand see an increase in brand awareness. Consistent use of brand colors, fonts, voice, and logo (prominently featured) in all marketing emails nurture brand awareness and recognition.
- Build Trust and Credibility to Deepen Relationships
The 2019 Edelman Brand Trust Survey found that 81% of consumers say trust impacts their purchasing decisions. Like any other relationship, trust between consumers and businesses is typically a function of time, frequency of interaction, and exchange of values.Email marketing is a great way to build credibility, especially with consumers who aren’t following any of your social media channels. The monthly newsletter is the best-known credibility and relationship building email tactic. However, any honest and regularly scheduled marketing emails can nurture trust, establish credibility, and foster meaningful relationships.
- List Segmentation Enables Targeting
Email marketing also allows businesses to segment their email list into different groups.The possibilities for email segmenting are endless and entirely customizable. Common methods of segmenting include specific characteristics, interests, email sign-up method, and different actions taken on your website (like a purchase).Obviously, these email marketing segments allow for more targeted email content, which, in turn, makes your email marketing more likely to drive engagement and conversions. In fact, HubSpot reported that marketers using segmented campaigns have seen as much as a 760% revenue increase.
- High Level of Personalization
Although emails are typically designed at the campaign or segment level, email marketing tools let small businesses add extra levels of personalization.You can easily greet readers by first name, offer additional information on products they’ve considered but not purchased, and otherwise automate personal touches. It’s well worth it, since Experian reports that including a customer’s first name in the subject line drives 29% higher unique open rates and 41% higher unique click-through rates.Adding personal touches like first names, hobbies, and location-specific information in your subject lines and emails tells readers that your business values and understands them.
- Foster Word-of-Mouth Marketing with Sharable Email Content
When done right, your email marketing can cross over into word-of-mouth marketing, which is arguably the most valuable of all. In 2020, 74% of consumers recognize word of mouth as a key influencer in purchasing decisions.Adding social media and email share buttons are easy ways to encourage readers to share their favorite content. When shared between individuals this way, your content automatically gains more credibility and value in the eyes of the new reader. Not only does this (effortlessly) increase your reach and generate new leads, but it also adds credibility to your business at the exact moment you’re introduced to new readers
- Create Anticipation
As you may know, modern consumers don’t like when brand social accounts post nothing but promotional content. Maintaining a social media content mix might be best practice, but it’s limiting when you have a major upcoming promotion or event you want to plug.Email marketing solves this problem, since most people subscribe to emails to stay-up-to date and/or get special offers.This is really a win-win, since consumers appreciate getting the “inside scoop” from their preferred brands, and businesses benefit from the easy promotion.
- Increase Abandoned Cart Conversions
If you’re an e-commerce business, you’re familiar with the frustrations of abandoned carts. Approximately 75% of people abandon their online carts, and research indicates that number is actually growing. Obviously, this is a major problem, especially considering how much effort and money it takes to convince people to put items into their online cart.Checking in with these almost-customers is one of the simplest ways to drive sales, and email marketing does this automatically. Automation features allow you to send people who have abandoned their carts a gentle reminder and a link back to your site to complete their purchase.Abandoned cart emails are generally successful, boasting an open rate of almost 45% and a click through rate of 21%. Better yet, about half of those clicks lead to a completed purchase.Create one abandoned cart email automation, then watch as people return to their abandoned carts and make purchases. Cha-ching.
- Test Email Content to Optimize Other Content
Since you can easily create tailored content for each of your audience segments, email marketing also allows you to track clicks and conversions by segment. This granular level of content creation, segmentation, and metrics tracking can identify the content and messaging that resonates best with each audience segment.This is a particular advantage of email marketing over social media marketing, since social platforms can only provide insights on your following as a whole, rather than by segment. With proper testing and tracking, email marketing can provide valuable insights to help you optimize all future digital marketing efforts
- Make the Most of Each Piece of Content: Content Repurposing
Content is king, but it’s not easy to keep up a constant stream of content across multiple digital channels. Email marketing is an opportunity to generate new content and re-purpose old content.For example, a high-performing piece of email content can be tweaked for publishing on social media. Alternately, popular blog and social posts can be collected into a newsletter.When it comes to using email marketing to support your other digital marketing channels, the possibilities are almost endless. Since people are more likely to see your email than your social post, this is a great way to share high-quality content while getting the most out of your evergreen content
- Reach Current Customers Directly
In the era of shrinking organic social reach for brands, the directness of email marketing is incredibly important. Unlike other digital channels (such as LinkedIn, organic search, and PPC), email is one of the last channels where people (not algorithms) are in control. This means that your reach is not artificially manipulated by engagement rates, posting times, and worldwide trends.Since it’s not dependent on outside factors, email marketing gets brand messages in the correct inbox 85% of the time, with an average email open rate of about 23%. Compared to the average organic Facebook Page reach (just 6.4%), email marketing is the clear winner.
- No Format Regulations = Maximum Versatility
Unlike other digital channels that force marketers to conform to exact formats and specifications, email marketing is beautifully open and versatile.Feel free to use any combination of text, images, videos, attachments, and links you think will best appeal to your audience. You’re also able to use as much text as you’d like, which is a welcome relief from the restrictions of channels like Google Ads and YouTube.Now, that doesn't mean your email marketing campaigns should include mountains of text. We suggest using your extra space strategically by providing only the most important details and captivating visuals.
- Improve Visibility
Putting your products and services on your website simply isn’t enough. That places the burden of education on the consumer, when successful businesses proactively promote their goods and services.Sharing the whole range of your products and/or services with your subscriber list is an easy way to increase exposure and visibility.
- Email Marketing is Incredibly User-Friendly
As you can see, email marketing is more relevant than ever. We highly recommend email marketing for small businesses, because it’s cost-effective, versatile, and consistently delivers excellent results.
If you’re ready to launch your first email marketing campaign, read our guide on creating an email marketing campaign, complete with tips to help you beat the inbox competition in 2020.