If you ask me what the current digital marketing trend is, the one thing that everyone is asking us for right now – it's got to be email marketing. That said, when it comes email marketing activity there are still the non-believers out there. When I suggest it to them they say things like ‘Yeah, but does email marketing work? (The answer I want to give is yes – or I wouldn't have brought it up!)
Email marketing is something we've always encouraged clients to do as it's massively effective. Reaching your database in their inboxes is powerful and something to be leveraged. I was talking to a client earlier this week and the response I received was ‘ Yeah, I'm not sure email marketing's for us.' – That's what sparked this article. Email marketing is for all businesses, there's no two ways around it.
Email marketing stats you should know
There are no end of articles out there sharing stats that support email marketing as an activity. Here are just a few of those stats that I believe are well worth taking note of.
“60% of small businesses say their email marketing strategy is effective or very effective.”– AWeber
“43% of small businesses have 500 or less email subscribers.”– AWeber
Owners of small businesses are put off of email marketing because they think they don't have enough data to make it a worthwhile activity. The reality is that this shouldn't stop you. From the moment you add an email address to your CRM, spreadsheet or whatever it is you're using – it's starting to die! You need to keep it alive and kicking, and the best way to do this is by sending regular communication!
‘Regular communication' – that means weekly or monthly in most cases. How often you send emails will be linked to how much content you produce on a regular basis. And it is content that adds value that you should be sending – not just sales pitch after sales pitch!
“40% of B2B marketers claim that email newsletters are the most important tactic in their content marketing strategy.”– Content Marketing Institute
Using email marketing to convert sales
You've probably heard several times that multiple points of contact are required to make a sale. The current thinking is that it's actually 12 points. That's not 12 of the same form of communication – you need to mix it up and use social media, print, the phone and… you guessed it! EMAIL!!!
The thing is, we can learn a lot from our audiences and from the contacts in our databases by analysing behaviour. One of the best things you can do is identify how your database want to be contacted. What's the best solution for them or what makes them most responsive.
“61% of consumers prefer to be contacted by brands through email.”[Statista]
What results can I expect from email marketing
When it comes to measuring results, stop measuring the success of an email in pounds and pence. Instead, think about delivery rates, open rates, click rates, bounces and unsubscribes. For example…
- If the majority of your emails are delivered and you experience very few bounces – that means your data is good and healthy
- High percentage open rates – this means your subject line did its job and grabbed the attention of your recipients
- Click rates – people taking action is exactly what you want to happen. This means the information you provided and the call to action in your email worked
- A successful email has zero unsubscribes – that means it was relevant to everyone that opened it. People saw it in their inbox and did not choose to actively get rid of you permanently.
Different industries have different expectations in regard to how the above stats should read. Check out this report from Mailchimp to see what they're reporting as being achievable for your industry or sector.
So, does email marketing work?
You'll always hear a resounding ‘Hell Yeah!' from me on this one. But there is a caveat; you must give value and you must be patient. You can't expect to send one solitary email and, when you don't get a sale, decide it doesn't work for your business. Stick with it and have a campaign approach – People need to expect to hear from you on a regular basis and it's also important you have a follow up system in place.
A follow up system means figuring out who needs a follow up email or phone call, but it's also about working out whether or not the email you sent worked and how it could be changed for the better.
So, what do you think? What's your answer to the question? Does email marketing work in your opinion? I am a massive advocate for it when it's implemented correctly and I'd love to discuss the question with you!