Is Email Marketing Still Worth Your Time in 2021?
Spammy. A good way to keep up to date your favourite brands. Disruptive. Helpful for finding out about the latest offers. These are just a few common opinions people have about marketing emails. This form of digital marketing can be very divisive, with some people finding them hugely helpful while others detest them. So what should you do as a small business owner?
Figuring out whether email marketing is right for your brand and how to do it in a fresh and interesting way can be challenging, which is why today we’ll go through the pros and cons of this form of content marketing as well as briefly addressing how to do it the right way.
What email marketing can do for your brand
When it comes to spreading the word about special offers and discounts, email is still the best avenue for getting the word out to your existing audience. When people sign up to receive your newsletter, they can safely assume they’ll receive promotional emails like this. The same can’t be said about social media, where people don’t usually expect to receive DMs from the brands they follow.
With the modern email inbox’s search parameters, finding out which of your favourite brands are having a sale is easy. So it’s not surprising that 40% of people will check their emails to find out about promotions, while only 4% head to Facebook. So we can be pretty safe in assuming that email newsletters are a good way of building brand loyalty among your existing and prospective customers by offering them an inside scoop about your offers.
Best of all, email marketing does all this without paying large sums of money for PPC campaigns! While we love PPC here at Bundle Digital, hiring a freelance copywriter or hiring a content marketing agency still works out cheaper than if you were to hire a digital marketing professional to do your ads and then paying to get your ads out there.
And while with PPC, you’re often targeting people not yet familiar with your brand, email marketing puts the focus on people who’ve already shown interest in what you do, leading to better conversion rates than if you were to target a completely “cold” audience.
Additionally, when it comes to things like class schedule changes for a fitness studio or a new feature in your digital product, shooting a quick email to your list about this can be a good way to spread the word in conjunction with social media updates. And, similar to social media, email marketing can be a good way to humanise your brand by talking to your fans directly, building your brand image in a very natural way.
The limitations of email marketing
However, email marketing is not without its drawbacks. If your emails aren’t interesting or offer genuine value to your list, you’ll quickly start seeing lower and lower email open rates. Only about 14% of people believe that more than half of the marketing emails they receive are useful to them – and this is a big problem.
In a world where quantity is often valued over quality, people get easily inundated by the amount of marketing emails they receive and, as a result, become increasingly disinterested in marketing emails as a whole. So even if you write and design the best marketing emails in the world, some people will keep deleting them without opening them.
Something we see quite commonly in our clients’ own email campaigns are miscalculations about what their subscribers are actually interested in hearing about. While you and your staff might be chuffed about your new sales manager hire, chances are that the majority of people on your email list don’t really care unless they can expect to be directly in touch with this person regularly.
Similarly, even if you produce cracking blog posts or PDF guides, only about 20% of people will be interested in hearing about these via email when they could just as easily find them on your website or social media.
So the bottom line is that without unique value, a solid strategy and good calls to action, your marketing emails will easily amount to not much more than a shout into the void. Now that we know what you should avoid in your email marketing, let’s take a look at how you can improve the emails your company sends out.
How to build a strong email marketing strategy
So, is email marketing still worth the time and money? As we’re sure you’ve gathered by now, this depends on how you plan to use it and what you want out of it.
Almost all companies could benefit from email marketing, but how do you go about creating good marketing emails your subscribers will be happy to receive and read? This is obviously a very big topic and far too broad for this blog post, but we’ve compiled a few of our top tips below.
As we already touched upon, the key to good email marketing today is making sure your email newsletters offer unique value to your subscribers. That means exclusive offers and updates they won’t find anywhere else.
You should also make it clear what people can expect from you when they sign up to your email list – whether it’s promo codes, giveaways, news, expert information or something else, you’ll attract a more active and interested audience when people know exactly what they’re signing up for. Find a strategy that works for you and stick to it – consistency is what’ll make even less active readers come back to your emails once they’re ready to purchase again.
It should also be said that adding a second opt-in to be sent to new subscribers is important in this day and age, as it’s easy not to realise you’re signing up for an email list when checking out from an online shop or booking a class or a table at your restaurant.
These people will then become easily frustrated when they start receiving numerous emails from you. So while sending an email to confirm their subscription to your list may lead to a smaller email list, it’ll also lead to a more responsive and enthusiastic audience for your emails.
Personalisation is also key – and this is where getting as much information as possible about your subscribers pays off. Segmenting your audience to different groups according to things like age or geographic location and adding personalisation fields such as the subscriber’s first name into your subject line are both examples of this kind of personalisation. And it’s proven to improve email opens and click-through rates! Dropping a special birthday discount code to your subscribers’ inboxes is another great way to boost sales and brand loyalty.
How Bundle Digital can help
If you’re looking for marketing emails that convert, we can help. We’re a small Edinburgh marketing agency with a knack for convincing copywriting and powerful email analytics. We’re big fans of inbound marketing which puts the focus on your potential customers to create marketing messaging that feels genuine and offers value to them through every step of the sales funnel. For more information, get in touch with us today.