13 benefits of email marketing
Marketers have used email marketing to drive sales since 1978 when Gary Thuerk sent the first marketing email to customers on behalf of Digital Equipment Corp. Although he only directed his email to 400 people, the email generated $13 million in sales for the company's new product.
While not every email campaign generates that sort of revenue, there are many benefits of email marketing. Here are thirteen of them.
1. Low campaign cost
Historically, marketing has cost businesses a pretty penny in billboards, television advertisements and glossy posters. Email marketing is not so costly, as you only need a computer, a little time and an email marketing system to send out an email campaign.
Thus, the average email marketing cost ranges from $9 to $1,000 a month for a mid-size business.
As its cost is so low, the revenue email marketing generates translates into a high-profit margin.
2. Reach an engaged audience
Some forms of marketing (like social media and billboard ads) are directed at groups of potential customers that aren't familiar with your brand. Email marketing isn't one of these channels, as people must sign-up through your website to join your mailing list.
Thus, as your email marketing recipients have agreed to receive your email marketing, they are a highly engaged audience with a vested interest in your brand, products, or services.
How does this benefit you?
It's easier to convert an engaged audience into customers, as they wouldn't join your mailing list if they weren't already motivated leads.
Email marketing is also highly effective because it leverages a platform people already engage with.
According to Statistica, an estimated 4.1 billion people use email globally. Consumers also want to get marketing emails, as at least 40% of United States consumers want emails at least monthly from their favorite companies.
This makes marketing emails an excellent marketing investment because they engage with ready buyers through a platform they want to receive promotional content on.
3. Create personalized campaigns
Imagine this: you open your inbox, and you immediately see an email from Company A that reads, "hey you. We've launched a new black tea." Simultaneously, you receive a marketing email from Company B that reads, "hey (your name), we've launched a new black tea."
Are you more likely to buy from Company A or Company B?
According to a study from Lifecycle Marketing that analyzed over 7 billion emails, people are 50% more likely to open an email with a personalized email subject line. Non-personalized emails had an average open rate of 14.1%, while emails that included a name had an average open rate of 21.2%.
And email marketing is perfect for personalization. You can address your marketing emails to your customers by name, creating a personal connection and making your customers feel valued as individuals.
Long-term, this connection creates loyalty. Nurturing loyalty in your audience is crucial for the growth of your company, as increasing your customer retention by 5% could increase your profits by 25% or more.
4. Create and nurture leads
In our State of Sales 2020 - 2021 report, we found that 51% of our respondents listed generating leads and prospects as the biggest challenge for salespeople.
Naturally, it's important to look for other lead generation methods, including email marketing.
Email marketing generates high-quality leads for your brand, as you can entice leads onto your mailing list by offering them a lead magnet.
A lead magnet is something you give a lead in exchange for joining your email list. There are many forms of content you can use as a lead magnet, including:
Email marketing also allows you to appeal to leads using different techniques by segmenting them into different demographics or groups. Segmentation is the practice of separating your email list into quadrants and sending specific emails to each.
For example, you can segment your email list into three groups of customers in Canada, the United States and Mexico, and then target each group with location-specific pitches.
As segmentation helps you nurture leads with a personal approach, you are more likely to sell to each lead as you create a deeper relationship with them.
5. Drive revenue with calls-to-action
Email marketing isn't just about lead generation and nurturing, it's also an excellent platform for closing sales, too.
The best way to close sales through emails is through a CTA (call-to-action). A CTA directs your audience to take the first step towards finalizing their purchase. CTA's are the "peak" or "climax" of the email, as the rest of your content builds towards them.
For example, if you were writing an anniversary email, you might start with a greeting: "hey (name), happy anniversary!"
Then, you would follow this up with an offer: "We just wanted to say "thank you" and give you 10% off your next order."
Then you would use the CTA: "click here to redeem your 10% discount voucher."
While you can include CTAs in other forms of marketing, emails are a particularly intimate setting for closing sales, as you have an established relationship with your recipient.
Thus, 59% of marketers say that email is the biggest source of ROI for their company, and 4 out of 5 marketers would give up their social media strategy over their email marketing strategy if they were forced to choose between them.
6. Build brand recognition
What is the first brand you think of when you read "social media?" Although there are hundreds of social media platforms online, you probably thought of easily recognizable brands like Facebook or Twitter.
That's the magic of brand recognition. You didn't need to read "Facebook" to think of the website.
Email marketing is a great way to build brand recognition among your email recipients, as you can create a “brand personality” through your emails. This personality will assign key attributes like specific graphics, tones and style to your brand, making it easy for people to recognize it.
And when customers remember your brand, they're more likely to choose it over a competitor (as you're familiar to them).
So how can you create brand recognition through an email marketing strategy? You can use:
Set colors, fonts and design elements (like headers) across all emails
A small collection of templates that fit with your brand's visual messaging
A consistent subject line style (like "hey (name), we just wanted to show you _______!" or "(name): __________ 😊)
A design that's consistent with your website and product branding
A customized email signature
7. You can use A/B tests to optimize your marketing
As data can show you what works with your audience and what doesn’t, data-based marketing campaigns can help you optimize your promotions to maximize their reach with your audience.
And email marketing is a data-based strategy, as you can measure the success of your emails with A/B tests.
A/B tests allow you to compare the success of an email that uses a new tactic to an old email within the same campaign. Essentially, you use A/B testing to identify if a new promotional technique will work on your audience before integrating it into your usual email marketing strategy.
A/B testing is perfect when checking out:
A new template
A new call-to-action
A new layout
New styles of copy
New subject lines
A/B testing is an email marketing benefit because it helps you identify tried-and-true strategies. A/B testing may also improve your ROI, as research shows that brands that use A/B testing have an ROI of $48 for every $1 spent; which is higher than the average ROI of $42 for every $1 spent.
8. Collect data/ feedback through surveys
Email marketing is an excellent medium for data collection, as you can survey your most loyal customers and gain valuable insights like:
Why they like your brand or products
Why they joined your email marketing list
Who they are (their age, gender, country, income bracket, profession, interests)
Once you have collected this data, you can use it to identify your target audience and tailor your future marketing campaigns to this audience.
9. Keep customers informed
Email marketing will help you inform your customers of urgent events, as it gives you an instant and direct way to relay crucial information to your customers. This makes it perfect for sending out information about potential delays or messages in times of crisis (like your website going down).
Informative emails can also strengthen your relationship with customers, as you can use them to tie your brand to the good work you do.
For example, if your brand signs up for a donation matching campaign with a local charity and donates $34,000, you could share your success through a newsletter.
Then, your email list subscribers will associate you with the charity.
10. Increase website traffic
While it may feel like email marketing is a fully independent marketing channel, that’s not strictly true. You can use your marketing emails to drive traffic to your other marketing channels: including your website.
Increasing your website traffic will help you boost your revenue, as the more your leads engage with your content, the more chances you have to close the sale.
To link your readers to your website within your emails, try:
Adding links naturally within the content of your emails (for example: as we mentioned in our guide to speaking sales, using the right vocabulary is key in closing a deal.)
Adding a “featured article” section where you link relevant blog posts
Adding links to key pages (like your FAQ, about and contact us sections) in the footer of your email
Adding a link to each product you mention
The more high-quality links you include, the more you can sell.
11. Easy-to-manage campaigns
Managing an email marketing campaign is easy, as you can plan, execute and measure your campaign using an automation system. Within many email marketing automation tools, you can build your email from templates, set up A/B testing, send your emails and watch the results in real time.
Programs like Mailigen also allow you to segment your subscriber list easily, as you can sort them into groups and target each with specifically designed emails.
Essentially, this gives you the power to automate your marketing without sacrificing quality.
12. Instant impact
When you plan out a billboard campaign, it takes months to design the billboard, print it, and display it. If a major event occurs during that time, you can’t change your billboard: as it’s simply too late.
The same doesn’t apply to email marketing, as you can adjust your emails instantly by clicking a few buttons.
This allows you to personalize your emails for major events, which will help you create a deeper connection with your customers and avoid tone-deaf advertising.
For example, suppose your brand sells school supplies to parents of elementary school-aged children and you know that most of your customers are doing remote learning. In that case, you could change the messaging in your promotional emails to focus on remote learning materials only.
13. Easy-to-measure results
Using tools like Pipedrive, you can watch how subscribers react to your email with email tracking. This allows you to gain key information about the success of your emails, which you can use to optimize further campaigns.
With email marketing, you can track your:
Open rate. How many subscribers opened your email
CTR (click-through rate). How many readers clicked the email’s links
Sales conversion rate. The percentage of leads that made a purchase after clicking on your email
List growth rate. The rate at which your subscriber list grows
Forwarding rate. The rate at which subscribers forward your email to others