Email might be old, but it’s certainly not outdated. When compared to social media, email is actually more popular, seeing as it’s used by more people worldwide.
So basically, if you’re not using email, you’re missing out on a staggering 24% of potential customers.
Is Email Marketing Effective? Email vs Social Media Marketing
The short answer is yes, email marketing is one of the most effective online marketing channels you can use.
Despite email being so effective, plenty of businesses (especially small to medium sized businesses) would rather use social media marketing than email.
So to measure the effectiveness of email, let’s compare it to social media marketing marketing.
- 90% of emails sent get delivered to the intended recipient’s inbox, whereas a only a disappointing 2% of your Facebook fans will see your latest post in their feeds.
- Approximately 1 in 5 emails get opened. Once opened, email averages a click through rate of 3.57%. The average click through rate of a Facebook post is only 0.07%.
- Email offers the best ROI of any online marketing channel, with an average ROI of 122%. Social media is second best though, with an ROI of 28%. This makes social media only slightly more effective than direct mail, which has an ROI of 27%.
- 24% of website visitors from emails buy something. From search engines, 2.49% of visitors buy, whereas only 0.59% visitors from social media end up buying.
- Email is 40 times more effective at getting new customers than Facebook or Twitter.
Does this mean social media is useless? Well, not exactly. Social media still has advantages over email, such as the ability for content to go viral.
When you send out a marketing email, it’s unlikely that people will forward it, but plenty of people might share your social media posts.
What this means, is that if you share content published on your website in a social media post and it goes viral, it can bring in a ton of traffic to your website. A lot of people who go to your website might decide to sign up for your email list. In this way, social media can support and improve your email marketing and build your list.
So no, social media marketing isn’t useless. It helps and supports your other online marketing channels. However, social media marketing alone isn’t nearly as good as social media marketing combined with email and content marketing.
Getting Started – The Technical Side of Email Marketing
Before you can think about building your email list, you’ll need to sort out the technical side of email marketing. Areas that will demand your attention are issues such as planning what services you need and how much budget you’ll allocate to them.
Choose an Email Marketing Service Provider
When it comes to the technicalities of email, the best place to start is by choosing an email marketing service provider.
An email marketing service provider is basically a company that helps you manage your email list and send out bulk marketing emails.
There are many email marketing service providers to choose from. Here are just a few examples of the more popular email service providers:
The service provider you choose will depend on your budget as well as what features you want.
However, if you’re still unsure about whether or not email marketing is for you, Mailchimp is probably your best option. Unlike other service providers, Mailchimp offers a free plan if you have less than 2000 subscribers and you’re sending out less than 12,000 emails a month.
If you’re more committed to making your email list work for you, you have your options open. Choose whatever email provider within your budget that looks best.
Plan Other Email Marketing Expenses
An email service provider might not be the only expense you have to plan for. If neither you or your staff are able to run your email marketing campaign, you’ll have to outsource management of your email marketing campaign.
Outsourcing can add onto your monthly email marketing expenditure, so it’s best to be certain from the start whether your email list will be managed in-house or outsourced.
If you decide to manage your email list in-house, it won’t be an additional expense, but it will still cost time. You’ll have to plan the time spent on your email list properly and set limits for how long you or your employees will spend on your marketing each week.
Although outsourcing costs more, it offers the benefit of freeing up valuable time. You might also get better results from outsourcing to a marketing specialist, especially if you don’t know anything about online marketing.
Email Design and Templates
The next step in setting up your email list is deciding what you want your marketing emails to look like.
You have a choice between sending your emails as plain text (like normal emails) or using an HTML template.
Many email service providers offer free HTML templates you can use. If there isn’t a free template that suits your needs, you also have the option of buying an email template.
Email templates aren’t usually expensive, with most costing anywhere from $20 to $40. If you feel like splurging, there are more expensive templates available out there. But as little as $30 can buy you a great template, so spending a whole lot more isn’t necessary.
Keep in mind, that your subscribers probably won’t appreciate a fancy template as much as you’d hope though.
According to research by Hubspot, people say they prefer HTML email templates with lots of images. But when tested, the opposite was found to be true.
Plain text emails got much better open rates than HTML. Not only that, but the more HTML heavy an email was, the worse it performed.
The conclusion? When planning your marketing email template, it’s best to either use plain text or stick to simple designs without too many images.
Write An Excellent Welcome Email
Your welcome email will be the first email new subscribers receive once they sign up for your list. Because your welcome email is like an introduction to your list, it’s the perfect place to make a good impression.
It’s easy to think that your welcome email isn’t important, but research shows otherwise. According to statistics, welcome emails generate 320% more revenue per email than other marketing emails, so writing a good welcome email can greatly improve your email marketing success.
What to Say in Your Marketing Emails?
Once you have the technical side sorted out, you can plan your marketing emails. Defining your marketing goal is one of the first steps in planning what to say in your emails.
Here are some examples of email marketing goals for different businesses:
A restaurant makes money off people who go there to enjoy a meal. What this means is that an effective email marketing strategy for a restaurant will update people about events, specials offers on menu items and news in order to attract them to dine there.
For an online shop, getting more people to buy their products is the goal. Sending out news regarding the launch of new products and special offers is a good way to do this. Emails can also be sent listing various products according to a theme. For example, on public holidays like Christmas, emails listing products that would make good gifts can be sent out.
When it comes to healthcare professionals, the goal is to attract existing patients to come for regular visits. Educating patients about when to see a healthcare professional is a good place to start. Another way to attract patients is by reminding them to get regular checkups. Keeping patients updated whenever there are special offers on regular checkup procedures is also a good way attract business.
Looking at the examples, you should get the idea. The goal of your email marketing is to get more business, so your marketing emails should focus on content that sells your product or service.
So there you have it! The basics of how to do email marketing in a nutshell. But this only scratches the surface of email marketing success. As you go along, you’ll learn more about how to get the most out of your email marketing.
For now, focus on what you do know. Setup your email list and start sending out your first emails. Once you start reaping the benefits of email marketing, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start earlier.