Are You Neglecting the Most Effective Marketing Channel?

In today’s technology and social media obsessed society, many marketers now focus on connecting and engaging with their audience via Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and whatever other social channels that seem to be the current fad. They spend the majority of their time writing status updates, responding to wall posts, creating ads, retweeting, and more.

With this new focus, some organizations have forgotten all about their email marketing efforts.  And with the constant chatter going so far as to say that email marketing is "dead", it’s not surprising that it’s been shoved aside.  Email marketing has become the neglected one in the current environment.

If this is how you’re treating your email marketing efforts, you could potentially be making a crucial mistake that can cost your organization sales. The numbers alone prove this:

•    Facebook boasts 1 billion active users per month and Twitter toots their horn with 255 million. That alone is enough to persuade many marketers to focus largely on social.  But how does that stack up against email?  As of 2013, there are nearly 3.9 billion email accounts worldwide, with that number expected to increase to 4.9 billion by the end of 2017 (Source: The Radicati Group).  That means there are three times more email accounts than there are Facebook and Twitter accounts combined!

•    But as marketers, it’s the statistics on reach and engagement that matter. So we searched for just that information. The organic reach on Facebook (number of your fans who actually see your posts in their newsfeed) is only  6% (probably too many selfies clogging up your consumers’ newsfeeds).  That doesn’t quite measure up to email open rates for email marketing messages which are typically in the 20-30% range. This means your message is five times more likely to be seen through email than on Facebook. It’s hard to compete with all those selfies!

Additionally, click through rates from email are generally around 3% while click-through rates on Tweets are only in the 0.5% range, making it six times more likely to get click-throughs using email. 

•    People actually prefer email for commercial communications. When asked which channel consumers would like to receive updates and commercial messaging from, 68% preferred an email newsletter, (Source: CG Selections "National Email Onderzoek" [2013]). It’s a more personal approach as it moves the conversation directly to the user’s inbox, giving that one-on-one experience. 

•    Not only is email more personal, it remains the most effective way to acquire customers. A recent study concluded that email is almost 40 times better at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter combined (Source: McKinsey & Company).

•    We all know it takes money to make money, and Direct Marketing found that email marketing has a ROI of 4300%! Email marketing drives more conversions than other marketing channels, including search and social. This is due to the fact that 91% of U.S. consumers use email daily, and the rate at which email prompts purchases is not only estimated to be at least three times that of social, but the average order value is also 17% higher. 

These stats are just the tip of the iceberg.  If you’re neglecting your email marketing efforts you’re missing out on a vast opportunity of engagement and conversions! Email marketing is NOT dead –it’s alive and well, and in fact, one of the most important and effective forms of communication.  Email gets way more attention per customer than anything else. This is  simply because email allows you to make repeated invasive contact (to the inbox) rather than sending a tweet or posting on Facebook where they it may or may not be seen, just because it’s part of a much larger timeline featuring hundreds of other people. In these situations, your message could be like finding a needle in a haystack if you don’t hit just the right window, which often differs per user.

Not only is email preferred by your customers, it’s a transactional medium.  This simply means that customers already expect to get offers by email.  Not only do they have a higher tolerance for promotions and offers, but they’re actually more likely to be in the purchasing mindset. Compare that to Facebook, where your customers are really only there to catch up with friends, see the latest cat video, or play Candy Crush. On Twitter, typically they’re looking for amusing things to share.  They’re very rarely looking to buy anything.

With email, you can mold your customers to not only expect, but to anticipate your offers. And because you have the ability to obtain unlimited contacts, you are tremendously more likely to catch them at the time when they’re most likely and ready to buy.

By all means, do not abandon your social media marketing efforts. In fact, social can be a huge part of growing your email list by using things such as the Facebook subscribe form and the Twitter Lead Generation Card to get your social media fans and followers on your email list.  The important thing to remember is to not get lured in by social media craze and completely neglect the power of email marketing.  Email marketing is not dead – it’s evolving – and the "batch-and-blast" style is dead. With this method expired and out of the way, there is now room for transformed emails that reflect the change in digital buyers. Email marketing is changing, you just have to keep up!

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