Is Email Marketing Effective?

email marketing still effective

Proof that Email Marketing is Still Effective

Remember the last time you bought something online and they ended up sending you 3+ emails a week until you either reported them as spam or unsubscribed? Sadly this type of “marketing” takes away consumer trust and makes businesses question whether or not email marketing is still effective given consumer attitudes.  The poor email practices followed by senders and the negative feedback given from recipients revolves in a circular motion that creates general disinterest in email marketing on both sides.  This misinterpretation, starting with poor email practices, leaves both senders and recipients wondering why email marketing is still talked about. 

If you are either the recipient or the sender stuck in the loop of bad email marketing, you may be surprised to know that email marketing is up to 40 times more effective than other popular forms of marketing like social media, according to a study done by McKinsey & Company. Even further, stated by BtoB Magazine, 59% of B2B marketers say email is their most effective channel for generating revenue.  And if this news comes as a surprise to you as an email sender for your organization, there are probably some email marketing best practices you should be following to make these statistics a little more of a norm and less of a surprise. So when someone asks is email marketing is still effective? You can say yes…but it needs to be done right.  

The Benefits of Email Marketing: Revenue Generation 

As an email service provider, we see all kinds of email senders.  We see retailers who are doing it right and using email to its fullest potential, and we also see retailers doing it wrong and practically forcing their recipients to hit the unsubscribe button. 

For those doing it wrong, a mindset shift needs to me made. Email needs to be treated like the valuable asset that it is.  For a B2C brand, email is not just a nice-to-have, its an incredibly valuable money-making asset that should contribute to a large amount of revenue.  How much is a large amount? 30% is a solid benchmark, 40% is good, the sky’s the limit, it just matters how well you operate your email marketing campaigns. So let’s get into these numbers, if your email marketing accounts for 30% of your B2C revenue (which is a very attainable benchmark) and you do $5 million in sales, email just became a $1.5 million asset.  So you should ask yourself are you treating email like the valuable asset it is/could be for your organization? If you’re not, here is the best way to get there.

Email Marketing Best Practices: 5 Tips to Make Email Marketing your Leading Revenue Generator 

1. Focus on Your Lists

Lists are everything when it comes to turning your email marketing campaign into a revenue-generating tool for your business.  Rule number one when it comes to email lists is to never buy a list.  Lists should ALWAYS be sourced organically through opt-in forms on your website or point of sale interactions etc.  There are many ways to build good, wholesome lists that are made up only of people who genuinely want to receive this communication from you.  The better your audience, the better your email will perform, and the more revenue will be generated as a result. If you want to learn more about how purchased lists can severely damage your email campaigns, read my blog here

2. Send Smart Email

So you have a good list with high quality recipients.  Even if the recipients are customers who thoroughly enjoy your products/services, they will undoubtedly unsubscribe if you don’t send right.  When sending marketing email, keep close track of your open rates. Those who are interacting positively with your email should continue to receive marketing emails you send.  Those who have not opened the email, or the next one, or the next one, clearly aren’t interested in your mail and should be added to a suppression list.  Too many email marketers are not focusing on the things that really matter like engagement based on opens, clicks, etc.  These statistics will tell you everything you need to know about the recipients and how often they should be receiving emails. Low engagement? Scale back your email and focus on optimizing the content that people are interacting with. 

3. Optimize Your Content 

The quality of content in your email is equally as important as the quality of  recipients who are receiving the mail. Something as simple as the subject line needs to be optimized to be both compelling and on-brand.  The subject line is the first thing people will see when they get your email and in most cases will be a deciding factor of whether or not they open it. In a Hubspot study, it was found that something as simple as an emoji in the subject line helped 56% of companies increase their open rates.  Now once they have opened the email, this is where you need to capitalize on an enticing design and well thought-out call-to-action. Simple factors like button size, colors, brand recognition, image to text ratio, headlines, incentives, copy, etc. all have a huge impact on your ability to use email to build revenue.  So take the necessary time and do the necessary testing to get that perfect content for your customer base. 

4. Focus on the Customer Relationship

Have you ever gone on a date that went well?  So you sent a follow up text but you get no answer, so then you send another, and the next morning you send another, and then you send three per week for the next 4 months. This probably wouldn’t happen..for obvious reasons, yet companies still treat their recipients in this same manner. Again, there is a mental shift that needs to be made with senders like this.  Just because someone signs up for the email, doesn’t mean they want to get bombarded with email for the rest of their days on earth. While this may seem obvious to some, the actions of more than a few large-scale B2B companies have shown this to be a common reality.

Treat your recipients with respect, no one wants to get bombarded with spam…no one.  So what separates a spammer from a non-spammer. Two main things:

  1. Sending volume – Which is discussed in point 2 
  2. Content and Strategy –  If you know that the recipient is interested and engaged in the brand based on their actions, then you are in a better place to focus on these recipients and tailor their experience.  This means subtle things like using their name, suggesting products that they will probably like, offering promotions or offers relative to their interests, etc.  The better you know and understand your recipients, the better you can tailor a useful experience to them with smart and effective email marketing that is good for the sender and the recipient.

5. Have a Reliable Email Infrastructure

You can do all of the optimizations to your email content and recipient lists but it’s all useless without the proper email infrastructure to send the email reliably, every time. This means you need someone to manage your own, in-house email infrastructure who knows email inside and out or you can work with an email service provider like SocketLabs who has their own MTA, servers, and full team of email professionals managing everything from servers, to deliverability, to IP addresses and so on. The ease of working with SocketLabs and having all of the technical work done for you means you can focus more on the above points and less on making sure your email is sent.  And the best part is you can use SocketLabs for free.  

Email Marketing is Still…Very Effective

When it comes to email used as a marketing tool for generating revenue no corners should be cut.  Building out a proper email marketing strategy takes time, patience, and plenty of email marketing best practices.  Maybe it seems easier and cheaper in the short term to buy a list and blast until the sun goes down, but for long term growth and prosperity, this is not the way to build.  Email is a valuable asset that will easily scale with your business so it should be treated as such.