Social media marketing is getting a lot of attention these days, while e-mail marketing is often overlooked.
Those who overlook this form of marketing might be making a big mistake. According to the E-mail Statistic Report, 2013 to 2017 by the Radicati Group, Inc., the number of e-mail accounts is projected to grow by almost 27 per cent from 2014 to 2018, from over 4.1 billion in 2014 to over 5.2 billion by the end of 2018.
The same study also predicts that the total number of e-mail users worldwide will grow by 12 per cent between 2014 and 2018, from 2.5 billion to 2.8 billion. Considering these mind-boggling figures, it is a marketing blunder to play down or ignore the potential that e-mail marketing can have when done correctly.
THE SHARE-ABILITY OF E-MAILS
When people talk about viral marketing, they think of widely used platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and the many other social media sites on the Internet, but e-mail does not often come to mind.
That is because e-mails cannot be shared as easily as Facebook updates, tweets, blog posts, or YouTube videos. There is no sharing button at the end of an e-mail (other than the occasional forward-to-a-friend button), only a link to a webpage which can be shared on social sites.
Hence, there is no denying that e-mails, by their nature, are not as easily shared as most forms of social media.
A USEFUL FORMAT
However, this does not make e-newsletters ineffective or mean that e-mail marketing is dead.
According to the infographic from MarketingProfs’ 10 best e-mail practices, no less than 122,500,453,020 e-mails are sent every hour. That’s right: 122,500,453,020 e-mails.
That figure may include a lot of spam, but it also proves that the e-mail platform is still widely used. The e-mail format remains a great choice for communicating news, promotions, or providing valuable content and insight.
In addition, the fact that each e-mail has to be opened manually presents some advantages over the posting formats of some social media platforms, making it more focused and less distracting.
E-MAIL GENERATES SALES
What is more significant than all the statistics above is that e-mail is almost 40 times better at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter, according to McKinsey Insights.
When well-written, marketing e-mails are forceful, encouraging sales through their own directness.
Moreover, it can be said that e-mail is a more business-like platform than social media. People are used to receiving offers and promotions in their inbox, and they also likely to rely on e-mail to complete many of the orders they place online.
In contrast, people log in to their Facebook or Twitter accounts more to socialise than to get special offers or view advertisements.
UNDERSTANDING E-MAIL MARKETING
In short, e-mail continues to stand its ground as a form of essential Internet technology, one which most of us use on a daily basis and makes our lives easier.
For these reasons, e-mail marketing remains to this day a great marketing tool when used properly. What is crucial to understand, however, is that e-mail marketing does not clash with social media marketing, online advertising, paid listings, search engine optimisation, or any other online marketing strategies.
E-mail marketing is not about spamming people with offers, but about connecting with an audience. It can help to establish more personal and meaningful connections than most other marketing tools available.
When used effectively, e-mail marketing can create a strong personal connection with a potential customer or an existing one in a way that neither search traffic nor social media buzz can achieve.
THE POWER OF E-NEWSLETTERS
Newsletters remind people who visit your website about your business after they have left your site in a direct and personal way.
It gives you the chance to introduce them to your most valuable content, as well as your brand mission and history. It also keeps them informed of significant events in your company's history, or upcoming events.
At the same time, it offers you the space you need for promoting your best products and services, or to share news about offers and promotions in a direct, yet unobtrusive way.
In other words, e-mail marketing is not dead – it is as relevant and effective as ever.
Article contributed by Pamela Wigglesworth, an international marketing communications trainer, a keynote speaker and managing director of Experiential Hands-on Learning, a training and development company. She helps companies across multiple industries to increase their awareness, leads and ultimately, their sales.
Learn how to use e-mail marketing effectively at the “Use E-mail Marketing to Educate, Build Trust and Sell” workshop organised by STJobs. Find out more at stjobs.sg/seminar.