Picture yourself at a party…
There’s lots of things happening at once and a huge clamour for attention. The music is loud, the drinks are flowing, and the lights are flashing. All the trendiest people you know are there, rocking the latest fashions, sporting the latest gadgets, and generally doing their best to convince everyone they’re the coolest kid in town.
Then, away from all the hullabaloo, is a figure sat in the corner. They are old, wise, and eminently comfortable in their own skin. They are full of knowledge, quick to smile, and hold the best conversations. They don’t have to dazzle because they’ve been there, they’ve done it, and they’ve always been the one who controls the room.
This figure is email marketing and, among the noise and chatter of search, social and the latest digital trend, email always wins.
Look, of course we’re biased, we’re an email marketing agency, but let’s take a look at the reasons why email marketing always wins…
The audience *really* like you.
It’s super easy to ‘Like’ a page or a post on Facebook. It takes less than a second to push the Like button. The result? Most of us end up liking a whole lot of pages. From a business point of view, there’s no way of qualifying these likes or really knowing who our fans and followers are. Email is a different ball game. Every single person on your list has opted-in into it. They have given you their permission to contact them (and a whole bunch of them have even bought things from you already!). It’s really easy to lose sight of quite how powerful this is. The people on your email marketing list don’t just like you, they like you so much they’ve said: “Yes please! I want you to get messages from you straight to my inbox.”
Email helps you build better relationships
Following on from the above, email is a much more intimate way of communicating with your customers or people who are interested in the services you offer. This is particularly true in business to business (B2B) marketing but also extends to business to consumer (B2C) too. It’s far more personal and helps build stronger relationships. In the best cases, your subscribers will actively look forward to hearing from you and receiving your emails. Furthermore, when you send an email marketing campaign, you’re subscribers will see it (unless something goes terribly wrong.) They won’t all open it but a good percentage of them will and, of that number, some of them will go on to ‘convert’ by performing the action who wanted them to do – whether that’s reading a blog article or buying a product. Will your social media post be seen by all your subscribers? No, it won’t and even if you pay to promote it only a handful will see it. It’s all worth taking into account that email has nearly three times as many user accounts as Facebook and Twitter combined. Not everyone uses social media, and active users across the different platforms will vary hugely, but most people who use the internet will have an email address.
The data belongs to you
All the data you collect and use in your email marketing programmes belongs to you. Yes, it’s your responsibility to look after it, but it’s also yours. And if you want to export it (particularly useful if you’re changing email marketing platforms, for example) you can. Want to export the data of the people who like your Facebook or Instagram page? Then good luck because you can’t. The data isn’t yours, it’s Facebook’s and they can use it in whatever way they see fit. By owning your data you have control over how it’s used and you are (mostly speaking) the only people who will be using it. This isn’t the case with social and search who use your customers’ data for their own purposes, chiefly to make a profit.
There’s a higher conversion rate
Email also has a higher conversion rate. A study by McKinsey & Co, found email marketing acquired 40 times more customers than Facebook and Twitter combined. We also know the return on investment in email marketing is higher than both social or search.
Don’t get us wrong, there is absolutely a place for both search and social marketing. For some business out there, these might already be proven to be the best channels to use because they deliver the best results.
But, at a time when the use of data from the giants of Silicon Valley is under more scrutiny than ever before and there’s a heightened cultural awareness on the roles the likes of Facebook and Google play in society, it’s worth remembering that, sat quietly in the corner, is the marketing and communication channel that’s been around the longest and continues to prove both its relevance and power time and again.