Does Email Marketing Work?

Space Rocket
Written by: Ian Haponiev (Content Specialist at Vision Effect)

Absolutely. If you’re either new to digital marketing or have just started a company and don’t have a decent-sized marketing budget to work with, then email marketing could be just the ticket.

Why Start With An Email Campaign?

Google ad campaigns can be and generally are highly successful. The barrier to entry, however, is that they aren’t cheap and for more than a few people, the thought of committing quite a lot of money every month to a campaign is daunting.

A further issue with Google Ads is that there isn’t really a way to just dip your toe in; you do need to commit. To illustrate this, some make the mistake of persevering with a Google ad campaign and not properly backing it with a realistic budget. This is akin to just throwing your money onto a fire, as a lacklustre budget will get eaten away fast in a sea of clicks and not have any impact at all.

Another other commonly venerated digital marketing strategy is search engine optimisation (SEO). Again, if you’re just starting out and your immediate goal is sales or conversions in the short term, then this isn’t going to be the strategy for you. It’s always worth mentioning that SEO is becoming more competitive because that’s what Google’s algorithm wants; the best answers to search queries from the most reputable authorities on the topic at hand. Regardless of your sphere or niche, this takes time.

Email Marketing

This leaves us with the humble email. Don’t think that this is a last resort, though, far from it. The typical return on investment (ROI) from email marketing is $42 for every $1 spent and when you consider that almost 85% of consumers check their emails every day, you start to understand the potential. A recent survey also showed that 37% of respondents considered email marketing the best way of retaining customers and cultivating their loyalty.

So we know it can work, so where do we begin?

Build Up Your Email List

There’s no point having a great email ready to go if you’ve got nobody to send it to; the first port of call is to build a list of existing and potential clients.

People are unlikely to just reach out and give you their email address, you need to give them a reason to do so. Most companies offer an incentive for doing so, for example, offering first time customers a discount on their first order as a signing up bonus.

Signup Form

The common way of doing this is through social media or on the company’s website; often in the form of a pop-up. Not many can resist the lure of a decent discount, and you can more than make up the 15% or so off you give them in the long run. Additionally, the kind of people who sign up are those already interested in what your company has to offer, which is perfect; these are the kind of people you hope to find with ads but without having to spend the additional time, money and effort.

Another technique is to create a competition or give-away, where people sign up in order to enter. In any case, this is a quid pro quo situation and understanding this helps you form the foundation of a successful strategy.

Speaking of which…

What Emails Should I Send?

In order to stop people from hitting the spam or unsubscribe button, you need to send emails that actually give them something and are not simply an advertisement for your business.

There are plenty of ways of providing your recipients with a degree of value and email can be used for a variety of purposes. Firstly, a commonly used tactic is to announce sales, promotions, events or provide your customers with discount codes; these are often winners.

Next, you should consider providing informative emails about the sphere in which your company operates. Passing on knowledge to your customers through a newsletter or blog announcement is a great way to boost your reputation as a knowledgeable, trustworthy company that isn’t just trying to make sales. Plus, emails with links to pages in them (e.g. to your blog) can help drive traffic to your website.

Emails can also be used to help build your brand by telling the story of your business to customers or showing them how things are ‘behind the scenes’. Companies that have a face and personality are far more relatable and appealing than those that don’t. Why should a customer support a faceless company?

Finally, your emails should be consistent in terms of tone and style in order to build up brand familiarity through the way in which they are written and your signature aesthetic style.

Go With The Flow

Using automated flows is a must, as they not only save you the time and trouble of sending out emails manually but also allow you to set emails to trigger under a large variety of parameters.

This provides you with many opportunities to reach your customers or those who have simply volunteered their details. For example, you can set up a welcome email to be sent instantly to those who have signed up to provide them with a discount code. This can then put them into a ‘welcome series’ of emails, where you stagger emails to be sent over a period of time to help introduce your range or let them know about you as a company.

Another popular use of email flows is to retarget clients who signed up but have not made a purchase. This can be triggered by them ‘abandoning a cart’ where they’ve added a product to their cart on your website but not completed the checkout process for whatever reason, or simply sent after a number of days if no purchase has been made.

Email Flow

A flow can also be set up to email those who purchased one of your products or services but after a set amount of time have not left a review. Sometimes customers need to be chased up for reviews but they are absolutely vital for your business. If they’re positive, it looks good and shows you that you’re doing something right, and if they’re negative they give you feedback that you can either address directly or work with.

The Recap: Why Email Marketing Works

Emails are a cost-effective, efficient way of reaching your existing and potential customers. While there is some work to be done in terms of cultivating a reasonably-sized email list and setting up the automated processes, the pay off in the long run speaks for itself.

As your campaigns unfold, you will be able to refine them through the data that you accrue. With every email you send, you will receive some useful metrics such as the open rate, click through rate (CTR) and unsubscribe rate that will allow you to refine your marketing style and content, as you see which emails resonate best with your recipients.

If you’ve not got the budget for a Google Ads campaign or are looking for a place to start with your digital marketing, contact us today and let’s talk emails!