What is Email Marketing and Why is it Important?

Jan 14, 2021

There’s an unfortunate rumor going around that people don’t use email anymore. Email is an outdated mode of communication, some people say. Who reads email?

Well – a lot of people. According to Statista, the number of global email users in 2018 was 3.9 billion, set to grow to 4.48 billion users in 2024. While text and instant messaging have gained a lot of ground, email is alive and well and an important part of digital marketing strategies – particularly now. A world in which people are working from home and spending more time on their computers and mobile devices than ever before offers a target-rich environment for email marketing.

What exactly is email marketing? For the most part, it’s just what it sounds like – using email to reach customers and prospects. Generally, any email your company sends that is not a direct response to an order or inquiry is email marketing (although even those emails can serve a marketing function). It can be used to promote products and services but should also be used to develop and nurture relationships – and this is where marketing efforts sometimes fall short.

Email marketing keeps you in touch with customers

Picture a relative who only gets in touch with you when they want something. Your first reaction upon seeing their name is probably an eye roll or groan at best. While no one loves to hear from someone asking for a favor, it’s softened a bit if you’ve got a relationship with that person to begin with – if they are in touch periodically over the course of the year to see how you’re doing, share news and stories, and simply let you know they’re there. Developing a well-thought-out email marketing strategy has that effect – rather than only sending promotional emails, you want to include a mix of newsletters, promotions, status updates and helpful information that will be useful to the recipient. Find the right cadence and you’ve got a solid email marketing strategy that keeps you top of mind.

Email offers a personal touch

Email marketing has advantages over some other forms of marketing in that it can be personalized. Most email marketing systems allow you to target your lists and insert personalization tokens – this can be as simple as a first name or as complex as content targeted to past behavior. This helps further drive engagement and, over time, makes the marketing even more effective.

Email is timely

Social media marketing can be a little too immediate, as it relies on views of timelines that move quickly. Print marketing is the opposite, and messages can be dated by the time they are received. Emails can be sent on a specific date, relating to a specific event, and even in response to an action by the customer, hitting at exactly the right time.

Email effectiveness is measurable

Email marketing is possibly one of the easiest marketing methods to track and assign ROI to. Most systems allow you to track clicks and opens, as well as unsubscribes and bounces. Some systems offer website integration, allowing you to further track the visitor’s journey through your site and see if the email led to a purchase.

Not sure how to use all the information you’re gathering through email – or just need to know how to get started? Try working with a marketing agency or advertising agency, or a digital marketing agency that specializes in email campaigns. An agency can help determine how to make the best use of your resources, target your audience, and analyze results. MACLYN has been working with organizations in the Des Moines, Naperville and Chicago area for many years. We know email marketing is alive and well, and we can help you get the most out of your campaigns.

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