Understanding email marketing

Understanding email marketing

Building your own customer database is a powerful tool to have in your marketing arsenal. Not only is an email database great for brand building and customer nurturing, but also for fostering a long-term relationship with those customers to ensure they stay brand loyal.  

New to email marketing and have no idea where to start? Here’s our guide to help you sell an email marketing strategy to your boss. 

First up: why is email marketing so important?

If the recent Facebook/Apple iOS updates (and the Facebook news ban of February this year) taught us anything, it’s that social media marketing – while incredibly valuable – can be unpredictable and not always in our control. Social media allows for incredible audience insight and targeting, that audience can be gone in an instant, or at least made more difficult to reach thanks to simple algorithm changes. 

Think of digital marketing like making financial investments – it pays to diversify. Putting all your eggs in one basket means an increased risk of losing it all should that basket disappear. Email marketing is a form of in-bound marketing that allows you to gather and nurture your own database of customers, so that if social ads are suddenly unavailable you won’t lose those leads.   

At least 99% of consumers check their emails daily and, as this handy infographic from Campaign Monitor shows, email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers compared to the likes of Facebook and Twitter. In short, it’s an immensely powerful channel and a must of a 2021 marketing strategy.   

How to get started in email marketing

  • Build your email list. Chances are you already have a customer contact database, but regular lead generation is important to ensure you always reach the most relevant audience (people change email addresses, change jobs, move, and more, which can all impact the quality of your list). You can build a list using lead capture ads on social media, or through offering gated content on your website, where people need to leave their contact details before accessing certain types of content – otherwise known as lead magnets (see below). Hubspot has some great suggestions to help you get started.  
  • Determine your lead magnets. What you offer prospective customers needs to be easy to understand, actionable, relevant and offer immediate value, such as an instant discount code, downloadable report or template.  
  • Understand your strategy. While 35% of marketers send their customers 3-5 emails per week, the frequency really depends on what your underlying objective/s is/are. A great place to start is to map your customer journey, and identify points where you would like to prompt customers to act, whether it’s to revisit their abandoned shopping cart, share a review post-purchase, or return to make another purchase with a special discount code.  

Determining the value (AKA convincing your boss that email marketing campaigns are a good idea)

We understand selling in a strategy is sort of a chicken-and-egg situation – you know that subscriber lists are valuable, but it can be a challenge to prove the ROI if you haven’t done a ‘benchmark’ campaign before.   

An effective way to establish value beyond statistics is to talk about what happens without email marketing. While paid and organic social media are powerful and cost-effective marketing tools, the Facebook censorship debacle of early 2021 was a sobering reminder that those channels can be compromised. Email lists are fully owned channels that you take with you wherever your business may go. If social media data was erased tomorrow and you are without an email list, you really have to build your audience again from scratch with only website analytics to guide you. 

Once you do have a email campaign in play or completed, value can be established using some basic metrics: 

  • Open rate  
  • Click-through rate 

In short, email marketing is one of the most effective owned channels you have. It offers immediate value with a database of customers that you can grow and nurture outside of social media channels and other traditional marketing channels and can easily be integrated into a holistic strategy with ongoing value. Hopefully this blog has made understanding and selling the value of email marketing easier. If you have any further questions or want to find out how we can help you put a plan into action, we’re a message away!

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