When you think about your marketing activities and all the key areas that you undertake as a part of your marketing mix, how much time and attention do you pay to the role of email marketing and whether you are utilising email marketing to the max?
One thing that makes email marketing such a widespread marketing solution is that it is FREE. Free? Really? Well, arguably, yes. You do need a mail server and some degree of IT infrastructure but I would struggle to find any business that doesn’t have the ability to send an email right now for free.
Timely – Being able to buy or build data lists now (assuming that you do not have data to send emails to), pen an email marketing message now (assuming that you have the time and resources to complete this action) and send an email out now (based on the aforementioned being completed) to thousands of unique email addresses can only be a great use of time right? How many other forms of marketing enable you to research a target audience, write the messaging and deliver that messaging to thousands of individuals direct?
Fax is perhaps comparable but it’s far more expensive, and is deprecated technology for many industries. Also, a fax does not go to an individual’s inbox (more often than not it goes to a shared area right next to a recycling bin.
You can send letters. My postie is nowhere near as fast as email, or reliable (without casting aspersions). Also, the cost is ever increasing – there’s the postage itself as well as the time and cost of envelope stuffing, printing, ink, man hours and more.
Email gives immediacy, low cost marketing and targeting. You also get transparency of delivery success, ease of managing the process, ability to remove geographical barriers and to reach anyone anywhere, the ability to incorporate multimedia messaging, syndication of content (the potential for the snowball effect) and so much more.
Some would argue that social networks are also cost effective, offering the ability to target individuals by gender, geography and interest, with all the tracking that a digital campaign offers. But email has a powerful advantage over social media. With email, your message sits in the inbox of the recipient – forever to be rediscovered if they don’t bother to delete it. With social networks and website ads, your message only appears by chance and you don’t control who gets to see it. There’s a reason social networks still rely on email to grow.