Why Email Marketing Is Still Important – 2021

So, you’re sick of hearing that “email marketing is dead”? Good, I agree! Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get down to work.

By the end of 2021, the number of email users worldwide is expected to reach 4.1 billion—yes, billion with a “B.” Because of your own experiences, such as sorting, archiving, swiping left, tagging as spam, and so on, email marketing can feel like a waste of time. Consider the companies whose emails you look forward to receiving or whose products you love. Those are the emails that never make it to the bottom of your inbox and that you open and interact with.

Yes, some buyers only make one purchase or display a single click-through. Still, new and returning consumers want to engage with your email campaigns and hear from you – whether it’s because they enjoy your content or because you send them promotional emails, they’ll keep coming back. Let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to save 15% on their purchase?

Not only will you learn why email marketing is still relevant in 2021, but you’ll also understand why having an email marketing strategy is more important than ever.

Engaging Experiences: Win Potential Customers and Win Back Past Customers

You probably have a call-to-action on your website that says “SIGN UP TO SUBSCRIBE TO OUR AMAZING NEWSLETTER” or “STAY UP TO DATE ON THINGS YOU PROBABLY DON’T NEED.” But, once someone has taken the bait, how does the experience go?

Do you have a welcome series that dances subscribers through a clever, delightful introduction to your company while also raising brand awareness? Have you set up an abandoned cart series to capture that potential consumer who simply forgot to click “PAY”?

With email automation, you’ll never miss an opportunity to reclaim an abandoned cart or engage new prospects.

After a user has abandoned their basket, send an urgent follow-up email to remind them of their left-behind items and ask if they need any help finishing their purchase. Alternatively, enroll a new subscriber in a four-part welcome series describing the five excellent reasons why [insert snazzy product name] stands apart from the competition, as well as how to learn more about said snazzy product.

Email automation helps you turn missed chances into stronger client relationships and more conversions.

Allow it to be your closest friend when it comes to creating the architecture for experiences at each stage of the buyer’s journey: awareness, contemplation, and conclusion. With more engaged and higher converting contacts, you’ll begin to reap the rewards of email marketing automation sooner rather than later.

You may believe that potential customers will provide you with the best return on investment, yet returning clients are your most profitable customers. A repeat consumer implies they’ve already invested into your brand, which means you’ve already won half the battle. Now it’s just a matter of continuing their trip in order to keep them as committed brand ambassadors.

Do you manage an e-commerce platform?

Product promotion can be accomplished through social media marketing, paid to advertise, or even direct mail (yep, old-fashioned snail mail). However, 77 percent of people prefer to receive permission-based commercial emails via email. Contacts have given you specific permission to send them correspondence directly to their inbox, indicating that they are interested in receiving promotional emails. Additionally, using tools like Seventh Sense to time your emails right will result in a greater open rate, click-through rate, and conversion rate.

Other forms of digital marketing can obstruct the customer’s journey and result in lower levels of engagement.

True, if you’re not careful, you could fall down a rabbit hole of creating consumer experiences. So let’s start from the beginning:

  • Welcome Series
  • Nurture Series
  • Abandoned Cart (if applicable)
  • Re-Engagement Series

Starting with these will provide you with a substantial amount of ammunition for expanding your customer experiences. Segmentation, personalization, and tracking client activities are just a few of the techniques that will open your eyes to additional possible email automation solutions.

Personalization: Creating More Meaningful Customer Relationships

When you personalize and tailor your email marketing efforts, what exactly are you doing? You’re working smarter, not harder when it comes to marketing. Personalization improves your return on investment, helps you to engage customers more deeply, and allows you to be more flexible with your email marketing strategies.

A tailored experience, according to 71% of consumers, would affect their decision to open and read brand emails. Who knew that saying a person’s name instead of “Hey there!” or “Hello friend!” would have such an impact? Sorry, did my sarcasm come across?

It should be normal practice to use personalization tokens to create a one-to-one experience. It’s not even necessary to use someone’s first name!

Consider this email from my favorite wine subscription service (put your judgment aside; it’s one of the most groundbreaking services out there). Every email’s preview text includes my credit balance (e.g., “You have $80.00 in credit”).

Is it enough to see how many credits I have to pay toward a case of wine to make me want to go shopping? It does, and you are completely correct. Who wouldn’t be excited to learn that they have $80.00 in affiliate credits to spend on wine? It’s all about the wine, people!

What exactly do I mean when I say “personalization”? Start segmenting your contact list based on key contact qualities or actions your clients have performed to take things a step further and become more purposeful with your email marketing efforts.

HubSpot, for example, allows you to keep track of page views. Let’s say you want to send a follow-up email to contacts who have visited a product page many times. If a contact views a page more than two, three, or even five times, it is clear that they are interested in that product or service. Here are a few fast ways to engage folks who are looking at the product:

  • Create a list based on the number of page URL views.
  • To funnel contacts from this list into a three- to six-part follow-up email automation series, create a nurture series.
  • Create if/then branches depending on email engagement, non-engagement, or un-engagement.

These straightforward procedures might help you create a slew of segmentations that you can use to further split or exclude from future marketing campaigns. Learn how to expand your email lists with blogs, opt-in tactics, and more to take things to the next level.

If you’re not using personalization and customization in your email campaigns yet, it can seem like the Marley Brothers from A Christmas Carol rattling their chains late at night, taunting you for all your personalized transgressions.

Engaging Your Contacts: Simple & Cost-Effective

On a tight budget? Now is the time to send some emails! One constant in the ever-changing area of digital marketing is the necessity to maximize your marketing expenditure.

When you consider the thousands and tens of thousands of dollars that go into paid advertising (both print and digital), email seems like a no-brainer. It’s time to start reaping the benefits of email marketing, which is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies.

According to a joint survey conducted by Shop.org and Forrester Research, 85 percent of US retailers consider email marketing to be one of the most effective client acquisition strategies, particularly for start-ups and small businesses (SMBs). In fact, the average return on investment for email marketing is 122 percent for every dollar spent.

In addition to email marketing, efficient list utilization and maintenance will help reduce your overall cost and increase your ROI. As you build more tailored relationships with your contacts, engagement and conversion rates will rise, but your cost per email will fall. (By the way, if you’re looking for a summary of the many email platforms available, check out QuickSprout’s useful guide.)

All of this is to say that it’s not as simple as writing some prose, putting together some images, and sending it out, crossing your fingers that your open rates, click-through rates, and conversions rise. It takes time and effort to craft an appealing subject line and intriguing content for an email.

What am I hearing? Was that a loud echo of the A/B testing superpowers on their way to help with budget optimization, customer engagement, and ROI?

Is it a little too cheesy? That’s fine; I’ll take the cheese in the name of research. I also enjoy a good cheese plate. We’ve moved on.

A / B Testing: Gain Valuable Insight Into Your Marketing Efforts

A/B testing in email marketing is like butter on toast, two peas in a pod, cheese, and macaroni (are you hungry yet?). Utilize the power of customer data to predict how your target audience will react to your emails.

It’s possible you’re unaware, yet the emails you receive in your personal mailbox are likely contributing to a larger marketing study. From the moment we get an email to the moment we click on a link in an email, and beyond, our inbox habits and activities are being tracked. Okay, I’ll step down from my “big brother” soapbox, since I’m confident you’ll think twice before opening the next marketing email you get.

Testing should be properly integrated into your marketing initiatives, given the available bandwidth. You’ll learn the answers to a slew of questions, including:

  • Do emails with emojis in the subject line have a greater open rate?
  • Do HTML or plain-text emails have higher click-through rates?
  • Do fewer or more images/graphics result in a higher number of unsubscribes?
  • Do your customers reply to emails received at different times of the day?
  • Which send-from address boosts open rates the most?

You can become a tester Jedi if you don’t know the answers to these questions. Side note: Is anyone else torn between liking and disliking the final Star Wars episode [insert crying emoji]? Also, can we talk about Yoda’s baby brother?

So, now that you’ve started testing, what happens when you start putting various hypotheses into action? You’re doomed. Okay, that was a little harsh, but the truth is that 50-60% of the tests you conduct will likely yield no data. Nonetheless, these aren’t failed tests.

Every “failed” test is an opportunity to learn something new. When you started utilizing emojis in your subject lines, your open rates could have kept the same. Great! You can deduce that your consumer base isn’t responding and that this isn’t a marketing strategy that works to stand out in inboxes. Or, for the greatest impact, emojis should be used sparingly and only in essential correspondence.

Is there another scenario? Maybe 75% of your clients view your emails on their phones, and as you start adding more copies, your click-through rates plummet. More visuals and graphics are what the public desire!

Testing should not stop just because you detect common themes in your email marketing early on. What you learn now does not guarantee that your clients will behave in the same way in three years, or even one year. Continuous testing helps you “work smarter, not harder” by helping you to be more exact and thoughtful with your email marketing.

Customer data gathered through testing will assist you in learning how to stay top-of-mind, generate compelling content, and boost your ROI.

In the end, testing will become a natural part of your thought process and marketing activities for all of you data-driven marketing nerds like myself.

A Fluid Buyer’s Journey: Connecting Your Marketing Channels

It’s time to bring your marketing channels closer together. What good is it to spend a lot of money on paid advertising to get leads if you don’t have a plan in place to follow up with them?

The truth is that your other channels are designed to appeal to a wide range of people. It’s a bit like casting a fishing line into open water and seeing what you get. What happens once your target client emerges from social media marketing, SEO, content marketing, and other campaigns?

Assume you’ve made a social media post that links to a landing page with a call-to-action, and a potential customer uses the call-to-action to enter their email address. So, what’s next? This customer should ideally be included in a series of email messages that nurture them and help them become more aware of the brand. They get timely emails that link potential customers to relevant material on the website, information on new products/services, and other touchpoints that lead to a conversion.

Do you have any doubts? Take a look at the numbers:

  • Email has a 4x larger organic reach than social media.
  • Mail generates $38 for every $1 spent, a staggering 3,800 percent return on investment, making it one of the most cost-effective solutions accessible.
  • Marketers who deploy specialized advertising report revenue increases of up to 760 percent.
  • Click-through rates in segmented email campaigns are 100.95 percent greater than in non-segmented efforts.

Okay, I’ll quit now!

Email is a marketing tool that allows you to establish a seamless, integrated, and uninterrupted buyer’s journey. More significantly, email marketing helps you to cultivate relationships with prospects, customers, and prior clients. It’s your chance to communicate with them directly in their inbox at a time that’s convenient for them.

Email may become one of your most effective marketing mediums when combined with the correct messaging.

Mobile Talk: Email Marketing on Mobile Devices

Did you know that mobile users check their email 3x more than desktop users on a daily basis, according to Google? Or that 70% of people use a mobile app to check their email?

Mobile devices accounted for 63.4 percent of all online page views in 2019. What do you think the next five years will be like? If you ever fail to include mobile devices in your email marketing, may the marketing gods have mercy on you.

Given these figures, it’s easy to see why addressing customers on their mobile devices, as well as ensuring your emails are mobile-friendly, is so important. Consider how much easier it is for someone sitting on the couch to watch TV while doing things like online shopping, checking email, and checking social media on their phone rather than on their computer.

Keep in mind the move away from actual remote controls as well. With the development of streaming service apps, people are utilizing remotes less frequently. Gone are the days of rummaging through couch cushions for misplaced remote controls; instead, we now have phones permanently linked to our hands. This implies more time spent on mobile and a greater emphasis on being top-of-inbox so that your email is viewed during one of the three daily inbox checks.

Mobile device optimization is more crucial. You will win or lose within three seconds of someone opening your email and evaluating whether it is a decent mobile experience. You can have the most compelling content in the world, but if the user determines the mobile experience isn’t up to par, your email is doomed. Worse yet, the user may unsubscribe or report your email as spam.

  • When reviewing your email for mobile responsiveness, here’s a fast hit list:
  • Adding alternative text
  • Images that are the right size
  • For a better user experience, use buttons instead of inline CTAs.
  • Text that is evenly sized and combined with photos
  • Unless you’re utilizing a responsive template, avoid employing multiple column layouts.

Email may be a very strong tool that is more accessible than social media platforms like Twitter (a tweet remains relevant for about 18 seconds before disappearing into the abyss of Twitter). When you combine mobile responsiveness with email marketing initiatives, you’ve got a winning combination.

Unpacking: The Importance of Email Marketing

If you’ve read this novel-length piece, you’re probably feeling a little like this. [I’ll use any opportunity to include a Ryan Reynolds GIF]

So, let’s have a look at what’s going on:

What is the significance of email marketing?

  1. It’s one of the most cost-effective digital marketing strategies with one of the highest ROIs.
  2. Email allows you to connect your marketing channels for a cohesive and fluid buyer’s journey.
  3. You can create personalized and custom experiences, increasing engagement and deepening brand awareness with leads, new customers, and returning customers.
  4. Email is a testing opportunity to gain valuable customer data for more intentional and meaningful customer touchpoints.
  5. Harness the power of automation to supercharge your email marketing strategy (work smarter, not harder).

Do you think you’ve figured it out? That’s fine! It may appear as if you’re shooting darts into the air to figure out where to begin.

Allow your email marketing campaigns to supercharge your buyer’s journey by having some fun.

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