By Tom Wozniak, Head of Marketing
When writing about email marketing, I often focus on advanced topics like compliance, suppression list management, and email’s place in a multichannel marketing program. But, it’s easy to forget that many marketers are still in the early stages of building an email marketing program. So, I thought I would take a step back and look at some of the key reasons why companies should add email marketing to their strategies in 2022.
While there are numerous benefits to incorporating email marketing, here are six that should help make the decision to kick off an email marketing strategy an easy one.
Low Operating Costs
Marketing can be expensive – often very expensive. Building an extensive paid search, display, or video strategy, may require a considerable investment. Buying media is rarely cheap, and when bidding against other advertisers for access to valuable audiences, you can easily spend your entire marketing budget quickly. This isn’t to say that more costly marketing channels are necessarily a bad thing, but a well-rounded marketing strategy should blend higher cost channels with ones that come with a lower investment.
Email has some of the lowest operating costs of any scalable marketing channel. There are basic costs in setting up your email marketing platform to be able to send emails, but those costs can be small, especially as you get started. Also, the incremental cost of sending more emails is comparatively minimal. Certainly, if you build a large-scale email program sending millions of emails a day, there will be higher costs. But, by the time your program achieves that kind of scale, the ROI should more than offset the incremental costs. In the beginning, start small with an email platform that meets your initial needs.
Along with the low entry and operating costs comes a strong return on investment. Since the inception of email marketing in the 1970s, the benchmark for channel ROI has been around as high as 40 to 1 (current data puts it around 36-to-1). That means that for every $1 a company spends on email marketing, they may drive up to $36 in revenue. While that ROI will vary from company to company and campaign to campaign, this exponential revenue potential makes email unique among marketing channels. Many channels that can deliver significant revenue, but they also typically cost a more to implement.
Even if email only delivered a 10 to 1 ROI, it would outpace most other marketing channels. Honestly, after these first two benefits, you should already be sold on at least testing email in your marketing program. But, we still have four more benefits to consider!
With few exceptions, targeted marketing messaging drives higher engagement than mass media messaging. A TV commercial may be incredibly compelling to your target audience, but potentially huge numbers of other people are also seeing it who simply aren’t interested or who can’t relate to the content. With email, you can segment your audience in virtually unlimited ways (down to true 1-to-1 messaging), delivering highly targeted messaging to each group. This can be done manually or you might leverage some of the higher-end email marketing tools and services available to create dynamic email content for each recipient.
The point is that with email, you have the ability to develop highly specific messaging and deliver it to the right audience at the right time. When it comes to targeting, email is one of the most powerful and effective options. l
Digital marketing is evolving at a breakneck pace. New communication channels and platforms emerge constantly. Sometimes those new channels work extremely well for marketing and other times they prove hard to monetize. Having been around for over 40 years, email is a digital marketing OG. For years (decades?), prognosticators have written articles proclaiming the impending ‘death of email,’ but the channel not only keeps on going strong, it keeps growing.
While people will have multiple email addresses throughout their lives (especially work email addresses) it remains an extremely persistent piece of data to identify a unique recipient. Compared to cookies, device IDs, and many other types of data and it’s easy to see why the email channel provides consistent performance.
Accurate Performance Measurement
One of the most important aspects of a marketing channel’s viability is the ability to measure results. While more branding-focused channels like TV have established a level of measurement that advertisers accept, they can’t compare to digital channels. Even in digital, many channels rely on third-party cookies for tracking. Measurement in those campaigns has always been somewhat flawed and with third-party cookies being phased out over the next few years, performance tracking will become even less accurate.
It’s difficult to make good decisions about budget allocation to different marketing channels without accurate performance data. Email remains arguably the most accurate and measurable digital marketing channel since performance is tied back to an inherently persistent email address. Still, email performance measurement isn’t perfect and recent developments from Apple (Mail Privacy Protection) are making certain email metrics unreliable (mainly open rates). But, in general, when a consumer receives an email, clicks on it, lands on a website, and makes a purchase, it remains highly measurable and trackable back to the email campaign.
While marketers may see clicks and sales from email campaigns that were sent out weeks or months in the past, the vast majority of responses come in quickly (hours or days) after you hit the send button. This gives email marketers the ability to evaluate a campaign’s performance quickly and make changes to optimize the next campaign, take advantage of recipient behavior (sending a follow-up email or upsell/cross-sell email to purchasers, etc.).
Email delivers a near-immediate impact. Probably the closest channel would be SMS marketing since recipients tend to look at messages almost immediately after they are received. Email isn’t quite that immediate, but it delivers exponentially faster results than channels like display, search, video, or even social.
Ready to make email a part of your 2022 marketing strategy?
Tom Wozniak heads up Marketing and Communications for OPTIZMO Technologies.