Email has been around since 1971 when it was first invented by Ray Tomilson when he managed to send across mail between two users. Ever since Sabeer Bhatia created Hotmail, it became a tool in the hands of marketers to promote their products and services. But is email marketing relevant today? Is it still effective in an era of Marketing Automation tools that are widely available today? Let’s try and understand.
What is Email Marketing?
As per Wikipedia, Email Marketing is defined as“the act of Sending a Commercial Message, typically to a group of people using an email.”As a part of Digital Marketing Strategy, Email Marketing can be defined as sending out mails for creating relationships with prospective customers and converting them from prospects to clients. It is one of the most effective traffic channels.
Is Email Marketing Dead?
Email Marketing is far from Dead. Email marketing has distinct advantages over other traffic channels. Given below is the “list of benefits of Email marketing”:
List of Benefits of Email Marketing:
- It is Direct– One of the most unique advantages of Email Marketing is that it is DIRECT, meaning that it is directed towards an Individual rather than a group. Every person on your email list receives the email in the same way as everyone else.
- You can personalize content– Email unlike newsletters can be personalized. While personalization by mentioning the contact name is a small step, it has been known to improve click-through rates. One can customize content by segmenting your emails and send the right emails to the right kind of segments.
- It is there in your INBOX always– Unlike a social media post that appears on your wall and becomes difficult to track or pull it out from your history of “LIKES”, a mail-in your INBOX is always there( at least till the time you don’t DELETE it 😉 ). This helps when you need information in the mail handy and on the go. One search on the mailbox and you are done. Try doing a search on your Facebook/Instagram for a Like on a sponsored ad or someone who is not your friend. Believe you me, it takes a lot of attempts and hit and trial to narrow down the right person who posted(unless the person is on your friend’s list).
- More Users with Email Accounts-As per Statista, by 2024 there will be around 4.4 Bn Email account users worldwide. That is a lot of Email accounts. That’s more than the number of users on Facebook. So email marketing is one of the most comprehensive mass media traffic channels available today.
- Full Control– You have full control over your email marketing content, right from Images, Video, Content that you want to share with your audience. Such control is not available in any other Traffic Channels. There are always constraints on specifications, type of image, image text, etc on every traffic channel including Social Media, etc.
- Collecting Feedback and surveys– Email is a very effective tool for collecting feedback and conducting a survey. Eg. Amazon uses emails for getting reviews about the products purchased on amazon.com
- Lower Cost– One of the most obvious benefits of Email Marketing is the lower cost associated with it as compared to any mass media channel like TV or Newspaper Advertising. There may be small costs associated with email marketing platforms that are used for the purpose, but in the overall mass email marketing campaigns, that cost is minimal as compared to the overall cost of advertising on TV.
- Reaching an engaged audience made easy– Given that most of the email lists subscription is double opt-in today, most of the businesses send out emailers to those who subscribed to them. This helps brands by sending out emailers to an audience that is interested in the offerings of the brand. While there is a possibility to even send out emailers to email lists purchased from data vendors, but this may result in spamming and leads to an antagonised audience, so it is best avoided.