Email has been around for about as long as disco. Unlike disco, it’s still fresh and vital, an essential component of business and personal communication. While you might read the occasional article about the death of email or about moving on from email marketing, the numbers don’t lie: Email is more important than ever to business, and that’s especially true in B2B marketing. Research from eMarketer shows that nearly 70 percent of professionals they polled cited email as their preferred form of communication. When 7 out of 10 people in their audience tell marketers how they want to hear from them, smart marketers listen.
Here’s why email still matters now and why it’s only going to grow as a marketing channel.
People Expect Email
Now that email is one of the most basic channels of communication for the business world, companies that fail to make good use of it are missing out on a huge opportunity. Not communicating via email today would be tantamount to a business that refused to include its telephone number on correspondence in the 1990s. Your audience needs to know you’re accessible via the most common, most preferred avenue for business correspondence. Give your audience ready access to email, including subscription-based content, opt-downs, and preference pages to let them control the scope and volume of the email they get from you.
Email Gives You Quantifiable Results
As a marketer, how do you know what’s working? The answer’s important not only because it tells you how to repeat your successes but also where to cut your losses. Email marketing gives you measurable results that point the way to your next course of action. With marketing automation tools that handle A/B split testing, monitor open rates and click-throughs, send autoresponse messages, and maintain data hygiene for lists, every aspect of email marketing can be related directly to the revenue it produces. That kind of measurable feedback is important for all marketing channels, not just email.
With email, companies speak directly to their customers. The message may go out to thousands or even millions of recipients, but to each one, it’s a personal connection. That degree of reach is more powerful than ever because it’s easier now to customize email messages based on marketing segments and audience preferences. Instead of a broadcast, email is a narrow-cast channel that pinpoints the recipient’s interests and concerns directly. Selecting audience segments and addressing each of them in a different way makes your message more relevant. With customization and segmentation, you aren’t just talking at your audience; you’re solving problems with them.
Email Marketing Builds Brands
From its tone to its content, email messages are almost infinitely customizable. That kind of creative freedom is an outstanding asset for building a brand that truly distinguishes itself from the competition. It’s a low-cost, high-impact way to make an impression whether you’re welcoming new leads, establishing a larger mind-share with prospective customers, or helping long-time loyalists become ambassadors for your brand.
Email on the Move
As audiences across all industry sectors become more mobile, an equally agile means of reaching them is a must. Well more than half of people with email access now read their mail on mobile devices, and in some industries, that figure tops 70 percent. Simply put, if you aren’t able to reach your audience wherever they go, you could fail to reach them at all. Email marketing’s beautifully suited to mobile marketing because it travels along with recipients. As long as people use smartphones and tablets, mobile-first email marketing is here to stay.
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