13 Reasons to Use Email Marketing in 2019
By Helen McCrone, B2B Copywriter
When it comes to marketing to the masses, email is still king of the castle. This enduring marketing tool is as relevant today as it was ten or fifteen years ago. More so, perhaps, with the rise of inbound marketing.
So, if you’re planning your direct marketing campaigns for 2019, please don’t overlook email. Read on to see the latest statistics about email marketing and the reasons your business should put it front and center of your inbound marketing strategy.
1. Email has a larger reach than Twitter and Facebook combined
There are currently 5.2 billion active email users around the world, according to Statista. Compare that to Facebook, the most popular social network worldwide, which recorded 2.23 billion active users in Q2 2018. Twitter, another hugely popular platform, reached 1 billion active users in the same quarter.
And here’s food for thought. It’s just possible we’ve hit a peak with social media. Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter all reported a drop in active users for Q2 2018.
But the number of email users is still growing. The increase in smartphone ownership has a lot to do with that. It gives people the chance to email while on the move, something we weren’t doing ten years ago.
Towards the end of the decade, the number of active email users is expected to rise to 5.6 billion.
Now that’s some marketing reach.
2. Email delivers more new customers than any other channel
That’s right. Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter.
How come? Well, it’s the way we interact with businesses these days. A staggering 93% of U.S. online consumers are subscribers. Think about it for a moment. How often do you give a company your name and email address when doing some sort of online activity?
Whether we’re signing up for a free trial, downloading an e-book, or asking for a quote, opting in has become the default way in which we, as consumers, give companies permission to market to us.
3. Email is the preferred channel for permission-based promotional messages
Our fondness for email as a personal communications channel has diminished over recent years, thanks to the rise in direct messaging apps like WhatsApp, Viber and Messenger. But when it comes to marketing communications, email is alive and kicking.
That’s due largely to email’s familiarity, flexibility and universality.
Around 77% of us would rather receive permission-based marketing communications in our inbox. And that preference cuts across all age groups, even those social channel die-hards, the millennials.
It seems that most of us think email is the most appropriate way of sending a marketing message.
Unsurprisingly, the only exception to this is unsolicited commercial messages from unknown senders, otherwise known as SPAM. You don’t need me to tell you that batch-and-blast emails is a no-no for your business.
66% of us have bought something after receiving a marketing email
4. Your customers start their day with email
Well, I reckon that many of us are still reaching for the coffee pot before our smartphone when we drag ourselves out of bed in the morning. But when it comes to our first online activity of the day, you may be surprised to learn that email is our number one go-to.
A survey done by ExactTarget reveals that most consumers check their email before anything else online.
Why is that good for businesses to know? Because email-first individuals are more likely to be online searching for deals, promotions or new product information. And that’s your marketing opportunity.
5. People are more likely to read your email than ‘like’ your post
In the age of social media, you’d think it would be much easier to get a follower to hit ‘like’ on one of your Facebook posts than to get them to open your permission-based marketing email. Think again…
A study by Edgerank Checker found that, between February 2012 and March 2014, organic reach for the average Facebook Page dropped from 16% to 6.5%. So, if your business Facebook page had 3,000 fans, as few as 195 of them would have seen one of your posts.
True, that was some years ago and things change. In 2016, Facebook adjusted its algorithm—and the decline in organic reach dropped even further.
In the first six months of that year, publishers saw a disturbing 52% decline in organic reach on Facebook.
So, what’s going on?
Facebook explains it this way: there are simply too many Pages producing too much content for too many fans. In other words, competition for visibility on the News Feed is cut-throat.
Facebook’s unofficial advice? To assume a day will come when organic reach is zero.
Let’s get bang up to date. In 2018, the platform re-committed to focusing on social interaction following its humiliating episode of data misuse by analytics firm Cambridge Analytica. Yep, you guessed it. It’s got even harder to get our marketing messages read on the world’s favorite social platform.
Despair not, my friend. It’s not all doom and gloom because there are still ways you can keep a business presence on Facebook. Native and live videos to make your brand more engaging is one. Paid advertising is another.
Or you could simply turn to email marketing.
Over 96% of marketing emails across all industries
reach the inbox of a valid address.
*2018 Global Engagement Benchmark by SendGrid
6. Email is the highest converting channel
Conversion is the ultimate goal for all marketers: turning prospects and leads into paying customers is what it’s all about.
One reason that email converts better than search visits, direct traffic, or social media is that emails are sent to subscribers. These people, who are a mix of customers and leads, are willing and waiting to hear from you.
Of course, you need to build a healthy email list in the first place. Fortunately, there are some great lead generation plugins out there to help us do that. These list building solutions are easy to use and don’t require you to be a conversion expert.
Another reason for email’s high conversion rates is the fact that we can easily personalize the content. Emails that are sent with the right content to the right person at the right time significantly boost the chances of conversion.
A study by Experian Marketing Services found that personalized emails deliver six times higher transaction rates and revenue per email than non-personalized email.
7. Email has a higher return on investment
Email marketing has an ROI of 3800% [DMA]. What’s more, one in five companies report an ROI ratio of over 70:1. That means every $1 those companies are spending on email marketing is generating a whopping $70.
How does that compare with other marketing channels? Well, 59% of marketers say email marketing continues to generate the most ROI for their organization [Campaign Monitor].
That surely tells us that email marketing is worth doing.
8. Businesses prefer email to communicate for business purposes
Businesses today run on email, according to HubSpot’s global report: State of Inbound 2018. For 83% of the survey’s 6,200 respondents, it appears that email rules. Social media and messaging apps trail behind—after face-to-face, phone and video conferencing—in fifth and sixth place (35% and 32% respectively).
This is particularly significant for B2B companies. Marketers are investing more and more in video channels, social networks and messaging apps to reach those customers and prospects that prefer to be online.
But if your customer base is C-level Executives, VP and Directors, Managers and Specialists, email is still the preferred channel for communicating. That’s worth bearing in mind when you want them to read your latest white paper or case study.
9. Email beats blogs & social media at distributing content marketing
In a 2018 survey by the Content Marketing Institute, B2B marketers said that email is still the most effective channel for distributing content. Around 93% use email marketing to send out white papers, case studies, research reports, e-books, how-to guides, infographics and news.
The great thing about email is that it can be used for a wide range of content marketing purposes. Whether you’re nurturing leads or conducting a drip campaign, email has proven itself to be adaptable and consistently effective.
10. Email is integral to your inbound marketing strategy
If your company does inbound marketing, you know already that email is an essential element of this effective strategy. From welcome messages and order confirmations to subscription reminders and sales announcements, there’s always a good reason to send an email.
No matter where your leads and customers are in the buyer’s journey, email allows you to send appropriate and useful content. And that moves your contacts one step closer to buying, whether it’s for the first time or the tenth time.
11. Email lends itself to perfectly to automation
To send the right email to the right people at the right time (which is what inbound marketing is all about), you need to respond immediately to the online activities of your leads and customers.
And that requires an automated email marketing platform.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be a tech wizard to use an automated email marketing platform. There are some great user-friendly email marketing automated tools out there, and many of them have a free package for lighter users.
But can automated email messages make that much of a difference?
It seems so.
They not only save you an incredible amount of time but also deliver great results. This is especially true when the email is based on a user’s engagement with your website or other marketing channel (what we call ‘trigger-based marketing’).
In 2016, a study conducted by BlueShift discovered that triggered emails have a 381% higher click rate and a 180% higher post-click conversion rate than batch-and-blast marketing messages.
The power of triggered emails is also undisputed in the latest Email Marketing Benchmarks report by GetResponse (Apr 2018). It compared average results by email type and revealed that the open and click rates of triggered emails outperform those of autoresponders and newsletters, even though all three types are sent to subscribers.
Just why do triggered emails perform better?
They’re more relevant.
As Irek Klimczak, Content Marketing Expert at GetResponse, explains: ‘With marketing automation, you can collect important data along the customer journey and use it to segment your list and personalize marketing communication.’
Now that’s smart.
12. Email marketing is totally in your control
If your business invests a heap of time and money in content marketing, there’s no way you want to adjust your marketing strategies every few months.
But that’s exactly what you have to do with social media because those darn rules keep changing.
And as any marketer will tell you, it can be a heck of a job keeping up with your chosen platform’s latest algorithms. Take Facebook as an example.
Facebook’s algorithm was tweaked in Jan 2018. It now prioritizes ‘meaningful interactions’ from friends and family over content from brands. As Mark Zuckerberg explains, the tweak is designed to bring back the "social" element to Facebook.
But, he also admitted it would result in “less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media”. In other words, as a business, you’ll find it more difficult to get the desired news feed time for your organic content.
Now, I can understand that social media platforms want to make sure they continue to deliver content that matters most to their users. And I’m not suggesting that you ignore social media for your content marketing.
But those frequent changes to algorithms are annoying to say the least, especially when those changes lead to a decrease in user engagement.
Emails, on the other hand, are in your control.
You get to make the rules.
You get to decide what sort of content you distribute, who you send it to, how long the email is, and how you segment your contact list.
Email marketing couldn’t care less about Facebook’s changing algorithms. Email marketing is in your control. Completely.- Helen McCrone: Write for Business
13. Email is in it for the long haul
Believe it or not, email has been around for over 40 years. Social media platforms, on the other hand, tend to come and go.
Even those platforms that hit the big time.
Widespread platforms like Friendster. During its prime, Friendster had over 150 million users. What about MySpace, the biggest social network site between 2004-2010? And remember Vine? It had 200 million active users at its peak, until its owner Twitter discontinued the popular mobile standalone app in 2016.
Gone, and now forgotten.
And the death toll keeps rising. The recent demise of Google+ is another prime example of the vulnerability of social media platforms.
Email, however, is still going strong.
So, the verdict is in. If you’re looking for ways to boost your inbound marketing communications in 2019, look no further than email. That, dear friend, is where most of your consumers are engaging with brands.
Please share this article with colleagues and business partners. Let’s spread the word that email marketing is still a sound marketing choice.
Is your business planning to carry out email campaigns in 2019? Tell me what type in the comments below. And if you need a little help with your writing your content, check out my email copywriting service.