With the rise of social media and prolific online advertisements it can be easy to forget about email. There is a large quantity of interesting, in your face advertising that is exciting, sexy and sleek. In light of this, why would anyone bother with email marketing?
In short, businesses and marketers care about email because it is an owned channel. This means that businesses have full control over their email marketing efforts. To examine why this is important, it may be helpful to compare email marketing to social media and consider the purpose of both. Broadly speaking, social channels are, among other things, a useful place to attract new followers and engage with people who are interested in your company by providing valuable content. Email on the other hand, is an effective channel for nurturing leads that have already been captured and encouraging repeat business. To boldly illustrate the importance of owned marketing channels consider the following. A social media platform could disappear tomorrow and every businesses followers would be gone with it. With email this would not happen. Furthermore, social platforms can and do change their algorithms. This tends to decrease organic reach in favor of advertising. When this happens businesses can be left wondering why they only reach a diminishing percentage of their audience with their organic posts. Once again, with email this would not happen. Businesses employing email marketing can rest assured knowing that all of their content is being served to all of their subscribers. Is it important to note, that these comments should not be perceived as bashing social media. Social platforms serve a valuable function in many companies marketing efforts such as providing social proof and engaging with prospective customers. It must be recognized that this only parts of the equation. After attracting and engaging with potential customers email serves as a tool to nurture and convert these leads. Of course, organic social media is not the only opportunity to cultivate email subscribers. There are a myriad of other options including website opt in’s, online advertising and lead magnets. A comprehensive marketing program will include a number of different tactics. Let’s discuss how to nurture and convert these leads into happy customers. This is where content comes in. Just like distributing content on any other platform, it is critical for the majority of the content delivered to truly be valuable to your audience with only the minority of content being directly sales oriented. Why is this important? Think about it from the customer’s point of view. They first learned about your company on social media or saw an advertisement for your offering and decided to give you their email address. Why would they do this? Certainly not to be bombarded with relentless sales messaging or to constantly be asked what their needs are but rather to be shown more interesting content, learn a thing or two, be unexpectedly delighted and only receive pertinent sales information about your offer after you have enriched their lives in some way. Marketing on a channel such as email isn’t much different than distributing contents anywhere else. It is true that the content will look slightly different as a result of the context but the concepts remain the same. Email matters because it allows businesses to have full control over their audience. It has been said that growing an email list is the equivalent to growing a business. I could not agree more.