Is email marketing dead?
That question has been thrown around by industry experts for years and has sparked a lot of debate.
Those who haven’t been impressed with their email marketing ROI may tell you that it doesn’t work in 2021, but there are still many success stories that say otherwise.
Before you downplay the power of email marketing, let’s look at how you can use it effectively.
Like everything else, there is a right and wrong approach.
What is Email Marketing?
If you use email for business purposes, there’s a good chance you utilize email marketing in some capacity.
Those who use it routinely to secure new leads or attract paying customers typically implement the following process:
- Build Your List – Collect email addresses from people with interest in a specific niche or product. Offering a free digital download or free webinar related to the niche in exchange for those emails is a common tactic.
- Send Email Messages – Use the email addresses collected to send marketing materials digitally. Email marketing apps now make it easy to separate the list into endless categories and then target every email to the interests of the lead.
- Interact with Potential Customers – Emails sent for marketing purposes typically include a call action that instructs the reader to do something specific. A successful campaign will result in follow-through on that call, allowing businesses to go a step further in selling their products and services directly to targeted buyers.
In this case, email marketing is a process of collecting targeted email addresses and then launching mass email campaigns to secure new leads or buyers.
Email Marketing Lists
In some cases, some marketers will purchase lists of email addresses that were collected by someone else.
That’s a faster approach but may result in less impressive results because many lists are well targeted to specific niches or are sold to thousands of people, which results in endless spam for the recipients. (Note: I don’t recommend this approach, but know people who use it successfully).
Some will argue that any type of selling through email is a form of email marketing.
By that definition, it isn’t just about sending mass emails.
You can meet people through social media and then reach out to them by email without launching a mass campaign.
That’s a more personalized approach that delivers slower results as you’re reaching one person at a time rather than hundreds or thousands simultaneously.
Does Email Marketing Still Work?
Does email marketing work in 2020?
That’s a good question that is best answered through current email marketing statistics.
Take a quick glance at these facts:
Approximately 4 billion people used their email daily in 2020 with the numbers expected to continue climbing through 2024.
Email marketing ROI as high as 760% has been reported for segmented campaigns.
One survey found that nearly 80% of marketers saw an increase in email engagement between 2019 and 2020.
These statistics show that people are still using email in 2020. Moreover, marketers are still seeing results of their efforts when sending newsletters and other marketing materials through segmented campaigns.
While some people aren’t seeing great email marketing ROI, that’s true of every marketing strategy.
Some strategies simply work better than others, and none of them work well if they aren’t implemented properly.
What are Alternatives to Email Marketing?
We’ve answered the burning question, “Is email marketing dead?”
If you’re still not sold on the value of email marketing, read on!
All of these alternatives can work well alongside email marketing, so it isn’t an either-or scenario.
It’s important to design the marketing strategy that allows you to reach your ideal buyer.
That may leave you with a different plan than many other businesses.
Some of the most effective email marketing alternatives include:
- SMS Marketing – Instead of sending mass email messages, you can send mass text messages that are just as targeted. With the use of smartphones becoming the norm, there are millions of potential leads walking around with what amounts to small billboards in their hands.
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) – Place ads on websites like Google and pay only when someone clicks from the ad to your website. Adwords is the most well-known PPC opportunity, but there are many others.
- Social Media Marketing – You can run ads on social media channels like Instagram and Facebook or pay to boost your social media posts so that more people see them. You may even want to get creative and become a YouTube video producer or a TikTok star. There are many ways to leverage LinkedIn for marketing as well.
- Inbound Marketing – Produce a steady stream of high-quality content and wait for the leads to come to you. This is a much slower process than email marketing, but it’s something all business should focus on in 2020.
When is the Best Time to Use Email Marketing?
Maximizing the power of email marketing requires sending the right messages to the right people at the right time.
In terms of seasons, there is no one best time to use email marketing.
Email marketing effectiveness is at its highest when you build trust over time. You build that trust by offering newsletters, tips, and other valuable information in your email messages.
Now, when is the best time to send email promotions in terms of daytime hours?
Research has shown that the best time is in the mid-morning hours, specifically at 10 a.m.
If you believe your target audience gets up early, then early morning messages may grab their attention. If your audience is more inclined to check email and social media in the evening or late afternoon, then around 2 p.m. or 8 p.m. is the best time.
Notice that those ideal times fall all throughout the day.
It’s important to consider the daily habits of the people you want to reach when deciding between early morning, mid-morning, later afternoon, or evening.
Some testing will help most businesses narrow down the most effective schedule for their email marketing efforts.
Where Should I Begin with Email Marketing?
We’ve answered the question, “Is email marketing dead?”
But there are other strategies that can help or at least compliment your email marketing methods.
If you’ve decided to give email marketing a chance, where do you start?
It always starts with building (or securing) an list of email addresses.
Preferably, the people on the list are interested in the products or services you’re promoting.
Sending an email message about a new tackle box to someone with no interest in fishing will get you an instant delete if the message is ever opened at all.
Make sure your messages to appear relevant, timely, and tempting to the majority of your email list.
The strategy will take time, but the sooner you begin, the faster you’ll see results!
© Shawn Casemore 2020. All Rights Reserved.