Why E-mail Marketing is More Important Than You Think

by Gabe Arnold

Advertising is an inevitable fact of life.  It surrounds us.  Now, more than ever, our lives are subject to advertising in almost every facet of our daily affairs.  Much of the advertising we see can be muted, fast-forwarded through, switched away from, or tuned out.  The great majority of businesses are dependent on advertising.  Without a way to draw customers to your particular business, it will shrivel and die. The question then becomes:  What is the most effective way for your business to advertise without being tuned out?

The evolution of communication technology has made it indispensable.  We’re all connected.  From our PC’s, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, we have connected to every facet of information we deem important.  Wouldn’t it make sense for your business to take advantage of that continuous connectivity for its advertising?  Of course it would.  But you need to conduct your marketing campaign in a manner that doesn’t relegate your message to a status of “just another ad.”  If your business is serious about making its presence known, then E-mail marketing is the solution for you.

E-mail advertising is not something new.  Anyone who has spent 10 minutes deleting unwanted spam and junk mail from their inbox is aware of the proliferation of online advertising over the past ten to fifteen years.  Yes, most of what you find in your inbox is junk, but occasionally you see an ad that intrigues you, or catches your attention in a positive way.  That means, despite some over-saturation, e-mail advertising is still an effective way to market your business.  Here are a few reasons why E-mail marketing is more important than you think.

E-mail marketing allows your business to connect with mobile customers

With the advent (and saturation) of smartphone technology, more mobile customers than ever are constantly checking their phones.  No matter where your day takes you, if it’s not you, then there are always people around you texting, watching, or listening.  They’re also checking their inboxes frequently.

According to research conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2013,”Nearly two-thirds (63%) of cell phone owners now use their phone to go online.”  The Pew research also notes that 34% of “cell internet users” have the majority of their internet access through their phones.  That’s a staggering amount of instant connection for your advertising.

If your business skews toward a younger demographic, E-mail marketing, aimed at teens and young adults, reaches an even larger section of mobile users.  Knowing that immediacy and instant gratification are noted traits for the younger portion of the population, E-mail marketing has to be looked at as the most effective way to advertise your product or service. Of course, a simple E-mail might not draw much business, but coupons or online specials do.

Advertising coupons and in-store specials

The days of clipping coupons from a newspaper, and in store markdowns advertised on the front door or window of a business, have almost entirely passed into history.  As antiquated as those methods seem now, they were effective in bringing customers to their business.  Your E-mail marketing should be looked at in the same manner.

A growing number of online shoppers (27% as of 2015) have found that downloading a store app, or subscribing to store E-mail, is an effective way to keep up-to-date on sales and discounts.  An even greater percentage of online shoppers (65%) are particular to grocery stores that provide online coupons.  An equal amount have printed and used E-mail coupons.  These numbers will only increase as more retailers and online businesses expand their discounts and coupons through E-mail advertising.

Many national retailers are already using E-coupons and E-mail as a way, not only to advertise chain-wide discounts, but also highlight local markdowns.  Estimates predict, that as retailers expand their E-mail advertising programs, over a billion consumers will have access to E-coupons. E-mail campaigns and coupons have expanded not only consumer savings, but have brought increased revenues for retailers.

Keeping your customers informed

With much hard work you’ve been able to build and expand your business.  Through the years you’ve built a loyal clientele.  Those folks are essential to the success of your business.  Not only do they provide steady business, but through word-of-mouth bring new customers to your business.  E-mail marketing can be looked at as a way to supplement the business brought in by your loyal clientele and word-of-mouth advertising.

Perhaps you have recently begun to stock an exciting new product line.  What better way to draw interest, and curious traffic, than through an E-mail marketing campaign?  If your business has aligned with a new vendor, they might provide an informational video that can be added to your marketing.  Some retailers have reported a jump in revenues of up to 40%, with the addition of a video to their E-mail.

Whether your customer base is local or national, E-mail marketing is a way to keep your most prized and loyal customers informed, and attract new customers as well.

E-mail marketing can be tailored to fit the needs and preferences of your customers

One of the most important facets of running a business is knowing the type of items that your most loyal customers routinely purchase or need.  E-mail marketing can easily be customized to fit your client’s preferences.  Many American retailers (almost 45%) have begun personalized product recommendations based on the client’s history of purchases.

In addition, retailers are beginning to add the customer’s name and personalized message to their E-mails.  Online businesses are utilizing “reminders” for frequent customers as they finish their purchase and begin the checkout process, as a gentle reminder about oft-purchased items.

Online advertising integrated with other forms of advertising

More traditional forms of advertising can be combined with E-mail advertising, as a means to increase your business’s reach.  If your business still sends out mailers or flyers, the integration of your website address, in addition to a physical address and phone number, can allow multiple avenues for your potential customer to access your business. Even television and radio advertising can be supplemented with your business’s website address. Of course, you have included your business’s website address on your business cards, haven’t you?

Most cost-effective form of advertising available

Throughout the various reasons to implement E-mail advertising as a means to promote your business, we’ve mentioned less-effective advertising methods from the past.  Those forms of advertising all required an expenditure of money, in some cases a large financial expenditure (TV and radio).  Another financial cost was for an advertising expert to design the advertising, and define the market for your business, product, or service.  Even placing advertising in a newspaper or magazine required ad design and a budget.  Noticing a pattern yet?   Money, money, money!  The old adage in business was, “It takes money to make money.”  That was then, this is now.

The great majority of American business owners are now using, or have considered, E-mail advertising as their primary means of marketing.  And why not?  To sit down at a computer, perhaps download a graphics package, and design your own business’s advertising, costs you, the business owner, not a cent.

Even if you’re too busy with the business end of the operation, you might have more than one employee, with graphics and design experience, who will be willing to put their talents to use.  It might cost an hour or two of overtime pay, but when compared with the alternative methods and costs for advertising, the costs are minimal.

Finally, what makes E-mail marketing the most cost-effective is the amount of coverage you get with the internet when compared with ANY other means of advertising.  The estimated number of E-mail accounts worldwide is expected to reach close to 4 billion during 2016.  Granted, your business probably won’t be able to reach even 1 billion of those inboxes, but regardless of how your E-mail marketing is handled, the cost for an equal amount of coverage with any other advertising medium would be staggering.

Advertising, and the methods for expanding your advertising, are constantly evolving.  The newspaper ad of 100 years ago became the radio ad, which became the TV ad.  These days, mass-mailings are beginning to fade as their cost-effectiveness (and environmental concerns) renders their use prohibitive.  In a way, E-mail advertising can be compared to mass-mailings, radio, and television.  All reach a relatively large amount of potential customers, some who may not have been aware of your business or product.  However, E-mail advertising has so many built-in advantages over marketing strategies of the past:  The ability to be seen and read anywhere, instantaneous coupons, and online or in-store discounts, the ability to keep your customers informed about upcoming sales and new items, tailoring advertising to fit your customer’s preferences, flexibility to integrate with other forms of marketing, and the infinitesimal cost when compared to other marketing mediums.

Whatever the business or product you want to advertise, E-mail marketing is the most cost-effective and far-reaching method of advertising at your disposal.  If you’re not already taking advantage of this marketing opportunity, let us show you the way!

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