These days many business owners and advertisers have the notion that email marketing is archaic and ineffective. After all, email marketing has been around for nearly a quarter century!
They think that email campaigns are obsolete in a world of sexier modern marketing strategies like mobile application push notifications, social media marketing, influencer marketing, or even SMS. It’s been at least 15 years since email was considered new or exciting marketing technology.
But here’s the thing: everyone still uses email. Nearly everyone still has to check their email for work, important financial correspondence, account management, and personal use.
Many more people have email addresses than social media accounts. And billions of people have smartphones with their email just a click away. It would be silly to dismiss these facts.
I know I certainly doubted email marketing for a period of time. I started email marketing customers and leads in 2008 and achieved some moderate success for myself and clients, mostly because not a lot of people were doing it at the time.
But for a couple years from 2013-2014 I barely collected any email addresses or sent out any marketing emails in favor of focusing on my social media accounts and content.
While my social following and content grew and helped me achieve more success, I lost out on a major opportunity to distribute my hundreds of blog posts, YouTube videos, and eBooks.
I left a lot of money on the table during those that period of time and for years after. Since then I learned never to knock any marketing tactic that actually works like email marketing.
While you’ll still need a comprehensive digital marketing strategy to be successful, here are some additional reasons why email marketing still deserves a prominent place in your advertising arsenal:
Email Marketing ROI Is High
Numbers don’t lie and email marketing has great numbers when it comes to return on investment. Email marketing is nearly always ROI positive, and often times returns 2-10+ times the money you put into it.
Remember that every recipient of your promotional email is a potential customer spending anywhere from a few dollars to thousands of dollars. It might take multiple emails to sell to them but they could become a customer for a long time and even a great source of referrals.
There are plenty of free or low cost email marketing platforms you can utilize such as Mailchimp, Contstant Contact, HubSpot, or iContact. Choose the option that provides the features you need for the price that you can afford.
Social Media Organic Reach Continues To Drop
Some companies used to build their personal brand solely on Facebook and Twitter. They built up their following and reached thousands or millions of fans organically, myself included.
Unfortunately those days are long gone. It’s been no secret that Facebook’s organic reach has been dropping since 2012 and it’s now around less than 1% per post.
The same thing has happened on Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and LinkedIn and it’s started to occur on Instagram as well over the past year as social networks cash in on advertising. Sadly, it will continue to drop even further in the coming years due to crowding, while email marketing reach remains relatively constant.
Social Media Paid Ads Are Getting More Expensive
Along with the steep decline in social media organic reach is a strong increase in social media advertising costs. That means that the results you could get on Facebook or Twitter for $5 years ago will most likely end up costing you $10-25+ today.
Costs are up across the board because there are more people paying to advertise, including more large corporations that have finally accepted that social media is here to stay. And the social media landscape has changed drastically too. Where Tumblr, Vine, and Google+ used to be minor players, they have been shut down or replaced by Instagram, Snapchat, and Tiktok.
Content Marketing Is Getting More Competitive
Everyone and their grandmother has a website and blog these days so it’s increasingly difficult to get your content to stand out. Even very niche markets are becoming saturated with blog content so it can be hard to manage your business reputation effectively and get your brand out there.
Our increasingly competitive (global) digital world has made it more difficult to get organic traffic and to fight for the attention of readers and viewers who literally can see anything on the planet with a single click.
You’ll need to write a lot of content and do a lot of guest posting just to have a chance at getting your content seen. Email marketing works quickly, consistently, and is less time intensive compared to content creation and blogging.
SEO Is Competitive And Volatile
SEO is also another old-school tactic that isn’t going anywhere, but it certainly gets much more competitive every year.
It’s hard to compete for organic search traffic against large corporations that can spend millions on content, website traffic, backlinks, and on-site optimization.
Also, the SEO strategies that work today may not work tomorrow since Google is constantly updating their PageRank algorithm. Email marketing doesn’t change that much year after year.
PPC Costs An Arm And A Leg
If you can’t get as much organic traffic from search engines, then why not just pay for it with AdWords and other PPC services?
Well you certainly can, but it will cost you. Pay-per-click for even moderately competitive keywords can cost you $2-10+ per click, so unless you are selling big-ticket items it might not make much sense. Email marketing is just a smarter investment in many cases, or at least worth doing concurrently with PPC advertising.
Email Marketing Still Works Wonders
Marketers have been saying that “email marketing is dead” for over a decade now, but it isn’t going anywhere. With other digital marketing avenues becoming more crowded and competitive, email marketing is a consistent and affordable tool to continue building your business. Email marketing still works if you work it!