Email marketing sometimes gets ignored in favor of trendier marketing methods like social media and text messaging. But while it may be the granddaddy of marketing methods at this point, email marketing is far from dead. In fact, a recent survey reveals that Americans are hooked on email and don't foresee giving it up anytime soon. Here are four reasons every small business should use email marketing, plus three tips on how to do it better.
Reason No. 1: Consumers like email
Consumers in the survey The Inbox Report say email is their preferred way to receive ads and promotions from businesses. (Make sure recipients know it's from a business by using a professional email address.) In fact, more than four in 10 say they’d rather get promotions via email than any other method.
Reason No. 2: Consumers pay attention to email
The majority of survey respondents (44 percent) say they check their emails several times a day. In fact, more than 20 percent check emails the minute they arrive, thanks to real-time notifications. (That figure rises to 26 percent among millennials.)
Reason No. 3: Email motivates action
Consumers don't just check their emails — they frequently act on the email marketing messages they receive. After receiving a marketing email from a business, 50 percent of consumers have made a purchase on a mobile website; 35 percent have purchased something on a computer; and 27 percent have visited a brick-and-mortar store to make a purchase.
Reason No. 4: Email isn't going anywhere
Perhaps because our workplaces are still so dependent on email, consumers in the survey don't expect to stop using it anytime soon. In fact, more than three-fourths (78 percent) of respondents say that in five years, they expect to use email as much as or more than they do now.
3 ways to make your email marketing more effective
The report offers these tips for effective email marketing:
- Make sure your emails are mobile optimized. More than 75 percent of Americans say they most often check email on their smartphones (among millennials, that figure rises to 81 percent). Overall, just 29 percent of people check their email on laptops or desktops.
- Don't overdo it. Sending too many marketing emails can turn consumers off. The older consumers are, the more likely they are to say they get too many marketing emails. Overall, more than half (51 percent) of respondents say they get marketing emails "way too often," but only 37 percent of millennials feel that way. In fact, 22 percent of those aged 18 to 34 say they get "too few" marketing emails. Segmenting your email lists and paying attention to your email analytics can help you gauge the proper frequency for your emails.
- Make sure your marketing emails are relevant. Deals/promotions are the top type of marketing email that consumers in the survey like to receive. However, nearly three in 10 respondents say they “rarely” find emails from businesses useful. Why is this a problem for you? While the most common response to an unwanted promotional email is to delete or ignore it, between 11 and 14 percent of recipients will mark it as spam.
One good way to reduce the risk of being tagged as a spammer: Always send your emails from a professional email address, not a generic free email address like AOL or Gmail. Getting a professional email address is easy to do as part of registering your business domain name. It costs very little but makes a huge difference in the branding power and deliverability of your marketing emails.
Follow these tips to create an email marketing program that's poised for success.