The digital age has advanced so quickly that even something as relatively-new as email can seem downright old fashioned. When it comes to marketing, however, email is certainly not ready to go the way of the dinosaurs. Email offers a number of distinct advantages that are hard to beat. It also remains one of the most popular marketing tools. As 2014 gets rolling, it looks like good old reliable email even has a few new tricks up its sleeve.
Advantages of Email Marketing
Email is an enduring favorite among marketers because it offers an unbeatable combination of efficacy, adaptability, and low-cost. Among the top benefits of email marketing are:
Email Is Free – Even the biggest companies still have some type of marketing budget, and it’s impossible to beat the budget-friendly aspect of email marketing. It is true that some email programs require an investment, compiling and updating a registry of email recipients may also incur a cost, and the development of the email its and its content may also cost money. However, all that aside, the actual email itself is free to send and can be sent in such large quantities that the capital investment is negligible when spread out over so many emails.
Email Can Be Targeted – Email can be extremely targeted. Different lists of users can be established and if a company chooses too, it can send its email only to those recipients who are most relevant and likely to get some value from it.
Email Is Eco-Friendly – Email is much better for the environment than snail mail or print ads. With a tangible piece of marketing ad they all end up in the trash at some point. Even people who were interested and may have made a purchase as a result will eventually toss the ad out once they are finished with it. By contrast an unwanted, or no-longer-useful, email will simply end up in the digital trash with no tangible waste of resources.
Email Is Versatile – Email can be adapted to suit just about any information-related purpose. Images and video can be added and embedded, links included, and attachments for downloads added. Email can also be optimized for maximum readability on mobile, tablet, or desktop devices and for different operating systems and platforms.
Email Is Instant – Email is instant. There is no delay waiting for the mail to be delivered, the flyers distributed, the posters hung and billboards hung, or the TV or radio ad to be played. Email can be sent out almost instantaneously with only a negligible delay as it makes its way through servers.
Email Can be Automated – Email is also extremely easy to use. Not only can it be mass delivered, but it can be set up to be delivered at specific times of day or in response to specific actions a person takes like signing up for a new account or making a purchase. Email can dramatically lighten workloads.
Email Marketing Statistics for 2014
Salesforce recently released statistics on a marketing study they performed. The study was called ExactTarget Marketing Cloud 2014 State of Marketing and it polled over 2,500 mid and senior level marketing executives across all different sectors. The results perfectly exemplify the remaining power and relevance of email marketing in 2014. Some key points are as follows:
- 67% of respondents said their number one goal for 2014 was to increase sales using digital marketing campaigns.
- 64% indicated that they planned to focus on click throughs and open rates.
- 61% are looking for ways to increase their return on investment (ROI).
- 67% said that email is at the core of their business and a key path for boosting ROI.
- 57% plan to send more emails in 2014 than they did in 2013
- 49% are planning to send out a whopping 500,000 or more emails in 2014.
Email Gets Smarter in 2014
Research indicates that not only will email continue to be a dominant force in marketing in 21014, but that it will also be getting smarter. As mentioned above email is very adaptable and trend of “response email design” that automatically renders properly across all platforms, devices, and screen sizes, will become an even more established practice. This will make email more useful and easier to view regardless of when and how it is accessed. This development also looks like it will go far beyond trend to become the standard.
Email is also generating a great deal of buzz in association with the practice of lifecycle campaigns. These campaigns refer to distributing the email at precisely the right moment to precisely the right people, thereby increasing efficacy and decreasing spam. A precursor to this development was the practice of companies emailing only particular segments of their customer base about a sale, promotion, or product release that would pertain only to that demographic. However, lifecycle campaigns take that a step further by focusing on timing as well as smaller groups of people, or even single individuals. For example may track the days of the week and times of day when specific customers are mostly likely to make a purchase and email them information and marketing material just prior to that time.
Email is also getting more personalized in general in terms of content and relevancy to individual recipients. Advanced analytics tools and CRMs like Salesforce have made it possible for companies to know and serve their individual customers better than ever. Much of that enhanced personalized service is being delivered through email. This is a complete reversal of spam in that the recipients are actually like to welcome and appreciate their customized, personal emails as opposed to receiving an irrelevant, blanket message that does nothing but clog up their inboxes.