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It’s 2017: shouldn’t email marketing be dead?

Most of us probably thought that by 2017, email marketing would be dead. Maybe even email itself would be dead. The concept hasn’t really seen that much of a revolution in the past 20 years. It’s not really even seen much of an evolution. A lot of emails we all see are nothing more than plain, boring text on a plain, boring white background. How in 2016 is that possible? The reality is, email is still a favoured form of communication, particularly in business. It feels quite formal. And it’s an easy way to share lots of information with lots of people. It’s a widely understood form of communication. You don’t need to be a digital expert to interact with email. But sometimes managing emails can be as much of a day job as your actual day job. So how do businesses create engaging email content for their customers? They’ll usually leave that job to their creatives.

A lot of people have two (or more) email addresses. One is for work and one (or others) are personal. Where our work emails can sometimes be a little uninspiring, we’re looking for something much more inspirational when checking our personal emails. If you’re like me, you love most of your personal emails – but only if you religiously unsubscribe from the stuff you don’t want to see. I sign up to receive emails that I want to get content about – sport, photography, digital skills, eating out, music events and content from trusted companies that I’m a customer of. For me, email marketing is a good form of communication because it’s confined. By that, I mean it’s all in the one place in front of me. It’s like a library of the latest updates from my most trusted sources. That said, I will occasionally go through and unsubscribe from email marketing newsletters that I’ve been signed up to for a while. Usually because the content has become repetitive and dull. So how do small businesses utilise email marketing effectively and what are the benefits?

Let’s look at what you can get from an effective email marketing campaign and why to do it:

1. Reach

Tech research firm, Radicati, conducted a research report in to email statistics in 2013. It estimated that there would be 4.9 billion email accounts by 2017. That is a lot of potential customers.

2. Content
Where social media fails, email triumphs. You’ve got a bit more creative freedom with your static content, like text and images, in an email. You can get your message across concisely and coherently without worrying about your tweet length.

3. Lead generation
Email marketing has shifted slightly. It was once very sales focused. Now it’s more about sharing content, and engagement with your brand. The sale is a little further along the value chain than it once was. That means you have to work harder to generate your leads, but once you’ve got customers and they are signed up to receive your emails, they are likely to be loyal customers.

4. Measurement
You can get much deeper information about your email marketing efforts than ever before. You can track who has opened your email, who unsubscribes and what content your readers enjoy. This means you can be much more targeted, and do more of the things that your readers love.

5. It’s cheap
Good email marketing campaigns might take some initial investments to set up. You need some templates designed and a program to help you deliver your campaign. But once up and running, the only cost is time for pulling content together.

Email marketing is very much alive and well. However, there are a few tricks of the trade that can help small businesses utilise email marketing more effectively. If you’re interested in making email marketing work better for your business, why not come along to our Lunch and Learn event on Thursday 21st July? Read here for details about Lunch and Learn or call us on 01604 779035.

Author: Tom Jullings

I work with clients to improve the digital marketing experience they present to their customers – from web design and SEO to outreach marketing and social media.

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