Is email marketing still relevant in 2021?

Email marketing has been around for more than four decades. You might have seen articles claiming that email marketing is “dead”. But is this really the case? We’re seeing a rapid rise in social media marketing, it’s true. However, that doesn’t mean we should forget about email marketing. In this article, we’ll discuss the unique benefits of email marketing and the ways in which you can boost your email marketing strategy.

Should email marketing still be part of your marketing strategy?

The short answer is “yes”! Customers expect emails from businesses. In fact, 81% of small-to-medium businesses rely on email marketing for customer acquisition. In 2020, we sent and received over 306 billion emails worldwide. Yet despite this statistic, many businesses are focusing their marketing efforts on social media. This is good news, as it frees up customer inboxes for your email campaigns! The fewer businesses there are proactively using email marketing, the more chance you have of standing out. 

Benefits of email marketing:

1. Targeted

With email marketing, you have easy control over which customers receive which content, using segmentation. This improves your click-through rate (CTR), by only sending tailored, relevant emails to your customers based on things like age, location, or stage of the user journey.

2. Helps attract new clients and customers

With email subscriptions, you can hook new customers in with the promise of exclusive deals, promotions or insight. The average open rate for a ‘welcome’ email is an impressive 82%, compared to a standard email open rate of 21%.

3. Measurable

Use A/B testing to find which types of emails work best. Measure how many customers open your emails and click the embedded links. This is a great way to assess what is and what isn’t effective. It’s also a non-invasive way of finding out what your customers are looking for!

4. Cost-effective

For a low cost, you can reap a relatively high return. For example, MailChimp has a ‘free-forever’ plan for up to 2,000 contacts. This package includes easy-to-build campaigns and reports to optimise them. This is a great option for small businesses starting out with email marketing. 

5. Increases brand recognition

A simple, yet powerful email can increase your brand recognition. We recommend keeping your tone of voice and brand images consistent to make your emails instantly recognisable to readers.

How to boost your email marketing strategy:

So, now you know the benefits of email marketing, what can you do to realise these for your small business? Here are our top five tips to boost the success of your email marketing. 

1. Craft compelling subject lines

A short and snappy subject line will encourage the recipient to open your email. In fact, 33% of people decide whether to open an email based on this. This list by Campaign Monitor provides some good examples, or you could try the free version of Coschedule’s Headline Analyzer.

2. Optimise for mobile devices

Around 81% of us prefer to use our phones to view emails. So, emails need to be easy to read on a small screen. The text-to-image ratio in your emails should reflect this. If customers can’t read an email because they have to pinch and zoom, they often won’t bother. Most good email campaign systems have mobile previewing, but at the very least, make sure you test your email on your own mobile phone before you send it to your entire list.

3. Personalise your messages

Emails with personalised subject lines generate 50% higher open rates. Use what you know about your customers to your advantage. Go beyond using the recipient’s first name at the beginning of your email. Instead, tailor the entire message to meet their needs or interests.

4. Interactive emails

Changing the format of your emails can boost engagement. Interactive emails allow recipients to actively engage with them, e.g. by clicking or swiping on their content. Interactive elements can be anything from a short video clip to a gif, image carousel, survey or countdown timer. 

Take a look at this clever example of an interactive newsletter designed to educate readers about accessibility:

We hope you’ve found our email marketing tips useful. To learn more about how we can help boost your digital marketing strategy, visit our website or join a webinar!

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