Email Remains a Shining Star in SMB Marketing

open laptop with email on screen

The key to success is adapting your email strategies to maximize the effectiveness of newer digital marketing tools and techniques.

The history of internet marketing is littered with fallen stars. AOL, Napster, and MySpace all surrendered to the laws of evolution. They rose to their peaks and collapsed into obscurity because they didn’t adapt to fit the latest technology. Any day now, the same fate awaits email as a marketing channel, right?

Email is no shooting star. Consider these statistics:

  • 89% of marketers said that email was their primary channelfor lead generation. (Mailigen)
  • Email marketing spending in the United States is projected grow from 2.07 billion U.S. dollars in 2014 to 3.07 billion U.S. dollars in 2019. (Statista)
  • Email has a median ROI of 122%—over 4x higher than other marketing formats including social media, direct mail, and paid search. (DMA and Demand Metric)
  • Marketers have witnessed an increase of 760% in email revenue from segmented campaigns. (Campaign Monitor)

Email integrates with other powerful digital marketing tools

As newer forms of marketing including social media, content marketing, location-based mobile marketing, pay-per-click (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO), and influencer marketing have all consumed growing shares of SMBs’ marketing budgets, it would seem something old is bound to get pushed out. But email isn’t going anywhere.

Businesses say email marketing by itself provides a better return on investment than most other forms of marketing. Email provides deep integration with other business functions and it can be combined with the newer forms of marketing. From content marketing data collection (especially email addresses) to “push” messages from Facebook and mobile Gmail, email’s star is adapting to the changing online universe and getting brighter.

In 2017, the average results for email campaigns across industries were:

  • Open rate: 24.79%
  • Average click-through rate: 4.19%
  • Click-to-open rate: 11.88%

To generate these results, or better, in 2018, there are several techniques you should be using, according to the Email Marketing Industry Census 2017, by Econsultancy. These are the top seven techniques, and the reasons why they are so vital to your marketing success:

  1. Basic email list segmentation: Email lists should be segmented so that highly targeted messages and offers can be delivered to niches within your customer and prospect lists. Email list segmentation and personalized emailing were the most effective email strategiesof 2017. (DMA)
  2. Optimizing for mobile devices: Are your emails optimized for mobile devices? If not, make this an urgent priority. Mobile email accounts for 20 to 75% of email opens, depending on your target audience, product, and email type. (eMailmonday)
  3. Regular list cleansing: Email verification and list cleaning results in lower bounce rates, increased conversion, increased email ROI, and more accurate campaign statistics.
  4. Encouraging sharing of content on social networks: Getting your audience to share content is especially important on Facebook, Twitter, and GooglePlus, which account for 57%, 18%, and 10% of total sharing activity, respectively. When your emails direct readers to content, provide links to these social platforms to encourage sharing.
  5. Transactional marketing emails: When customers and prospects take an action on your site, or even when there is inaction on their part (abandoned shopping carts), use automatically generated transactional emails to capture what would otherwise be lost opportunities.
  6. Re-marketing or retargeting: Re-marketing can reconnect your business with site visitors who may not have made an immediate purchase. It enables you to position targeted ads to site visitors as they browse the internet, to entice them back. Only about 5–8% of your website visitors will convert on your page, and retargeting can be a very effective way to recover the 95% of leads you thought were lost forever. (Wishpond).
  7. Use of video content: Despite the never-ending statistics demonstrating the power of video, few of your competitors probably do this, which makes using this technique an extraordinary competitive advantage. Adding videos to your email content can boost click rates up to 300%. (Martech Advisor)

Unlike marketing tools that rise and fall, email’s star remains ever bright. SMBs that commit to email and adopt today’s best practices should find sustained and impressive ROI from their investments.

Alan Margulis

About the Author

Alan Margulis is an accomplished copywriter with two decades of experience in content marketing, nurture stream, and direct response writing. He has done extensive work in a wide range of industries, from software and academia to staffing and entrepreneurial.