It seems like the entire world is online. In today’s world, everyone relies on digital channels for communication, education, entertainment, shopping. The online world has become a crucial part of everyday existence.
According to Pew Research, an astounding 84% of Americans use the internet, If you look at certain age groups, like the younger generation, internet usage is even higher. It’s expected that usage will continue to grow in coming years.
Given our digital dependence, it’s not surprising to learn marketers are investing in digital strategies at a super-fast pace. By 2021, an estimated $146 million will be spent on digital marketing, according to predictions from Forrester.
To be successful in digital marketing, however, you need a strategy. With dozens of platforms and tools available, marketers have to figure out how to combine different marketing efforts to form a solid digital strategy that keeps revenue coming in.
While strategies will vary, one thing is certain: the cornerstone of every digital strategy should be email marketing. Before we explain why email marketing is such a crucial component to a digital strategy, let’s look at what kind of marketing efforts contribute to an online marketing plan.
The marketing tactics in a digital strategy
The goal of a digital marketing strategy is to build brand awareness, find new customers, retain existing customers, and increase revenue.
Digital strategies vary, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but when people discuss digital marketing, they’re usually referring to tactics that fall into the following categories:
- Content marketing. To succeed online, you’ll need great content that connects with customers along their buying journey. From blog articles and how-to guides, to videos and infographics, you’ll need content that’s compelling and relevant.
- Email marketing. Using email, you can attract and retain customers with personalized messages that promote your content, brand, and product. You can segment contacts and use personalization techniques to deliver messages that customers can’t ignore.
- Social media marketing. Your customers use social media, so it’s important to maintain a presence that engages customers. Announce new products, ask questions, and run contests to keep fans active.
- Organic and paid search. Help customers find your website and product through organic SEO practices and paid search efforts. Organically, you can create content for your website and blog that customers might search for and combine those efforts with paid search ads to bring customers back to your site.
- Digital advertising. To attract customers, you’ll likely turn to digital advertising. Investing in Google or Facebook ads, for example, is a great way to fill your sales pipeline.
- Online events. Hosting online events like webinars not only helps you establish credibility, but it also provides a great means of data collection. Upon signup, ask customers for information like their email address, job title, and location.
All of these tactics can be used to increase brand awareness, target new customers, find new leads, and ultimately increase revenue for your business.
Why email marketing is crucial in digital strategy
Of all the marketing techniques mentioned, email marketing is often ranked as the top contributor to a successful digital strategy. Here’s why.
Email offers an unbeatable ROI
Marketers gravitate towards email marketing because it’s effective and cost efficient. Research shows email marketing generates $44 for every $1 spent and some companies see a ROI as high as $76 for every $1 spent.
Email ties all of your marketing techniques together
Every marketing effort you make can be promoted via email. Creating content for your blog? Share it with subscribers via email. Launching a social media contest? Invite subscribers to join with an email invitation. Want to drive traffic to your website? Send a product email to subscribers and follow it up with a retargeting ad through paid search. As you can see, no matter what kind of marketing you do email is at the center or it.
Email connects with more consumers than social media
Social media use is growing. No question about it. But, it still doesn’t outpace email use. More consumers use email and rely on it daily to communicate. OptinMonster offers research to support this:
Email messages have a longer lifespan than social posts
Email provides a credible, long-lasting way to connect with subscribers. Sure, you can reach subscribers with a Facebook meme or a tweet, but the lifespan of social posts fade quickly. Research shows a tweet’s lifespan is 18 minutes, according to Moz. Your tweet lasts for mere minutes and then disappears into the newsfeed abyss never to be found again. An email is different. It gets prominent placement in an inbox and is easy to reference later on.
Email offers a way to send tailored messages to new and existing customers
Advances in email automation have made it easier than ever for marketers to personalize their messages. Personalization goes way beyond adding a subscriber’s name to the subject line. Now, you can segment emails, create tailored messages, dynamically change content based on the subscriber’s preferences, and insert more personal fields like job titles and locations.
This kind of personalized marketing is the best way to attract new customers and delight existing ones. Knowing your customer and sending relevant messages has become the ultimate benchmark of a successful marketer.
What you need for email marketing implementation
Fortunately, there are dozens of email marketing tools that can aid your digital strategy. Here are a few tools to explore:
Email and data collection
Make sure customers can join your email list several ways. Include a sign up form on your website and consider adding pop-ups that collect contact information too. You can also gate content. To gain access to the content, customers must provide some personal information like their job title, location and email address.
Tools to use:
Campaign Monitor offers sign up forms that you can embed on your site and offers integrated pop-up tools like WisePops that will send new contacts right into your Campaign Monitor account.
To juggle timely email marketing demands, you’ll need email automation tools. Tools that allow you to pre-make emails and schedule them, or deliver emails to subscribers based on their behavior.
Tools to use:
Campaign Monitor offers automated journeys that cater to the needs of each subscriber and deliver targeted messages that drive revenue.
Email integrations with CRM software
If you’re using CRM (customer relationship management) software, look for email marketing tools that sync with it. As data comes in from contact forms, for example, it will flow seamlessly into your CRM.
This not only helps you build more detailed customer profiles, but it helps keep data organized, accessible, and useful. Too often, brands collect customer information but don’t utilize it. Connecting your email service provider and CRM gives you a one-stop data shop.
A sound digital strategy can help brands drive website traffic, increase brand awareness, and lift sales. To succeed, you’ll need to rely on several different types of marketing. You’ll have to create blog content, engage customers on social, and target prospects through online ads. But the glue that holds your digital strategy together will undoubtedly be email marketing.