When social media hit the scene, marketing teams rushed to invest their time, energy, and resources into targeted campaigns on platforms like Facebook.
People thought email marketing was as good as dead but the truth is, email is not only alive and kicking but thriving. Even younger generations spend hours checking their email every day and plan to use it even more in the future.
Email marketing provides a reliable form of communication between your brand or organization and your audience. But don’t take our word for it: read what top digital marketers have to say about email marketing and decide for yourself.
The key to success is to understand how you can leverage email marketing to your advantage. Here’s how.
Why should brands and organizations care about email marketing?
Before we take a look at what top digital marketers have to say about email marketing, here are some interesting facts.
It provides a higher ROI than social media advertising
For every dollar you invest in email marketing, you and your clients can enjoy a $39 return – the highest ROI of any platform.
This makes sense when you consider that emails provide some of the best click-through-rates of any medium. In fact, you’re six times more likely to get a click-through from an email versus a tweet.
You don’t have to deal with sketchy and unreliable algorithms
The changing algorithms on Facebook have not been kind to small businesses. Instead, marketers should focus their efforts for a successful long-term strategy on email marketing.
You don’t need to fight with algorithms, target segments for sponsored posts, and hope for the best. Instead, you have an intimate form of communication with subscribers who actually want to see your content in their inbox.
You know they want to hear from you because they’ve chosen to give you their email addresses.
People spend a lot of time in their inbox
A lot of marketers thought that millennials and Generation Z wouldn’t take to email the way Boomers and Generation Xers did.
However, young people spend more time than they’d care to admit checking their email inbox.
One study from Adobe estimates that millennials spend about 6.4 hours each day reading their emails. Not only that, but they check their email everywhere: While working out, eating, and even using the bathroom.
People prefer email for communicating with their favorite brands
77% of people across all age groups and demographics prefer email communication for permission-based advertising over other methods like Facebook.
Think about it: Email puts users in control. If they don’t want to see a promotion, they can simply unsubscribe and it will go away for good.
What top digital marketers have to say about email marketing
Email gives you a line of communication with your audience that no one can take away or block (aside from the subscriber, of course).
Email marketing has evolved and changed since the early days of the internet, but it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Here’s what top digital marketers have to say about email marketing and how you can use it.
Neil Patel: “Email is by far the most effective marketing channel we have today.”
Email marketing gives you the ability to reach your customers wherever and whenever you please. But you’ll need to do what it takes to stand out from the crowd.
Neil points out on QuickSprout that email marketing isn’t a secret anymore. This means that marketers need to invest considerable time into every email they send from the subject line to CTA.
An irrelevant or mediocre email will do nothing but earn you unsubscribes and swipes to the trash bin.
This email from Chatbooks is relevant yet simple. It highlights a special offer for a baby’s first birthday. Plus, it creates a sense of urgency by providing a deadline for the offer:
Seth Godin: “The friction that slows down sending email to everyone all the time is the cost of all the people you’ll lose.”
Email marketing gives you the ability to reach thousands—if not millions—of people instantaneously. Even if you aren’t worried about annoying your audience, you should still care about your bottom line, right?
Seth Godin points out that the cost of postage for snail mail helps ensure that marketers put their best effort into every postcard campaign. Email, on the other hand, is free – so why should you bother?
According to a study from SmartHQ, over 71% of millennials surveyed reported frustration with irrelevant or redundant emails. Young people notice when you put effort into the content you send them. Likewise, they can also spot an irrelevant email campaign from a mile away.
If brands don’t adapt, they might as well forget email marketing.
Personalized customer appreciation emails are a great way to let your subscribers know you’re listening and care about them.
Ben Sailor: “Success starts with strong subject lines.”
Your email subject line functions much like your blog’s headline. You need to grab attention and entice subscribers to open the email.
At the same time, you don’t want to produce clickbait garbage. Not only will this earn you unsubscribes, but it could also put you in violation of international spam laws.
Like Ben Sailor of HubSpot says, “success starts with strong subject lines.” Don’t be afraid to get personal: Use your real first name in the sender field. Using a personal name can increase your open rates by 35%.
When it comes to subject lines, always keep length in mind. Remember that most people check their inbox on their smartphone where character limits are shorter. If your subscribers can’t see the full subject line, they probably won’t understand what the email is about and thus won’t open it.
People are busy, so respect their time. Use your subject line to grab their attention and get to the point in a concise fashion. This email from Uber takes personalization to the extreme but in a good way:
Julia McCoy: “Successful and professional email writing today all boils down to how well you optimize your email for more reads, clicks, and bottom-line ROI.”
Julia McCoy understands that optimization is crucial for getting the results you want from your email marketing campaigns. Let’s be honest: You want your emails to produce clicks and improve your bottom line.
The key is to understand your audience. Go back to your old school marketing tactics: Who are you writing for and what are their pain points? Everyone wants to improve their lives in some way or another—how can your email help them achieve their goals?
You no longer have any reason to send the exact same email to everyone on your list. In fact, you should almost never do this. Each one of your subscribers is a unique person with individual problems and interests and if you throw something out to everyone, it’ll be too vague to resonate with anyone.
Instead, break your list up into different segments based on the emails they’ve interacted with in the past in addition to your subscribers’ ages, shopping habits, and other factors. From there, you can target them with the most relevant emails to solve their problems earn their trust.
This email from Snap Kitchen is specially crafted to retain the subscriber’s interest by letting her know Snap Kitchen is listening to customer feedback:
Gary Vaynerchuk: “Email is all about delivering on promises.”
Sleazy marketers have ruined a lot of tactics for the rest of us. As Gary Vaynerchuk points out, email marketing is all about making and then delivering on promises.
Gary recommends making a promise upfront in your email then immediately following through. If you can do that, you can successfully build your subscribers’ trust and you won’t get flagged for violating spam filters.
Gary also points out the importance of staying up to date on dynamic and evolving marketing tactics. Poor marketers ruin some tactics for the rest of us and we have to adapt. With email marketing, this is even more important because you have the privilege of access to your readers’ most personal online communication: Their inbox.
This email from AMC immediately lets subscribers know how they can earn rewards for their purchases and what kind of bonuses they can expect for their birthday and other occasions:
Email marketing is one of the most intimate forms of communication with your audience. It gives you a direct line of communication that isn’t obfuscated by algorithms and sponsored posts.
The key is to optimize your email content and deliver the right information to the right subscribers at the right time.
By staying up-to-date on what top digital marketers have to say about email marketing, you can learn from their example and take your email success into your own hands.