Email marketing: have the benefits changed and how?

Most businesses today use email marketing. I remember the days that I gave presentations to companies to persuade them to start with email marketing. For younger marketers email marketing might sound like a ‘natural thing’ but I can assure you that it took a long time and much effort to get companies using it.

Yesterday, while backing up some files, I found back some texts, I wrote ages ago to explain the advantages of email marketing to marketers that didn’t use it yet. 

I decided to adapt them a bit (including some of the things we have learned about the integration of social media and email) and post them here. 

I would really appreciate some feedback on how you would rewrite and adapt these texts in this day and age and tell me what, according to you, has changed. But most of all: do these benefits still stand, according to you? And what benefits would you add…or delete. So here they are.

Key benefits of email marketing 

1. Email is popular 

Despite rumors and opinions saying otherwise, email is still an extremely popular medium with way over 90% people online using it. Furthermore, people have a positive attitude towards opt-in email marketing despite the spam plague and despite the increase of social media communication. 

2. Email marketing campaigns can be set up rapidly 

Email is probably – together with search engine marketing – one of the fastest vehicles to realize a marketing campaign. Not only is deployment of the campaign fast, but also the reaction of the consumers receiving the mail can be instant. It is a known fact that the majority of readers responding to email do so within 24 hours after the mail has been sent, although the time between the sending of an email and the opening of it seems to become longer. This fast deployment and reaction cycle permit marketers to send out their campaign in pieces. By measuring the response on the first wave of emails, they have sent, they can still quickly adjust the campaign for the next waves. 

3. Email is interactive

Email marketers can immediately track which recipients are interested by their proposal/content/information by tracking the clicks. Furthermore, modern email marketing tools permit you to integrate interactive tools such as e-polls, online forms, social media, sharing tools and so on to interact with the recipients and set up conversations.

4. Email can be personalized and segmented

Depending on the richness of your corporate database, email marketing permits a high degree of personalization. This enables you a personalized communication with the recipients which in turn raises the impact of your action. Many marketers limit their email personalization efforts to the name of the recipient. However, personalization can be so much more. By using professional marketing automation tools an email marketing campaign can be adapted in function of the individual profile or needs of every recipient. 

5. Email marketing can be measured

One of the best things about email is that several parameters of an email campaign can be measured. Thus marketers can analyze how many emails have been opened, who has read them, who clicked on which hyperlink and so on. But marketers have to go much further and also track the behavior of the email recipients after they have opened the mail and clicked a link. By combining email tracking, web analytics, marketing automation and CRM data, marketers dispose of very powerful lead management capabilities. In these social media times, it is also very important to include other interaction-oriented parameters. Remember that email marketing should become a dialogue rather than a monologue. 

6. Email marketing has viral potential

Viral marketing is a form of marketing that is based upon the fact that recipients can decide to share content, messages, and stories with their peers. This can greatly improve the reach of an action. Email, ideally combined with social media, is one of  the best vehicles to realize these viral marketing goals. One of the characteristics of email is that recipients can forward an email to their friends, relatives or colleagues, simply by clicking a button. Creative marketers can influence this forwarding behavior by coming up with ideas and information that are worth forwarding, thus increasing the reach of their individual actions. And don’t forget to integrate social sharing tools to even further increase the effect of your emails!

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3 thoughts on “Email marketing: have the benefits changed and how?”

  1. I think these benefits do still stand. If anything, e-mail is more ubiquitous than ever, and there are more sophisticated tools for creating, personalizing and analyzing. The one caution I would mention is that while e-mail campaigns can be created and deployed more quickly than some other media channels, don’t make the mistake of throwing something together too quickly. E-mail marketing does benefit from planning and thoughtful execution.

  2. Thanks for your feedback, Liz, that’s indeed a good point. As, I said the text dates back a while. It’s true that in the early years of email marketing there was less talk about planning and thoughtful execution. Well, we talked about it and we told people how to do it but I guess we were to eager. Anyway, rest assured, this is a first part of this series. I planned another post with more 🙂

  3. It’s so common now for published material to be solely intended to sell something or to advance the cause of the writer in one way or another. It was refreshing to read something that is actually intended to benefit the reader, as this article was. Great work!

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