I often run into people who tell me that email is yesterday’s news. These people – some of them running big companies – maintain that email is a stodgy old technology that’s been around forever. They say that with so much happening around social media, email is no longer useful for marketers.
I strongly disagree.
In today’s blog, I will give three reasons why email is still the best way for marketers to communicate with customers and prospective customers.
These reasons are based on my own years of experience in marketing, as well as my knowledge of existing technologies and communication methods and how people interact with them.
1. Email still casts the widest net
There are all kinds of ways to reach customers today, from a website to TV advertising to social media – with a few influencers thrown in for good measure.
Each method has its advantages, and each is good for reaching certain segments of the market.
Take social media.
It’s true that social media posts (Instagram, Facebook and the like) are a good and effective part of a marketing campaign.
But there are limitations to social media. For example, who is to say prospective customers will log into their social media account and see your ads or posts? If so, will they click on them?
And yes, you need a website. But what is driving people there? Who’s to say a prospective customer will find it?
The reality is that people check email all the time (about 15 times a day according to one study).
So I can guarantee that if you send an email, people will at least see it. Email remains the best way to proactively reach people before you have made a sale, and it’s also the best way to keep them engaged.
Which leads to my second reason:
2. Email can be used by all teams throughout the entire sales process
Email remains the only medium everyone inside a company can use at every single step of the customer journey.
Your marketing team can use email to reach out to prospective customers.
Your sales team (or e-commerce platform) can use email to answer questions people have about your products (sizing if you sell clothing, for example) or the purchase process.
Your logistics team can answer questions about shipping (if you sell an actual product) or installation (if you sell software).
And email is the preferred way for keeping in touch with customers after a sale – to collect feedback or respond to queries.
Every step of the way, email is the best way to keep in touch. Old-fashioned? Maybe. But definitely effective!
3. Email is the easiest way to keep a company on-brand
One of the challenges any company faces is keeping its different forms of messaging on-brand. Among other things, that means making sure your marketing team follows the same brand guidelines as sales, service, and all the other departments.
When you use a single platform for communicating with customers (email), it becomes much easier to have all the players singing from the same songbook.
Making sure that happens is usually a task for the CMO (chief marketing officer). CMOs tell me that to do that effectively, they have to own the message. It’s easy to do that when all emails are built using the same tool – one that already sets branding parameters (by the way, we can provide companies with such a tool).
A final word…
We did a survey a while back on email benchmarks.
A lot of our customers told us that their email metrics have been declining for some time. The number of people opening emails and clicking through to the website has been going down year over year.
Is that a reason to abandon email as a marketing tool?
No – for the reasons I have just listed.
In fact, what that survey tells us is that companies need to be paying more attention, not less, to their email content. The best emails, the ones that result in sales, are ones that engage the customers. These emails are the ones that are on-brand. They are thoughtfully prepared and deliver something of value.
Giving value drives engagement.
The more a company can engage a customer, the more feedback it can get, and the better it can drill down and get to know its market.
Emails – which encourage a dialogue between the seller and the buyer – are to my mind the best way to do that.