December 28, 2020 6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
With the dominance of social media marketing, sending traditional, plain text emails might seem old-fashioned. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, when it comes to bringing in new customers and keeping old ones engaged and profitable — email marketing is more powerful than ever.
Even though new technology springs up every day, having an email list is still one of the best ways to generate leads, build awareness, make sales and increase conversions. Neglect email as part of your digital marketing strategy, and you’ll be missing out on a ton of potential business opportunities.
In an era where big tech companies are censoring content daily, and businesses can’t do anything about it, building an email list becomes not just a marketing accessory but a necessity. Here are six compelling reasons why.
1. You own the list
Unlike Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or any other social medium, your email list is yours, and nobody can take it from you. This is the first and most important reason an email list is better than any social media.
In other words, you’re not relying on algorithms that limit your reach. With emails, you’re in total control of your content, and you decide how often to email and what to say without the fear of being censored or taken down.
Obviously, social media can help build trust and credibility — but that’s only if it actually reaches people. According to Hootsuite, on average, only 5.5 percent of social media followers actually see your content due to algorithm changes, machine decisions, and a ton of other factors that are outside your control.
Your email list is within your control, and emails theoretically reach everyone. It’s your job to convince your audience to open them with compelling subject lines. Bear in mind that even a purely curated list will often get open rates of 10 percent and above, which makes email reach at least twice as effective as social media.
2. Email marketing brings the largest Return on Investment (ROI)
For more than 10 years in a row, email marketing has been generating enormous returns. According to DMA, in 2020, the return on investment from email marketing campaigns can be as gigantic as 4,200 percent. In other words, for every $1 spend on email marketing, the average return is $42.
This means that having an email list is one of the most inexpensive yet profitable ways to reach your audience. If you do it right, you can expect whopping returns. Here is how you can calculate the ROI of your email marketing campaigns:
Let’s say you pay $300/month for your email service provider (ESP). That equates to $3,600 per year. You also have a marketer who takes care of the email campaigns. He/she spends 10 hours per week at a rate of $25/hour. That’s $13,000 per year.
Your email marketing spend is $3,600 + $13,000 = $16,600 total costs.
If the revenue per lead is $150, and your email campaigns bring 500 leads per year, the total revenue becomes $75,000.
You can now calculate your ROI using the formula (revenue-spend)/spend: ($75,000-$16,600)/$16,600 = 351.8 percent.
3. The best way to establish your credibility and build relationships is through regular emails
People like to buy from people. And they like buying from those they know, like and trust. In fact, someone who already knows you is up to six times more likely to buy from you. Emailing is direct, which makes it more personal than any social media.
The best place to start building trust is through your welcome email. Most marketers don’t place enough importance on the welcome email or skip it entirely. However, you only have one shot at making a good first impression, and you must do it well if you want engaged readers.
A good welcome email usually includes:
How often you will be emailing them
What they can expect from your emails
A personal story, along with social proof, to show that you’re an authority in your field
Information on how to whitelist or add you as a contact, so all your emails arrive in their primary inbox, rather than the promotions or spam folders.
Don’t forget — the purpose of your emails is not to sell but to inform. With every newsletter you send, you should be looking to educate your audience about your field of expertise while building trust at the same time.
4. Emails keep you top of mind
More than 3.9 billion people use email every day, and this number is expected to rise to 4.3 billion in 2023. On top of that, 90 percent of these users check their email at least daily.
In other words, emailing your list regularly keeps you top of mind and makes you the go-to expert in your field. Your job as an entrepreneur is to come up with topical emails that interest your readers, provide valuable insights and keep them engaged.
5. Your email list is one of the best ways to generate leads and make sales
According to a report of Content Marketing Institute, businesses use emails mostly for lead generation (85 percent), sales (84 percent), nurturing of leads (78 percent), brand awareness (77 percent) and retaining customers (74 percent).
Savvy marketers use social media to create engagement and drive leads to their email lists. The real “selling” starts when you nurture the leads with value-driven email campaigns. The best way to nurture these leads is by being relevant to them and their specific industry needs.
This leads to the next and final reason why having an email list is better than any social media.
6. You can segment and personalize your list
“Be relevant or be deleted.”
Unlike social media, both personalization and segmentation of your list are 100 percent possible. And they’re easy to do.
In fact, nothing improves your email marketing efforts more than personalization. By segmenting and personalizing your list, you make your readers feel special because they get the feeling you’ve written the email specifically for them.
According to Campaign Monitor, personalizing your emails’ subject lines makes them 26 percent more likely to be opened, and marketers who create segmented email campaigns see an increase in revenue as high as 760 percent.
In other words, the fastest path to more revenue is relevancy. To make the most out of your email list, make sure you deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time.
Email marketing is still king
Your goal as an entrepreneur is to scale your business. Using an email list instead of relying on social media’s constantly changing rules and algorithms is the best way to do so. Focus your energy on effective email marketing campaigns by making them a priority rather than an afterthought, and you’ll see generous returns.