The short answer to this interesting question is: it depends on who you ask. Some reports claim 108 billion emails are sent in the business world every day. By 2018, this figure is expected to be 145 million.
Other reports tell us that email is declining year on year. Messaging apps have grown exponentially in popularity, especially amongst users in the 13 to 25 age group. There is an ongoing debate about whether the time of the email is over.
Many small businesses are reporting, however, that email marketing remains one of their most effective means of communication with customers. Maybe the question we need to ask is what is email marketing good for - what can it do for us? And how should it be used? What is email marketing good for?
1. Email marketing helps you develop a relationship and build trust.
Email marketing enables your clients and potential customers to get to know you. The tone of your message, the content of your email, the way it is presented, all tell your customer something about you. It is a way to build credibility with the customer.
2. Email marketing assists in increasing sales.
Email is a cost-effective way of getting a message out to your customer. You can easily craft an email about a special offer, competition or campaign. Many companies report that when business is slow, email is an effective way of drumming up some business.
3. Email marketing is responsive.
With email, it is easy to test what works. The results are immediate and direct. Based on the response you receive, you can tweak your message.
4. An Email can reach any device.
Email helps you take advantage of mobile technology. Approximately two-thirds of all emails are opened on a mobile device. Email is not limited to a particular device, technology, or application. All smartphones can access email.
5. Email Marketing helps to generate leads.
Not every one that gives you their email address is a customer or is ready to be a customer. They may want more information, and to get to know you and your product better first. Email Marketing enables you to provide this. Your potential customer can sound you out first and, after some interaction, convert to a customer. It is a privilege to have the personal email of a customer or a potential customer.
If they have provided it to you, they have given you permission to come right into their inbox. You have the opportunity to deliver your message directly to them. This is not an opportunity to be squandered! Your potential customer can just as easily revoke this right. They can opt out of receiving your messages, unsubscribe, or relegate you to the spam folder. You need to use their address with care so that you can gain the advantages of email. How can you make sure that your email is received, and read, and produces the result you are looking for?
How should you use email?
1. Be mobile ready
You already know that two-thirds of emails are opened on a mobile device. Are your emails tailored for mobile? Do they read easily on a small screen? Are they laid out in a user-friendly way? Is it easy to navigate through your email? Does your email link through to a landing page on your website? Does your email facilitate an immediate conversion, such as a checkout for an online sale? All of these questions need to be answered to ensure that you are making good use of your opportunity.
2. Be relevant
Don’t inundate your potential customer with information that is not relevant nor valuable to them. You have a unique opportunity of speaking directly to them. One size does not fit all. Make sure that your message is crafted for your target group. Make sure that it is timeous. Makes sure that it is relevant.
3. Let your customer choose
Listen to what your customer wants, and give them that. Let them choose how frequently they want to hear from you. Let them tell you what they want to hear about. Continually give them the option to stop receiving your emails. In this way, you will know that those receiving your emails want to get your emails. The email then becomes a valuable communication channel for you.
For the moment email marketing is still very much here. Collaboration tools and messaging apps have grown in popularity and reach, but email remains a very effective way to communicate with your customer. Get in Touch with us for some more tips on Email Marketing.