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Email marketing, the essential part of marketing mix
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Email marketing, the essential part of marketing mix

  • TECHNICAL LEVEL

Is email dead? Replaced by social media and conversational platforms when it comes to personal conversations with friends and family, yes. But email marketing campaigns between businesses and customers or prospects are alive and well. In fact, according  to Adobe's 2017 Email Use report  , more than 60% of consumers (especially those aged 25 or older) prefer brands to contact them via email.

Nowadays, the email address serves as the main digital identity document in the customer journey. As new privacy regulations and tech platform policies make it increasingly difficult to target consumers with paid media, the primacy of primary data assets is clear – and email addresses are found. at the top of the list. 

As new marketing channels grow in popularity and email marketing strategies evolve, there are many misconceptions circulating about their importance and effectiveness. In this article, we'll debunk the most common myths to explain  why email marketing is essential for small, medium and large businesses .

EMAIL MARKETING MYTHS

MYTH #1: EMAIL MARKETING IS ARCHAIC AND NOT AS EFFECTIVE AS OTHER MARKETING CHANNELS.

While some expected that contextual targeting on social media would lead to its demise, email resisted and held its own. Why? Because the email address is the main reference for consumers in the digital world.

Fact: Several factors make email more relevant than ever for marketers:

  • The boom in email commerce
  • The priority of primary data acquisition
  • More stringent regulatory requirements

These conditions have helped to change the sentiment of marketers towards email marketing programs. Even though email has been around for decades, the way it is used has evolved, and the best marketers are those who have adapted their strategies to better meet today's standards. Businesses rely heavily on email to guide consumers through the various stages of the buying journey, including product discovery, the transaction itself, purchase confirmation, and order status.

Nearly 73% of marketers surveyed in Q4 2020 (CMO Council) cited email as the top of a long list of communication channels, including social media, web forms, online reviews and personal interactions with sales and customer service personnel.

MYTH #2: SOCIAL MEDIA AND OTHER MARKETING MIX TACTICS GENERATE MORE LEADS THAN EMAIL MARKETING PROGRAMS.

While Facebook and Google ads, organic search engine optimization (SEO) practices, webinars, and other tactics can be effective in attracting potential new customers to your business, their usefulness in nurturing and converting is more limited.

Fact: Email generates sales and creates long-term buying relationships.

Ads may not be used to convert prospects into customers, to track customer satisfaction, or to upsell. Without this type of tracking throughout the customer journey, you only have a long list of prospects, not a real marketing program that drives sales, builds lasting customer relationships, or generates new revenue.

Email is what brings your prospects to your website, where you convert. It is with email that you offer incentives, share your latest content updates or your news. This is where you ask your customers for feedback. This is where you encourage customers to return to their online shopping cart after abandoning it. This is where you re-engage them after they haven't visited your website in months.

MYTH #3: CONSUMERS ARE INUNDATED WITH EMAILS AND DON'T WANT TO RECEIVE THEM ANYMORE.

It's true, people get a lot of emails, but that doesn't mean they're spam. When was the last time you saw a spam message in your inbox? Email service filters have gotten so smart that chances are the emails in your inbox are emails you subscribed to at some point.

Fact: Email is the preferred method of communication for most consumers.

When a consumer subscribes to your mailing list, they give you permission to access their inbox; he tells you that he is interested in your company and that he is ready to hear from you. The idea that your contacts don't want you to send them emails is totally wrong. If they didn't want your emails, they wouldn't have subscribed to your mailing list.

  • According to DMA's 2021 Consumer Email Tracker report  , 96% of consumers check their email every day.
  • In Canada, nearly 9 in 10 people aged 15 and older said they had used email in the past three months, making it the top digital activity in the country according to a survey by Statistics Canada in March 2021.

Email is also much less intrusive than many other forms of marketing. Consumers choose to check their emails on their own schedule, and they can choose whether or not to open the message 一 unlike tactics such as pop-ups, which disrupt a person's online experience, or even social media ads, which intrude into the personal news feed. When consumers give you their email address, they expect you to respect their time and their inbox. A good rule to follow: send emails only if you offer added value and if your objective is clear. Also, be sure to write emails so compelling that people will be eager to open them!

MYTH #4: COMPANIES HAVE LITTLE CONTROL OVER EMAIL MARKETING.

According to a study conducted by eMarketer ( Canada Email Commerce 2021 ), two trends are emerging in 2021: 

  1. Businesses looking to personalize email communications will turn to targeting and segmenting lists based not only on purchase history (a metric that has been used for years), but also on digital behaviors, interests and demographic data.
  2. Privacy reform is underway in Canada and could affect marketers' initiatives as early as next year. The proposed changes will make digital communication rules more compliant with the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This might actually be a good thing for email. Remember: Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) has dramatically improved email performance since it came into effect in 2014.

Fact: Businesses have more control over email than any other channel.

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have changed their algorithms many times. These platforms determine how often and to whom your ads are shown, and they don't seem to want to stop. The main purpose of social networks is to limit the possibility for users to leave their ecosystem.

Your mailing list belongs to you. You can control when emails are sent 一 down to the day and hour 一 and specifically designate who certain emails are addressed to. In fact, 90% of emails reach a consumer's inbox, yet only 2% of Facebook followers see a company's posts in their News Feed.

“We used to say that social media would kill email,” says Jean-François Renaud, co-founder of Adviso. “But email remains the #1 channel for driving campaign results and generating ROI. In retail, as well as other industries where direct-to-consumer (D2C) is now the norm, email is the primary vehicle for engagement and is defining itself as the driving source for secondary purchases. Brands use email for everything from customer acquisition and re-engagement following shopping cart abandonment, to up-selling and cross-selling and retargeting. In addition to these downstream actions, many brands use email to deliver brand messaging and awareness.

MYTH #5: EMAIL MARKETING IS EXPENSIVE.

Fact: Email marketing generates a better ROI than any other marketing channel.

When email marketing is executed correctly, it can have a higher ROI than other direct marketing channels. A recent study by  Litmus  shows that for every dollar spent on email marketing, you can estimate a return of around $36. The report also analyzed email marketing ROI by industry:

  • Software and technology: 40:1
  • Marketing, public relations and advertising agencies: 42:1
  • Retail, trade and consumer goods or services: 45:1
  • Media, publishing, events, sports and entertainment: 45:1
  • Travel, tourism and hospitality: 53:1

It's clear that email marketing meets (and even exceeds) its average ROI of 42:1 when viewed through the lens of specific industries. 

MYTH #6: I LEARN A LOT MORE ABOUT CUSTOMERS FROM THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILES.

Fact: Email lets you get to know people better than other channels.

When you sign up for Facebook, another social media platform, or even an app or website, you typically use your email address to create your account. This means that all data these channels have about you is linked to your email address.

The marketing mix revolves around email. The identity of your customers and prospects follows them all over the web, and email is at the heart of this targeting journey.

In other words, the Custom Audiences you create on Facebook to make sure you show your ads to people in your target market are only possible because Facebook tracks users' web browsing history and links that data to individuals based on their email address.

Email addresses are the basic unit of analysis to identify customers. They are also more reliable than other forms of identification such as using third-party browser cookie data to track visitors. Cookies can be erased or blocked, and you cannot compile cookies from different devices such as personal computers, tablets and smart phones. Email addresses, on the other hand, consolidate traffic across devices.

Marketing automation treats email as the basic unit of analysis, regardless of the platform you use to target your audience. Plus, consumers keep their email addresses for years, which means your email database will have a long and reliable life, no matter what channels you use for your marketing efforts.

MYTH #7: EMAIL IS NOT AS TARGETED AS OTHER CHANNELS.

Fact: Emails can be hyper-segmented and personalized with the right marketing automation and CRM platform.

In email marketing, the old “  batch and blast  ” mass approach is no longer relevant. Today, so-called “  spamming  ” has been replaced by extremely sophisticated possibilities for personalizing emails for each individual in your contact list.

With email, you can be much more targeted and personal than with other channels. If your email automation platform is integrated with your CRM, you have a wealth of data on all your contacts: the products and services they are interested in or have purchased, the web pages they have visited, the advertisements they clicked on, as well as their demographics. All of this information can be used to ensure that you are sending the right message to the right person at the right time.

IN SUM, WHY IS EMAIL MARKETING ESSENTIAL TO BUSINESS GROWTH?

There is no doubt that email is not only a fundamental necessity for marketing and growth, but also an engine of results far beyond the capabilities of any other channel.

As we approach the end of 2021, a year marked by economic recovery, we do not yet know if marketers are ready to face a world without third-party cookies, as they have been concerned about recovering their prospects after COVID-19.

“In a world without third-party cookies, you end up having to use additional data sets to compensate for the lack of ability to digitally track the consumer,” says Roger Kamena, Vice President Analytics and Data Science at Adviso.

Paid media has been a key part of this recovery, but when the world without third-party cookies begins, you won't be able to track the performance of that spend with the same efficiency. We strongly suggest starting now to reinvest in primary data programs, especially email campaigns. We believe businesses need to couple external datasets with email, text, and geospatial data to become more surgical in how they identify and engage consumers.

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