Social media is the buzz of marketing efforts these days. Facebook and Twitter are not only effective channels of engagement, but they’re largely unexplored potential fills hopeful marketing hearts with dreams of viral success. What these starry-eyed professionals overlook, however, is that one of the most effective mediums in online marketing has been at their fingertips since before Mark Zuckerberg attended Harvard. In fact, email marketing presents a unique opportunity to engage and impress customers in ways that social media simply can’t mimic.
Social media delivers engagement in unprecedented ways, fostering conversation and providing analytics to gauge marketing success. But the potential of social media marketing is inherently limited by its context. Posts you create appear immediately juxtaposed with status updates, videos, and other marketing copy. For all the data social media provides, this added distraction can effectively diminish the impact your materials have.
Email does not suffer from this limitation. While not necessarily inspiring sharing, emails represent a direct message from your company to your customer. Messages are shown on their own in full-page format on Gmail, and even mail clients present the messages as separate entities. What this means for your business is full, undivided attention on your content. This necessitates compelling headlines and copy to grab reader attention, but the potential for real brand communication is no less present.
The marketing context of email is a unique one. Unlike videos or advertisements posted for the world to see, emails are perceived as less public. The advantage of this is the opportunity to create an air of exclusivity.
Because you have an “exclusive” connection to your customers by possessing their email address, your efforts should reward their subscription in kind. Incentives to motivate signups may include early access to products, coupon codes, or “email club” deals. In each way, the marketing channel is being used to its potential, building upon the human desire to possess what others do not.
The sea change of social media has introduced an era in which strong brand presence on one channel or another is not enough. Marketers have learned that a distributed presence everywhere their target audience resides is the key to making an impression and capturing visitors.
With this mentality, any potential means of communication with customers requires some form of presence in order to maximize effectiveness, email included. Coupled with the attention span afforded to email messages, the medium presents an excellent opportunity to extend the reach of a savvy strategy.
statistically proven effectiveness
While all of this is good in theory, the constant flow of “likes” and comments can lead business owners and marketers to believe that email still lags behind social media in terms of engagement. To compound the confusion surrounding the issue, email marketing is notoriously hard to track, since click-through activity is not the only measure of email effectiveness.
Fortunately, the experts at Smart Insights have conducted compelling research that should inspire confidence in those on the fence about email. According to the study, businesses that distributed email marketing experienced 20% higher average daily revenue the day it was sent than on days without. The study also drilled down traffic on a monthly basis and found that all other sales channels benefited from increased activity when email was distributed.
With compelling data and a bevy of proprietary benefits to email marketing, any business would do well to incorporate the medium in their strategy. Capturing reader attention with the added benefit of exclusivity is a great way to engage customers and build a solid reputation. While many turn to social media almost exclusively for their efforts, your business can benefit from harnessing the power of the oft-overlooked opportunity of email.
Written by: Brittany Warnock