Best friends are great. No matter what happens in life, how many new friends you meet and spend time with, no matter how long it is since you last saw them, the true mark of a best friend is that you can return to them at any stage and simply pick up where you left off. They will always be reliable, will help you out, and make you a better person. When it comes to digital marketing, email is that best friend.
You may have been dazzled by the allure of social media and promoted posts,PPC, or any number of new ways to engage with your target market, but email has always been there in the background, waiting for your return, and it’s time to realise that it is the marketing tool you need to be more appreciative of. In fact, there are many reasons why email is set to make a real resurgence, and why you should be treating it with a whole lot more respect.
The stats speak for themselves: According to a report from McKinsey, email is 40 times better at generating leads than social media, with a conversion rate 17% higher than Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or SnapChat can offer. HubSpot, meanwhile, has revealed that an effective email marketing strategy is also far superior at converting leads into customers, not only enabling you to engage with and build ongoing relationships with customers, but generating 50% more sales than social media can provide.
Why is email so effective at generating and converting leads?
A good question, with equally good answers. In short, email is great because:
- You can reach your target market with mobile-friendly content - Some 91% of us check our emails on our phones every day
- You can send out special offers and giveaways – it’s the perfect platform on which to open, save or download vouchers and coupons
- People like emails much more than they like interruptive ads, pop-ups and sponsored content – remember that thrill you used to get when you saw an email in your inbox? Despite the growing number of unsolicited mails out there, that thrill still hasn’t gone away
- They can be as long or as short as you want them to be – no limitations a la Twitter
- Email campaigns not only allow you to send information, but to receive it too – if created as part of an integrated digital marketing strategy, you can measure open and click-through rates to find out what content works, what doesn’t, what people see as valuable downloads and what drives lead generation and sales
- Emails are the perfect workflow platform – easily automated and personalised to target segmented demographics at the right time in their buyer journey, with a larger than 70% open rate, according to the Epsilon Email Institute
- The cost versus returns ratio is phenomenal – a mere 3,800% ROI at last count, according to campaignmonitor.com, working out at almost €40 for every €1 spent.
When you look at the figures and reasons above, it’s easy to see why email is the best friend you could have in digital marketing.
Having looked at the facts, let’s look at the reasons why email marketing is such an effective way to nurture leads and convert them into customers.
Firstly, it’s all about time and place. Most leads (some 73% of B2B leads according to the MarketingSherpa) are not ready to make a commitment or a purchasing decision as soon as they enter your field of vision. They may have just downloaded a helpful and relevant piece of content from you, but that doesn’t mean they are at the end of their buyer journey.
Jumping in with a hard sell at this point is akin to going on a date and interrupting the starter with a marriage proposal. At best, they will politely inform you that they’d rather finish their soup first, if it’s all the same to you, but they are more likely to walk away, never to return.
Consumers and business decision-makers prefer the slow approach, getting a series of relevant and informative content pieces that will better inform them about their own challenges, then about you, your products and services, and how you can help them overcome those pain points.
An effective email workflow or campaign does just that, tailoring the content provided to bring the lead along the buyer journey, nurturing them with the content and information they need, until they reach the end of the conversion path and are ready to be sold to. That is why it will be such a good friend to you.
Leads also want to feel like they are valued, and are seen as individuals, not simply another name on your list, and through automation you can segment these potential customers so that offers, incentives updates can be sent to those who need a little more encouragement, while rewards can be sent to those who show active behaviour that suggests a sale is imminent.
While recognising the power of an effective email marketing strategy is one thing, putting it into practice is another entirely, and there are many dos and don’ts, best practices to create emails people will want to read, and pitfalls to avoid. There are also many things to know in order to create an email marketing strategy that works to convert leads for you, whether you are tasked with marketing for your business or are working as a digital marketing agency on behalf of a client.
Keep an eye on our blog where we will be bringing you some of those best practices soon. And if you want to discover how Get Focused can help you turn your digital marketing strategy into a lead generation and conversion machine that drives increased sales, book a call with us.