Is email marketing dead?
Some have claimed that email marketing is “dead”; that it’s no longer an effective marketing tool. In reality, email marketing is anything but dead. It’s alive and well and produces great results if planned and executed properly.
Key benefits of email marketing
Email marketing has several benefits over other marketing channels such as direct mail. One big one is cost.
An email campaign may cost anywhere from $20 to $50 per month if sent to up to 1,000 contacts using a CRM or dedicated email marketing system. Direct mail on the other hand costs anywhere from fifty cents to five dollars or more per piece/ contact. Using the most conservative estimate, direct mail at fifty cents sent to 1,000 contacts once a month would cost $500, significantly more than the $20 to $50 for email.
Another key benefit is speed and efficiency. While an email campaign can be planned, written, and sent out right away, direct mail takes a whole lot longer – often weeks or months from planning to final delivery. Because email is fast, you’re able to reach out to people with messages that are timely and relevant.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of email marketing is that it makes it easy to track and measure the success of your campaign and to identify your hot leads. You can view graphs and charts and see hard numbers on open rate, click-through rate, and forward rate. You’ll also know who opened your emails, clicked on the links, etc.
If certain messages are not working, you’ll know and can improve your email communications moving forward. If you find that a small group of people just read an email you sent out multiple times and forwarded it, those people are perhaps hot leads that you could call up or further engage with in some way.
Where does direct mail fit in?
Direct mail still has an important place in the marketing mix because it can be very effective in resonating with people. When your clients receive a beautiful newsletter or flyer from you, for instance, it shows them that you care enough about them to invest significant time and money in keeping in touch with them.
It’s much rarer to receive something in the mail these days than to receive an email which is why a good direct mail piece can really make you stand out and get noticed. I recommend that you send direct mail to your very best clients and use email marketing for your prospects and the rest of your clientele.
The bottom line
The bottom line is that email marketing is fast, inexpensive, and highly effective. It also provides people with instant gratification (“Click on this link now to contact me!”).
When it comes to keeping in touch with past clients over time, this is easy with email marketing. You can assign your clients to drip email campaigns where personalized, targeted, and useful emails automatically get delivered to your clients’ inbox at various time intervals.
It’s important that you use a good, industry-specific CRM system, which will make drip marketing campaigns, personalized and targeted mass emails, and email campaign reporting possible. Look for a system that’s easy to learn and use and has robust contact management and email marketing aspects to it.
It’s essential that you find your balance when it comes to keeping in touch with your clients and prospects and the channels you use to do so. But remember, email marketing is definitely not dead!