Is email marketing still effective?

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New developments in the world of marketing may have distracted our attention away from email marketing, but with a ROI of approximately £30 for every £1 spent, email marketing is still very effective. In today’s #asktheukdomain video I also share some top tips for small businesses to help improve their email marketing covering databases, personalisation and testing.

Video Transcript

♪ [music] ♪ Welcome to #asktheukdomain. And today’s question is, “Is Email marketing still effective?”. So, of course, email marketing has been around for a while now. And there’s lots of new things that have been on the scene in the last decade, for example, social media marketing, which has perhaps distracted some of our attention away to the importance of email marketing.

But it’s not going away. Research actually shows that there are over one billion active email users on Gmail now, and it’s anticipated that it will grow to around three billion users by 2020. This is something we just can’t ignore. It’s more around the ways that we use email marketing to become more effective, and it has actually been proven to be really cost effective. So for every pound spent on email marketing it’s roughly around £30 that you should get in return. So, sure, it may be a more timely investment for you as a business, but certainly the benefits are worth it.

So I’m going to share with you a few top tips that will be useful for you in your small business, as we know that you need to prioritize, and things that hopefully will help you improve your email marketing overall.

Building a good database is key. So it could be you’re starting with your existing customer base, so those people that previously purchased with you, or it could be those people that returned to your website. For example, you could provide them with a popup and ask them to sign up for your newsletter, and tease them in that way. Or it could even be new potential customers, so new people onto the site. You could offer them an exclusive deal or offer in return for them giving you their email address. There’s just a few things, but definitely the best place to start.

To ensure your email marketing remains effective, once you’ve created your database, you need to then think about segmenting your database. So essentially, this could mean combining the data from your existing customers, so it could be the previous orders they place with you, and also their email address, to make sure you send them the most targeted communications about the products, maybe areas they’re interested in or the products they previously bought, if there’s a similar product that you want to sell them in the future.

And then it’s really about using those analytics. So if you’re using an email tool, one of the free providers perhaps, or even if you’ve paid to use an email provider, then it’s worth just having a look in your analytics, and what are these people clicking on, because there is a lot of information you can get from those analytics. For example, you could find out that they’re actually interested in another area of your business that you haven’t thought about sending them communications of before. And make sure you use that data to re-target them in the future.

You must make sure people receive emails they expect to receive. For example, if they’ve asked and requested to sign up for your newsletter, make sure that you actually send them the newsletter. If they’ve requested exclusive access to offers, promotions, discounts, make sure you send them those. Many businesses are often worried that people would unsubscribe from their emails, but actually 61% of people are quite receptive to emails, and they welcome emails as long they’re not spam. So actually making sure that you use your segmentation, as I mentioned previously, you think about why somebody has subscribed to you in the first place and you send them those targeted emails, shouldn’t encourage people to unsubscribe. But unsubscribing is normal, so don’t worry about that. It could just genuinely mean that somebody is no longer interested in your product or service. And actually that’s a good thing for you as a company because you don’t want to be emailing people that are no longer interested either. So don’t worry about the unsubscribes and think more around why you should be emailing the people at the right time and making sure you send them the right content that they want.

So my final tip is test, test, test. So of course, email marketing is still hugely effective, but it is very competitive. And so we need to make sure that we can cut through the noise. We all receive so many emails in one day. So actually what is the best time and date to send your email to your customers or to your contacts? If you’re using an emailing tool you should be able to get that data back from it, but if not, why not test it out by sending a code or sending a link and seeing at what time people are actually clicking on that link. And lots of different ways you can test that, but definitely something you should look into.

But it’s not just time and date that’s important, it’s also important to think about how somebody would view your email. You must make sure it’s mobile optimized. That is just a given nowadays. We all use our mobile devices every day and it’s important to make sure that wherever that customer or contact is, they can access your email, and it will still be displayed in exactly the way that you want it to be displayed. There are a number of tools out there that you’re provided as part of your package perhaps or it might be an add-on, but if you don’t have it as part of your email tool, then maybe just look online and just have a quick search, you’ll definitely find a few results come up straightway.

So, of course, as I’ve mentioned, email marketing is not going to go away. It’s certainly something that’s not going to disappear. If anything, it’s just going to get more competitive. And we need to think about ways that we could be more effective. And it’s really about serving the right content to the right people at the right time. And as long as you get those three things right, I’m pretty sure that you’ll still get good, huge benefits and success from using email marketing. And as I mentioned, initially, it’s relatively cost effective. I mean, if you can spend one pound on email marketing and roughly get about £30 return, why not give it a go? It could be a lot more cost effective than a lot of other marketing techniques out there. So well worth the time and investment from you.

So thank you very much for watching. And if you have any questions, please comment below. Or if you want to ask us your own question, maybe it’s not on email marketing, then why not tweet us and use #asktheukdomain. Thank you. ♪ [music] ♪

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Natalie Wood is Digital Communications Lead at the UK Domain. Natalie leads the email and social communication strategy. She is responsible for advising and implementing all online communication strategies to promote brand awareness.

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