What is Email Marketing and is It Worth It?

Published by
Lauren Noble
18 min read

Email marketing is one of the best marketing channels which allows you to build an authentic connection and relationship with the people who keep your business alive and thriving. AKA your most loyal audience. 

If used correctly, email marketing can bridge the gap between an engaging, growing relationship and an increase in profit that surpasses any other type of marketing. And as a bonus, it’s one of the most cost-effective forms of direct marketing!

While some companies may be hesitant to try email advertising for fear of deterring sales, it can actually increase your customer loyalty! The key is to figure out how to use it effectively and with a purpose while giving value to your customers and making it personalized.

The perks of email marketing may range from an increase in sales and loyalty. Still, those are just part of why email marketing is beneficial and crucial to a successful marketing strategy. 

Interested in learning more? Keep reading and find out exactly what email marketing is, the specific benefits it brings to businesses in your industry, how to get started, and how much value it can bring. 

Basically, prepare to be converted to the most effective *cough* cult, err, I mean form of email marketing.



So, What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing isn’t just sending a massive amount of emails with coupon codes. It’s about establishing a relationship and maintaining the 80/20 rule (which we’ll get into later). 

Email marketing is essentially sending promotional emails, testing how beneficial they are, and maintaining that business-customer relationship by continually providing value to your customers.

But, what IS email marketing exactly?

Well, friends, to answer your question, it’s a direct form of marketing similar to snail mail. However, it’s more efficient, much cheaper, and paperless! Email marketing or email advertising is a form of communication your customers opt-in to receive your advertisements and promotional material. Your customers give you their email addresses which get added to a list that allows you to contact them directly and remain at the front of their minds.

Email marketing gives a slight air of exclusivity to your most loyal customers, and it’s the perfect place to reward that loyalty and maintain it while also boosting sales.

Now, let’s talk about the birth of email marketing.



While the history of email is one thing, the creation of email marketing is another. The first email campaign was sent out by Gary Thuerk, the “Father of Spam” in 1978. Thuerk was the Marketing Manager at Digital Equipment Corp, and his mass email, which went out to a few hundred people promoting their DEC machine, made $13 million in sales! 

And thus, email marketing was born, marking it as a highly successful and lucrative marketing channel. 

And that’s only part of it. Just wait until you read about the benefits of email marketing below! You’ll be wondering why you didn’t start this marketing channel yesterday. 

Benefits of Email Marketing

Email marketing is fast, efficient, and cost-effective. It allows you to continually reach out to potential and existing customers while nurturing those relationships and leads. 

It also encourages your customers to visit your website and make purchases. Can you say “it’s a win-win”?! 

Email marketing is best at doing what good marketing intends to do by converting interest and leads into sales. Need more convincing? Just in case you’re still on the fence, let’s go over the specific benefits and see if we can get you fully on board.



1. Email marketing improves sales!

Marketers who use email campaigns have noticed up to a 760% increase in revenue. The studies all back it up, there’s a solid direct correlation between email marketing increasing sales. 

Email campaigns are also 40x more successful than Facebook and Twitter marketing combined. So not only does it increase sales, but it’s highly more effective than other marketing channels. Pretty convincing, eh?? 

While social media marketing is essential for maintaining a customer-based relationship, it’s also geared toward cold reaching out to prospective customers and trying to find new people. And it’s not nearly as exclusive. 

If someone follows you on social media, they may have put their foot in the door, but if they subscribe to your emails, they’re sitting on your couch waiting for you to entertain them. Meaning the people on your email list are warm leads. They already went to your website (probably already made a purchase), they found value, they want to hear from you and buy (more of) your products. 

And that’s why email marketing is so effective because you’re sending messages to an audience that opted-in to hear from you directly, and they want more of your products. Email marketing allows you to stay in their minds by encouraging them to visit your website and make purchases. And thus, we’ve arrived at our next point.

2. Email Marketing Generates Traffic to your Website

When an email campaign has a CTA (call to action) that allows readers to click directly to your website, you’re generating more traffic to your site. And more traffic means keeping your audience engaged with your website, which improves your SEO and Google ranking. And improving your website ranking means showing up in more searches and generating even more sales! 

3. Email Marketing Increases Leads

Email marketing not only increases sales but also brings in additional leads. Email campaigns can nurture leads by giving them more value before they take the plunge and make a purchase or investment. 

Email marketing is a large part of the puzzle that can convert your business from outbound marketing (cold calling, email blasts to purchased lists), which is like finding a needle in a haystack, to inbound marketing. Inbound marketing focuses on SEO, blogging, email campaigns, and social media as ways to attract the people who are already out looking for you and what you have to offer. 

Outbound marketing takes lots of time and effort for a few (to sometimes no) leads. In comparison, inbound marketing allows you to engage with your direct and intended audience by essentially drawing your clients to you instead of running around chasing them. And email marketing does a particularly swell job at nurturing leads while guiding them to make purchases. 

4. Email Marketing is Cost-Effective

Traditional campaigns required photoshoots, printers, mailing, and paying several different people for many separate jobs. Whereas an email campaign can be put together and sent out within a day by one person, saving you time and money. And this is why email campaigns are one of the most cost-effective and timely marketing channels.

5. Email Provides Added Value to your Customers

When you provide value to your audience, they keep coming back. And email marketing is a great way to continually give back to your most loyal customers, even if they don’t go through with your CTA each time. 

The more value you provide, the more your audience will pay attention to you and continue to purchase your products. 

6. An Email List Gives You Something to Own

Did you know you don’t own your content on social media? Instagram, for example, has stated once you post on their app they have the right to do pretty much whatever they want with your content. 

We have a blog post answering common questions about Instagram’s privacy policies and how to keep your account safe

It’s uneasy to think an app could suddenly shut down, and those followers and all of that content could be gone forever. While you have no control over an app’s success, you have complete control over your email list. Regardless of the email provider, you can interact with the people on that list regardless. 

You may be wondering if these benefits extend to your industry, and the short answer is YES. No matter what type of business you own, you can find your niche, draw them to you, and nail inbound marketing to increase your sales! Next, let’s go over how effective email marketing is in each industry.

Email Marketing Stats by Industry

Whether you’re eCommerce, you’re a business selling to businesses, or a business selling to consumers, email marketing can and will enrich your marketing strategy. Let’s review some stats that will show you just how effective email campaigns can be for your industry.

eCommerce

The definition of eCommerce is the buying and selling of goods or services on the internet. 86% of eCommerce consumers say they’d like to receive at least one promotional email a month from their favorite brands. Additionally, 86% of consumers say email is their preferred method of communication between brands and consumers. So, it makes sense that if your audience really does love your product or service, they’ll want to be “in the know” about your business. 

And did you know email marketing generates 58% of company revenue? Gasp. That means, if you’re selling goods and services online, then email marketing campaigns could increase your income by over 50%!! 

B2B (Businesses to Business)

B2B is a subcategory of eCommerce defined as a business selling to another business, usually involving a manufacturer and wholesaler or a wholesaler and retailer. Without all the business lingo, B2B simply emphasizes a sale between companies. 

And email marketing is especially effective for this type of business transaction. Email campaigns have a 47% higher clickthrough rate than B2C email advertisements. Making this already prosperous form of marketing even MORE successful for B2B companies!

B2C (Business to Consumer)

B2C are businesses selling directly to consumers with no middleman. B2C email campaigns are also not surprisingly effective with a high open and click rate as long as you send fewer than five emails a week

The highest opening rate is a welcome email to new customers, which has an 8 out of 10 chance of getting opened and clicked through. Those who subscribe to your emails are also 3x more likely to share your content, showing they’re your most loyal customers! 

No matter what type of goods you’re selling or who you’re selling to, email marketing is sure to bring a sharp increase in sales and prove to be a highly cost-effective form of marketing. 

But, how do you pull off a successful email campaign? And what even makes a good email campaign with a high open and click rate? Well, friends, let’s dive into that in the next section.



How To Get Started In Email Marketing

So, how do you send emails and make sure they’re opened and driving sales? And let’s not forget to ensure they provide enough value so your loyal customers aren’t unsubscribing. 

Between offering enough value, using something to draw them in, and a strong CTA to drive home the sale, making the right email campaign is a skill. And there are 6 crucial steps in pulling off a successful and lucrative email marketing campaign, which we’ll get into right meow.

Step 1: Make a goal

Before taking the plunge and sending your first email, the most important step is figuring out your purpose. What do you want to achieve from this email? What are you targeting? What content will you include, and why? How will you measure the success of your campaign? Further down, we’ll discuss which type of campaigns are best for specific goals. 

Pro tip: try to align your campaign goals with your company goals. Is it to drive sales to new products? Obtaining new leads for your sales team? More tickets sold for your event? What goal is your company working towards that an email campaign can directly support?

Step 2: Build a list

Now that you have a goal, it’s time to build your list. There’s a couple of different ways you can make your list. The first is by importing the email addresses of existing customers. However, before sending someone an email campaign, legally, you need permission from them. One way to do so is having a place for them to check or uncheck a box while making a purchase that asks if they’d like to receive promotional emails. 

Another way is to market your email list on social media channels and have a pop-up on your website encouraging your audience to sign up for your email list. You can even give a little preview, teasing coupon codes or new products, and exclusive content. 

The easier you make it for people to subscribe, the more likely they will… giving you a big ol’ thick list with lots of sales. 

Step 3: Choose a platform to send your email

Curious about what platform is best for your business? We have a blog post going over different automated emailing services

But look for something that will track your analytics, is desktop and mobile-friendly, and has minimal glitches when potentially sending out hundreds or thousands of emails. Different platforms also track different analytics, so look for one that aligns with whatever you’re most interested in tracking.

Step 4: Build the email

Is the information useful? Does it follow the 80/20 rule where 80% of the content adds value and only 20% is promotional with the intent to drive sales? 

Related Reading: Copy That Connects: How To Write Irresistible Emails

Is there an engaging subject line that draws people in? Is the body read like a sales pitch, or is plenty of additional content also being given? And is there a strong call to action at the end?

Having a good email is the key to preventing your audience from unsubscribing or moving it to their junk folder. 

Step 5: Optimize email campaign send times

The time of day you send the email is huge in determining its chance of getting opened, making it a crucial part of having a successful email campaign. 

We have a blog post about this titled, The Best Time to Send Marketing Emails

Overall, the best time to send it is during a transition period of the day. For example, when someone gets to work, during their lunch break, right after they get home, or right before they go to bed. The best time to send is when the highest number of people will be checking their email.

Step 6: Measure your results

Once you’ve sent out your first email, you should start tracking the analytics to see how many people opened it. When looking for an email campaign platform, look for one that tracks some, if not all, of these analytics:

  • Number of unique opens
  • Number of bounces (how many weren’t delivered)
  • Number of emails not opened
  • The open rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Unsubscribe rate
  • Spam complaints
  • Shares

These analytics will tell how your audience is interacting with your campaign and how successful it was. You can also compare your campaigns to pinpoint what’s working and what could work better. 

You can additionally use Google Analytics or your website’s page tracking analytics to see how many people clicked on your website from the email. Tracking your email campaigns is a big factor for improving your campaigns and getting better results.

Want to learn more? Here’s a post on The Email Metrics You Should Know

Now, as promised, which type of campaign is best used for specific business goals. 👇

The Different Types of Email Marketing

There are several types of email campaigns that each attribute to a different kind of goal. You may find your audience responds best to a specific type of campaign or a variety of them all. Just keep an eye on the analytics and adjust accordingly. 

Now, let’s get into the different types of email marketing campaigns!

Newsletter

As one of the most common email campaigns companies produce, a newsletter is a regularly distributed email (generally) about one specific topic. The newsletter could feature blog posts, monthly insights, a preview of what to look forward to next month, tips, or a story. 

Newsletters are a great and successful way to keep in touch with your audience and let them know what’s going on. Setting up a weekly or monthly newsletter can keep you at the top of your customer’s minds and drive them back to your website. 

A Marketing Offer

Marketing offers are a type of email campaign meant to drive a direct sale. This type of campaign is geared towards a discount or promotional offer for one of your products or services. 

The email is made of a body convincing your audience why they need this product or service, what value it brings, and then ends with a strong call-to-action with a link to make a purchase. 

Marketing offers are generally limited and give the feeling of urgency, telling consumers to act fast before the deal expires.

This type of campaign can be highly effective if it’s not overused and the promotion does feel like a great deal. An excellent way to gauge the success of this type of campaign is by seeing how many sales it brought.

Announcement

This campaign is exactly what it sounds like, an announcement your business is making intending to share information. 

It can be a new product or service, a favorite product returning for a limited time, changes to your business that your audience may care about, like expanding or relocating. It’s an effort to tell your audience to keep their eyes out for something and keep them in the know, so they’re the first ones to hear about this exciting change.

Announcements are great at keeping your audience engaged and interested in you and your company by giving them an exclusive first-look with the added benefit of getting them back to your website or store to check it out.

Event Invitation

Have a special event coming up? Maybe you’ll be featured on an online event, you’re a podcast hosting a live show, or you’ll be attending a local farmers market to sell your products. Whatever the event is, you can use an email campaign to advertise it and try to promote your audience by showing up and supporting you. 

The primary goal is to encourage your customers to attend this event. You can tease what you’ll be talking about or what will be happening, even give a discount code that’s exclusively for your audience. 

The type of email campaign you use will be entirely based on your intended goal. However, each type is sure to remind your customers you’re there, encourage them to visit your website and increase your SEO. Overall, the best campaigns for driving direct sales will be marketing offers and announcements. While the best way to maintain relationships and keep customers up-to-date will be through a regular newsletter. But for best results, having a mix of different marketing campaigns is the way to go!

Is Email Marketing Worth It?

The short answer, it ABSOLUTELY is! As long as you treat your audience like humans, provide value, and don’t oversell. With those key factors, you’ll be avoiding unsubscribers, increasing traffic to your website, driving sales, providing value, and nurturing leads. 

Your subscribers want to hear from you, which is why they gave you their email address and permission to send them messages in the first place! Just try to be genuine, not too sales-ey, and you’ll be able to maintain your audience AND grow your list. 

Email marketing has a greater return and farther reach than any other marketing channel, and it is a powerful driver in sales and revenue for all businesses. So why don’t you get started today?

Later, friends! 



Psst! This Pin was made in seconds with Tailwind Create. Try it for yourself

Lauren Noble is a Content Marketer at Tailwind who has been published on Scary Mommy! Lauren owns her own self-help and manifestation business, Noble Guidance, and lives in Oklahoma City with her two daughters, Madelyn and Roz, and their cuddly cat Theo Moon.

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Lauren Noble

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