There’s no denying that social media gets a lot more attention than email marketing. With the flurry of new digital tools and platforms popping up every day, it’s easy to overlook one of the original digital communication channels: email. Any marketer worth their salt will tell you that email remains a cornerstone of their campaigns.
There are over four billion active email accounts around the world at this very moment—and that number is projected to grow to almost 5.6 billion by the end of the decade. That’s a huge opportunity to find new customers, create awareness around your brand, and engage.
But how do you begin turning all of those inboxes into an opportunity for your business? That’s where a clearly defined email marketing strategy comes into play, and an email newsletter should be one of the first tools in that well-rounded kit.
Why email newsletters are crucial in a digital marketing strategy
Out of all the digital marketing techniques, email can be one of the most successful tools in your kit. Here’s why:
1. Email connects you to your customers
An email newsletter gives you the opportunity to showcase your brand’s personality, helping distinguish you from your competitors. And much like meeting people in the real world, the more they get to know you, the more trust and loyalty they’ll feel toward your brand. And that’s a sweet spot for marketers—it’s where repeat sales happen.
2. It offers you a way to send tailored messages to new and existing customers
Advances in email automation have made it easier than ever for marketers to personalize their messages. Personalization goes way beyond adding a subscriber’s name to the subject line.
Now, you can segment emails, create tailored messages, dynamically change content based on the subscriber’s preferences, and insert more personal fields like job titles and locations.
This kind of personalized marketing is the best way to attract new customers and delight existing ones. Knowing your customer and sending relevant messages has become the ultimate benchmark of a successful marketer.
3. Email newsletters can drive traffic to your website
Relying on people to organically land on your site can be frustrating. Use your email newsletter to direct people to your site. Invite them to view your content or provide them with an incentive to stop by your site. Make sure to use a strong call to action.
4. They can drive sales
Here’s an encouraging stat: 68% of millennials say promotional emails have influenced their purchase decisions.
Along with presenting your customer with relevant and useful content, use your email newsletter as a chance to bring one of your products or services into the limelight while listing its benefits and driving consumers to a point of sale—whether it be on your site or at a brick-and-mortar (and in some cases, both). Essentially, you have a captive audience here—carpe diem!
You can also help the transaction along by providing an incentive for your customer to purchase the product. Discount codes and promotions can go a long way toward making it a successful sale.
5. That uptick in social media followers? Thank your email newsletter
With on-site optimization, you’ll be improving your site’s layout and performance, producing high-quality content, and targeting specific keywords that are relevant to your business and your audience.
If you think of your digital marketing strategy as a conversation, your email newsletter is the icebreaker. It’s where you can first start to engage with your customers before taking them to social media, where more meaningful interaction can be had.
Including social sharing buttons on your email newsletter can help increase engagement on social media by reminding subscribers that your brand has an active social community.
Don’t forget to include SEO in your email marketing strategy
SEO techniques help to get your website ranking in the search engine results pages higher than competition in response to a search query.
One of the key factors in both email marketing and SEO is content. You need good content for each site landing page with targeted keyword and phrases. You also need good content in email campaigns and newsletters to keep the reader opening your emails and you gain visibility by providing compelling content. It’s important to create unique crawlable content utilizing keywords, so your site ranks higher in the search engines and visitors come to your website through keyword searches. Consider repurposing content from your website throughout blogs, social media, and whitepapers.
Your email initiatives should take into account what you’re trying to accomplish with SEO and should be designed to support those goals.
Email marketing and newsletters can be highly effective. However, just like anything else worth doing, it takes time and effort, but when handled correctly they can garner high results. It’s important to keep in mind, the best email marketing is sent only to people who have asked to receive your messages. Legislation in Canada and Europe is especially strict against the use of spam. If people are asking you to send them materials, they want to hear from you.