Why Is Email Marketing So Important For eCommerce Brands?
In the 2020s it's a testament to function and design that we still use electronic mail (email) alongside newer forms of communication, such as social media instant messaging. Who would have thought that when email was first created in 1971 we would still be using it 50+ years later? Why is that the case? In this article we want to explain how email marketing is still extremely relevant, and how it can help you boost your sales and connect with your customers.
When Ray Tomlinson sent himself that first email it was simply "an experiment to see if two computers could exchange a message." Now, businesses rely on the stability, versatility and longevity of email to assist them with LTV, CRT and general customer retention. It is the norm to purchase an item online and later you'll receive a follow up email full of other offers that may interest you. Unlike the old-fashioned letter or leaflet drop being posted to customers, these emails are sent in a very targetted fashion and are arguably more successful.
Did you know that email marketing is actually the direct descendent of physical postal 'mail drops', and in 2019 the infamous Wall Street Journal even declared; "[it is the] only guaranteed delivery option the Internet has left." Let's look at why that is.
Direct Delivery – No Messing Around
Short of going to every customer's house, ringing the bell and handing them a personalised letter, there is no other system that can present your customer with tempting offers... being sure that it arrives every time. Of course, there's no guarantee that it won't be filtered into a junk or spam folder, but you can safely bet that the customer is more likely to view an email follow up than a social media advert. If you can make that email targetted, engaging and cushioned with a 'human' element – even better!
According to official sources, email marketing reaches the eyes of at least 79% of the people you send it to, and of those people it's around 30%+ who take the time to open it! This is great news for something that is so cost and time effective for you as a brand. Moving on from those healthy stats, it's reported that around 4.2% of the people who view the emails go on to make a purchase. Those numbers may not be earth shattering, however, if you build up your loyal customer base this 'drip feed' of purchases can create a healthy bottom line.
The Real Cost Of Email Marketing?
If you are not already utilising email marketing you might be a little hesitant to dip your toes in the water. That's understandable, especially when there are so many marketing options available through other channels. Did you know that email marketing has one of the highest ROI in advertising? You probably already have at least one team member who is writing copy for your other marketing channels, and this can easily be converted into email format with just a few tweaks.
At Pear Digital we highly recommend email marketing because there are systems out there that can assist you, helping you stand out from the 'noisy' inbox culture of email reminders, fund raising requests and 'spam' adverts. For example, the product we use is called Klaviyo and in 2021 alone we have helped our clients generate over £5M in revenue from using this method of reaching customers!
When crunching the numbers you can be looking at fractions of a penny for each email sent, even if your product is on sale for 50p you will be making a profit.
Why Is Email So Special?
At this point you are probably weighing up the benefits of using email against Facebook Creatives, making a dedicated Instagram Reel, or possibly even a TikTok. The fact is, they don't have to cancel each other out. Email can be that final personalised push that engages your customer to make the sale, or choose your brand to recommend to their friends.
Emails are highly customisable, and they can be neatly targetted to hit that "sweet spot" between marketing and information sharing. On social media you don't want to be asking a customer to read paragraphs, or click through too many links. You're looking for smooth, easy transactions where they see a photo or video = they purchase a product quickly. Via email marketing you can show the customer the heart of your business by linking to knowledge bases, education programs, founders stories – whatever you think will show your brand has a unique soul. We've written an article that covers this here top 3 customer retention strategies
If someone is checking their email they are already in a mindset to be curious. They are aware that emails are mostly text-based, and usually contain important information that they need to read. Therefore if you send an appealing, personalised email with a link to something interesting – such as your origin story - along with targetted product recommendations, you are going to pique that customer's interest. This can be anything from mechanical equipment, through to beauty and hospitality.
The key to understanding email's continued success is that even in the 21st century, people enjoy receiving thoughtful correspondence. It shows that somewhere out there somebody cares about them, and they're not just a number on a spreadsheet.