Stop the presses. The rumors are false. Email is not dead.
Email marketing is as fresh as, well, a daisy popping up to greet the springtime sun.
Check out these stats:
- Email marketing is nearly 40 times more effective at acquiring customers than Facebook and Twitter combined. (McKinsey)
- Email marketing yields an average 4,300 percent return on investment for businesses in the United States. (Direct Marketing Association)
- Four out of five (81 percent) U.S. digital shoppers say they’re at least somewhat likely to make additional purchases due to targeted emails. (Harris Interactive)
See? Fresh as a daisy.
Maybe those data aren’t enough to persuade you to start an email newsletter program. Read on. These 16 reasons might do the trick:
1. They’re versatile.
Think of the email newsletters you receive. Do they all look the same? Probably not. Retail emails might more or less follow a similar format (Think: visual), but the others are as unique as snowflakes. Some are short; some are long. Some are a curated list of links. It’s a highly versatile medium.
2. They’re welcome.
When people sign up for your email newsletter, they’ve put out the welcome mat. They want to hear from you. Don’t track muddy footprints into their inbox, OK?
3. They’re in people’s pockets.
People open emails on their mobile devices more than they do on desktops. So, design for the small screen, and think about subscribers who are on the go. How do you get them to act, even if it’s flagging the email for further reading?
4. They can be vehicles for existing content.
If you didn’t see the desired traffic or traction with your latest content, don’t despair. Repurpose the content for the newsletter. Start the story, and cut it off at the climax to get people to click and finish the tale on your site.
5. They can be used to sell.
You may not be in retail, but that doesn’t mean you can’t sell. You can. People expect it. Yet selling all the time is a no-no, as is springing a sale for content or services that had previously been free.
6. They can be augmented with social media.
Actually, they should be augmented with social media. If you want to drive interest and subscriptions, always pair the two.
7. They can expand your other channels.
On a related note, social media can deepen engagement and conversation on your social media networks. Include social media links in every newsletter.
8. They can increase site traffic.
Organic search is hard; paid media coverage is expensive. Even the odds with email. Direct people to a page designed to spur action, such as sharing on social media or downloading a piece of content in exchange for additional contact information. The first helps with social media activity and search results. The second is valuable for customer relationship management (CRM).
9. They can drive engagement.
Social media is not the only way to engage with customers. Email can be an even better engagement tool at times. It feels more personal, and subscribers respond to that.
10. They can be integrated.
Email newsletters either come with software you already use or can be integrated into it. That means email newsletters can be tied to CRM and other tools. Customer journey mapping, here you come.
11. They can be segmented and personalized.
If your audience has niches, segment for them. The best way to see higher click-through rates and fewer subscription cancellations is to segment and personalize.
12. They can be used to nurture leads.
Marketing and sales will love you if the email newsletter nurtures subscribers and turns them into qualified leads and, ultimately, sales.
13. They can reduce customer attrition.
Good newsletters delight and keep people coming back for more. Don’t believe me? Sign up for ThinkGeek’s email newsletter. I might not buy anything just then, but I sure do laugh.
14. They’re great for testing.
Email newsletters are like having a permanent chemistry lab. You can test all sorts of things, from subject lines to send times, from image-to-text ratios to GIFs.
15. They can be used to ask for feedback.
Quantitative data get you only so far. Send out a survey every few months to assess not only how the newsletter is doing but also how customer service and other business areas are faring.
16. They can be measured.
You never hear the ROI question come up with email, at least not very often. Why? They’re easy to monitor. Add some unique URLs, and analytics and reporting have suddenly gotten a whole lot simpler and easier.
What do you think? Will you implement an email newsletter in 2016 or refresh an existing one? Please let us know what you have in mind now-and how it goes in the months to come.
A version of this article originally appeared on Cision.
This article first appeared on Ragan.com in Jan. 2016.