Whilst social media has been around for over 20 years (with the first platform created all the way back in 1997!), the role and importance it plays within wider marketing strategies continues to grow to this day. And indeed, there are many benefits of marketing via social media platforms, including the opportunity to connect with new people every day, without having to ask for consent, so it is no surprise that companies are placing a huge focus on their social media strategy. However, with so many unique benefits, email marketing should not be overlooked or forgotten. So, what are the advantages of communicating with your target market via email?
It’s the cheapest! One of the most obvious advantages of email marketing is its lower cost compared to other marketing channels and platforms. As well as this, email marketing is known for it’s high ROI. ROI, or return on investment, is a crucial metric for measuring how effective your marketing efforts have been. According to a leading email marketing platform, Campaign Monitor (2019), for every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI. When you compare this to the fact businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on Google Ads (Economic Impact and Google Ads 2019) – the difference is clear.
Now, what about the data itself? Another advantage of email marketing over social media marketing is the fact that you own the data you hold. With platforms such as Facebook or Instagram, you don’t own your contact list or the content you post via them. As well as this, email marketing is one of the only channels that fans or customers ask to receive, opting in for further information or news. This often results in a higher conversion rate and/or better engagement levels. And don’t forget – social media platforms have a habit of constantly changing their algorithms or introducing hidden costs with no notice, making it harder to communicate with people you could previously reach. This does not happen with the data you own and hold within an email marketing platform.
Emails can be highly personalised based on any of the data points you hold. Something we believe is of high importance, is the fact that email marketing is much better at two of the key principles we suggest you utilise – personalisation and segmentation. Emails can be tailored relating to customer behaviour and/or demographic information so that every communication is relevant to them. But why is this important? According to a leading platform Campaign Monitor (2021), studies have shown that emails with personalised subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened than those without, and Rich Relevance found that revenue is 5.7 times higher in emails that employ personalisation. Whilst social media platforms do allow you to introduce demographic targeting, it is on a much less granular basis unless you use the list upload function – in which case you need the data points you already hold for email marketing.
Now we have considered some of the specific advantages of email marketing, let’s just look at some simple numbers. Statista estimates that 4.1 billion people use e-mail around the world, whilst Facebook had roughly 2.8 billion active users by the close of 2020. So not only is email marketing targeting more engaged users, with more personalised content, it’s also possible to reach a larger proportion of the population through just that one medium.
Whilst you can get insights and reports from social media platforms, they can be estimated or questionable and as you don’t own the data (as we previously mentioned), the behaviour is trackable back to a username or handle only. Email, on the other hand, provides precise and valuable insights – anything from who opened, clicked, or forwarded, on an individual basis and alongside all the data you hold on each person.
So, if you’re a sports team or association and you’re placing so much focus on your social media strategy but neglecting email marketing and the advantages of building and maintaining an email database, consider the many benefits email still has, and think about how you can integrate it within your digital marketing strategy.
If you want to learn more about email marketing – best practice, theory, reporting, and implementation, sign up to discover here about our eLearning course Winning with Data.
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