Why is Email Marketing So Effective?

7 min read

Why is Email Marketing So Effective?

There's a lot of buzz online about how email marketing is an incredibly effective platform - and rightly so - but there is still a little skepticism around the topic. Those who are not so keen may argue that it's an old-fashioned medium compared to other online platforms; or perhaps they have concerns about being seen as a source of spam. But when done correctly, today's email marketing has nothing to do with spam tactics, and it's certainly not getting old. For example, according to Customer Minds:

    • More than half of businesses credit email marketing with 10% of their total sales.
    • Less than 1 of 2,000 subscribers flag an email as spam.
    • Email marketing generally has a return on investment of 4,300%!

Sounds great, right? Let's take a look at some of the reasons email marketing campaigns are so successful.

Better than Social Media?

The main benefits of email marketing are the advantages that it has over social media. Though social platforms are wonderful tools for business and for pleasure, email campaigns provide some significant advantages.

Firstly, you must remember that social media platforms use different algorithms to decide which posts get seen and which ones get buried. Sometimes this means that paid posts take precedence over basic updates. Email however, is more constant; you send an email to a valid email address, chances are that it'll be seen.

It's also important to remember that social media platforms are run by companies, and if those companies pull the plug tomorrow, the users who over-rely on social will be at panic stations wondering how they're going to communicate with their audience going forward. Additionally, social media platforms aren't guaranteed to succeed - who remembers failed platforms like Bebo, Google Buzz or Friendster?

All of these points effectively position social media as a middleman, whereas email is an established format that has been used for years.

Getting an email address has a very low barrier to entry. Obtaining an email address is free from numerous providers like Gmail and Outlook, which many smaller businesses rely on especially in their early days. If a person or company isn't on social media, chances are that they do have an email address.

If you have a message that you want people to dedicate their attention to, email really is best. Social media feeds (especially Twitter) move so fast, messages that require a stop to think are buried fairly quickly. People are a little more meticulous about email, and typically check their inboxes at a more leisurely pace, absorbing the information more thoroughly.

There are a number of anti-spam laws that relate to sending unsolicited bulk emails (FYI, here are the laws for the UK and the US). One of the main things that these laws stipulate is that you must only send email to people who have agreed receive email from you. This means a process has to take place whereby users actively agree and sign up to your communications. Compare this to ads that you see on your Twitter or Facebook feed. Chances are you didn't like or follow those pages, you just fit into a certain demographic or have liked vaguely similar content in the past.

If you're still not convinced, let's look at the figures. The average click through rate from an email mail-out campaign is around 3.42% (Econsultancy), whereas the average click through rate for a paid Facebook ad more like is 0.9% (AdWeek).

Email is Efficient and Personal

As well as having some significant benefits over social media, email has a lot of personalization options.

Email is seen as a very personal and secluded space. Though your message is going out to people in mass, the messages are not seen on a public platform like banner ads, PPC options or social media. You're in the reader's space, so an up close and personal touch works very well. Additionally, if the recipient replies to the email, they know they're speaking only to your company, and not putting their message out there in a public space. It allows you both to communicate far more candidly.

Email marketing allows you almost complete control of your message and visuals. You can say as much or as little as you like; you can rely on images, text, or a mixture of the two. Many email marketing solutions allow for A/B testing as well; what this means is that you can send 2 or more slightly different variations of an email campaign to a small group of your audience, and whichever variant performs the best gets sent to the rest of your list. The results of these kinds of tests give you added insight into what your subscribers prefer and what things appeal to them better. The results of A/B testing can be surprising, so it pays to get to know your subscribers in this way!

Most bulk mailing platforms allow for some level of reporting. At the very least, you can see how many people have opened the email, clicked on any links within the email, and see if any emails have bounced back. Both this and A/B testing provide insightful information and can help you hone your email marketing skills for future campaigns.

Email campaigns are very easy to personalize with names and personal information using mail merge tags, provided you've collected that information in the first place. You can't suddenly start addressing people by their names if you haven't collected names at some point. There's nothing worse than trying to personalize an email with missing information - "Hi there [NO NAME], here's a personalized deal just for you!" doesn't exactly exude authenticity.

Don't be afraid to collect all of the information you need in your sign-up process as long as you aren't too nosey. Asking people what industry they're in or what products/services they're currently looking for is alright. You may also want to give them the option of providing their phone number too so you can include them in your telemarketing. The more information you have, the more you can target appropriate communications to the right parts of your audience.

The power of email marketing boils down to both the targeted and personal service it provides to the recipients, as well as the convenience and actionable data it provides to the sender.

Another great resource on preventing emails going to spam

If you'd like to read into some detail about how to create and send emails so that they don't get caught by spam filters checkout this article:


Email Marketing with FiveCRM

Did you know that as well as being a world-class CRM platform, FiveCRM's intuitive software also integrates all of the email marketing functions we've discussed today? The benefit of combining email marketing with your contact database is that you can see how your existing, qualified contacts respond to your mailing campaigns and new leads get added to both your CRM database and your email marketing in one go.

For 14 days you can experience the powerful features within FiveCRM for free, to help you understand more about your email marketing campaigns by viewing your email opens, clicks, email hits, bounces and unsubscribes within the email marketing suite.

Michael King says...

"I can’t think of a time where a client has requested something that we weren’t able to do with FiveCRM. Unlike most systems, it has a lot of flexibility."

Improve your outbound efficiency now

Managing Director, Senior Response


“Each client, and each of their campaigns, has its own unique specifications. We essentially needed to set up mini CRMs on one platform to meet those requirements.”

Improve your outbound efficiency now

Operations Director, Team Telemarketing

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