When building an online business (or any business), email marketing is unavoidable. Not many people know why email marketing is important.
Typically there’re two types of conversation that occurs around email marketing.
Either it’s just assumed as a given; therefore doesn’t get much thought because, well – it’s email marketing. Everyone does it, so it’s easy.
Or it’s completely dismissed as a marketing method of the past because we’ve now got the ability to talk to customers through lots of communication channels. Some of which are instant and conversational, such as Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, Chatbot on a WordPress site.
If you or your business fall into the first conversation, great, then my post will re-enforce why is email marketing important. Hopefully, if you’re in the second conversation, my post will persuade you to invest in email marketing.
Why is email marketing important: 4 main reasons
In the introduction, I mentioned an emphasis placed on non-email channels. Such as social or chat apps. These are great and provide a way to respond to a customer instantly. The real benefit of this instant communication method is answering a question and closing a sale in the moment of interaction.
For example, if you’re browsing our friends Communicating With Impact™ programme, you’ll find a chat box in the corner. So if you have a question about the programme which will help you make a buying decision, it’s important someone is there to answer that question at the moment. Because in sales, once the moment has passed, so has the sale. (A thing called life gets in the way of the buying decision). The same applies if you visit a companies Instagram account and send them a Direct message.
However, the benefit instant response channels bring isn’t to be confused with email marketing. Because when a customer is on a website or a social media app, they’re typically not buying mode (especially the case for Social Media). They’re in browsing mode. Therefore we can’t consider this to be a direct one-to-one channel.
Whereas when they’re in their private (personal) inbox, they are focused on reading one email at a time (or subject line at a time). And here’s the key – they’re not distracted.
So, by all means, have instant chat channels available to close the sale. But remember, the aim is to have a direct distraction-free channel as possible. (As distraction-free as we can get in today’s wild world of input overload).
There are certain habits that we’ve all formed in modern life, such as charging our phones before bed. Picking up your morning Starbucks before you jump on the train to work. And checking your Twitter feed every 4 seconds.
But there’s one habit that superseded all of the above. Checking your email.
It’s fair to say all generations have formed this habit of checking their email like clockwork. Workers check theirs in between tasks or during meetings. Parents check it when theirs when the kids go to bed. High-performance entrepreneurs create time blocks where they’ll only check their email once a day.
But regardless of who and when everyone checks their email.
This isn’t just me proclaiming I see the world through a special lens. According to a Harvard business review, the average number of email checks per day is 15, or every 37 minutes. (I can attest to this as I personally have notifications for emails switched on, so I’d be more like every 20 minute – Yikes).
Most people believe that a Passport or Driving licence forms your unique identifier.
A unique identifier is a computer programming term, but for us laypeople, it simply means something absolutely unique to you that no one else has, which helps others identify you.
And a Passport or Driving license is unique to you everywhere that’s not the internet. However, online, the stand out unique identifier is your email address. You can have thousands of ‘Harminder’s’ online, but each one will have its own unique email address.
This plays out all over the internet. For example, when you want to sign up for an online service like Facebook – they ask for your email address.
As an online business owner, this is a powerful insight because in a hierarchy of information we need to collect on a customer – email is number one on that list. And certainly, in the early days of your business, you only have to worry about collecting an email address. Everything else is just a bonus.
Because from a practical point of view, the email address is the gateway to corresponding with your customer or potential customer. And unlike fliers, catalogues or leaflets, which rely on someones physical address being a unique identifier. You can email our customers with relative confidence they personally will receive it.
The cost-benefit to this is obvious. With email, you can confidently speak to hundreds of thousands of people with a click of a button vs thousands of people with the consideration of – printing cost, logistics, delivery, and accuracy of unique identifier.
So the penultimate reason why is email marketing important is that it gives you accurate cheap reach.
When we teach the BATON framework to aspiring online business owners, we’ll explore what value is stored in the system’s stage. This creates light bulb moments all around because everything I’ve spoken about in this post so far argues the case for why is email marketing important. But I’m yet to talk about making money.
So I saved the best until last. Email marketing typically falls into the Tribe stage of our BATON framework. The Tribe stage focuses on the segment of customers who care about what you have to offer. They’re warm and look forward to hearing from you.
A tribe can live in many forms: Discord group, Slack group, Townhall, Facebook group, Clubhouse Room, etc.
However, the best place for your Tribe to live is in your email marketing list. Why? For all the reasons mentioned in this post so far.
But more so because it allows us to calculate the value that is waiting to be unlocked.
Value in terms of sales, which converts to revenue. Luckily email has been around a long time, so data exists on what your email list is worth to you in sales.
The rule of thumb is that one email is worth $1/month for a business. It’ll depend on the niche, of course, and how well the business operates online, but as an average, this works out to be true.
So if you have 30,000 email subscribers, you should be able to generate $30,000/month from the list.
This will hopefully be the final ah-ha! Because not you’ve got a strong case to not only incorporate email marketing into your overall plan but be conscious about taking care of that list. That’s certainly for another post but make a mental note of that, as that’s critical to unlocking the value of your list.
Why is email marketing important? In Summary
I’ve covered the 4 main reasons why email marketing should feature in your online business conversations. The next step is to turn those conversations into action and begin to take email marketing seriously.
You know now that email marketing – is a direct way to speak to your customer. Everyone is familiar with email, you can reach many people accurately, and each email is worth $1 per month to you in sales.
However, before I sign off, I want you to be aware of how email marketing has evolved and the challenges email marketers face. This is because email marketing is busy. After all, people receive a lot of emails every day. Some estimate it to be around 120 emails per day. Some say it’s higher, and some say it’s lower. Either way, it doesn’t matter because it’s a lot.
Add to that the shift in the way inboxes are laid out. For example, Gmail introduced ‘tab’s – inbox, promotion and social. To keep someones, personal inbox focused and organised, the 120+ emails that come in daily.
So what does this mean for your email marketing efforts? You’re going to have to accept it’s going to be tougher—you’re dealing with less attention, less communication and therefore fewer sales.
We’ve personally faced it when emailing customers about products they’ve actually purchased. They ‘didn’t get the email’. Which actually means it was sitting in the promotions tab amongst 120 other promotional emails.
The solution to this is SMS which leverages an individual’s other unique identifier – their telephone number. I won’t go into SMS marketing in this post but be aware that the principles shared in this post apply equally to SMS. It’s not a perfect solution by any means, but it’s worth building alongside your email marketing efforts.