How many times a day do you check your e-mail? Do you find yourself trying to avoid it altogether, or are you glued to it all day long for work purposes? When email was first introduced, it was all we could do to refresh our inboxes, impatiently awaiting the next exciting unread message. For most of us today, we feel stressed and overwhelmed by a cluttered inbox that’s filled with unread or abandoned messages.
Despite this gradual change in our attitudes towards our inboxes, email marketing has remained a consistently-used strategy for businesses to reach and communicate with their customers. So does our reluctance to instantly check any new incoming mail create a disadvantage for marketing your business via email, or worse yet – make it obsolete? Let’s take a look!
Electronic Mail: The Early Years
Although we are referencing the “early” years, it took nearly three decades for the email to become widely available for the general public. For many years, electronic mail was limited to use by government organizations and professionals. As with most new technologies, email had its primary purpose – in this case fast, convenient, far-distance communication – but it certainly didn’t stay that simplistic for long:
Once the internet became a household staple, the email began to thrive by making it possible for people at different geographical locations to share information in a matter of seconds. This was one of the primary uses of email technology, but take a moment to consider the ways you have most often used email in the past 15 years.
Many of us have more than one email account. We’ve created them over the years for a variety of purposes:
- To separate business from personal correspondence.
- For academic use.
- For professional use.
- To filter spam.
- As a backup in the case of account compromise.
Business-To-Business [B2B] Email Correspondence
It’s common in many professions for business owners to assign each employee their own personal work email address in order to streamline professional communications both internally and externally. In a typical workday, the majority of the e-mails I compose and send are in fact not to people who are a far distance from me, rather to my coworkers who are rarely out of earshot. Have we, as a society, come to rely so much on completing our daily tasks digitally without having to move from our desk chairs that we are using email in place of face-to-face communication? There’s actually a bit more to it than that.
Attachments have been, and continue to be, a huge benefit to the overall functionality and value of email as a form of communication; one which I find myself using multiple times per day. Do I schedule a meeting with a coworker where I give her details regarding an upcoming project and finish the meeting with a “Please check your email this afternoon – I’ll be sending you the necessary documents and media files that you need for this project shortly”? It’d save us both time if I instead:
- Forewent the meeting altogether,
- Opened a blank email,
- Attached all required items,
- Typed out what I would have spoken aloud in the meeting,
- …and hit send.
Not only would this save us time, but it’d provide my coworker all of the information and media needed to begin, and possibly even complete, her assigned project, all nicely wrapped up for her in a single email and delivered straight to her inbox. This works well for communications that extend outside of your physical workspace to other professionals as well. Whether your job requires frequent sharing of information with partners outside of your organization or communication between departments not located in the same geographical location, email continues to be an ideal way to make it all happen.
Business-To-Customer [B2C] Email Correspondence
Now that we’ve recognized the ways in which email has been so efficient in streamlining business-to-business communications, both internally and externally, we can explore how this translates to business-to-customer outreach and marketing. Much of marketing is content-focused, and once you have the attractive content that’s relevant to both your business and your customers’ interests, your next step is the actual delivery of that content.
The medium you use to make your content visible to customers is often decided in the early stages of content creation, as platforms typically have algorithms that are not just unique to them but that also change periodically. In other words, the layout, format, and features of your content might be keyword-focused for one sharing platform and centered around something completely different for another.
As we coast into the latter half of 2019, connection is still admittedly of great importance to customers when they’re shopping for products and services online. Consumers desire feelings of familiarity and trust with the brands in which they invest their time and money, and email marketing continues to be a successful way to help build that trust and give consumers the idea that you’re not simply trying to sell them a product or service, rather providing them something that will benefit and enhance their lives.
Why Email Marketing Still Works
A local boutique posts a poll on Instagram about which new product you’d like to see featured in their store. Your neighborhood pizza joint updates its Facebook page with a hilarious viral meme that features a mouth-watering slice of pie. The sporting goods store around the corner tweets about the brand new championship gear in stock. What do they all have in common? They’re attractive, engaging, tempting to their target audiences.
I won’t tell you that any of these are the wrong way to market your business. The engagement these marketing efforts produce does allow the customer to feel a sort of connection to the business. But social media often lacks the intimate and direct feel that emails provide
Your business’s social media posts are directed to the public. But when a customer receives an e-mail from you, there’s just something personal about it. Although the initial “I’ve got mail!” excitement of the early days of email has passed, consumers still admit to feeling a greater sense of personal connection when they receive a form of communication via email.
The Bottom Line
The apparent truth is that email marketing is still proving successful for business marketers worldwide. Are there predictions that email will someday, sooner than later, become obsolete? Yes. Does that mean you need to quit all email marketing efforts today in order to prepare? We’d advise against it. Despite the uncertain future of email as a primary source of communication and content sharing, what matters is that it still exists as a powerful marketing tool for business owners today.
Are your email campaigns not receiving the engagements you desire? Our team of online marketing and content experts know what it takes to market your brand via email effectively in order to grow your business to new heights. Reach out to us at Advantage Internet Marketing today for more information on the wide range of online marketing services we have to offer!