In 2022, 4.3 billion people across the globe used email. By 2025, that number is expected to grow to 4.6 billion. Email is still the primary method of digital communication personally and professionally. With the launch and spread of 5G, people are able to get access like never before and will continue to use email regularly.
The problem then becomes, how do you stand out when billions of emails are sent daily?! The answer to that question is always answered by knowing your audience and your value proposition. This topic could probably use a post entirely devoted to it. So for now, I will leave you with that high-level answer.
The Power of Email Marketing
Email is still the highest-converting digital marketing tactic in 2023, making emails extremely valuable for a business at any stage.
The average conversion rate hovers around 15% and has for the last 3 years. Certain types of emails have higher conversion rates than others though and certain industries find more success with email marketing. This is in part due to consumer perceptions of email marketing from different industries and in part due to all the terribly written junk emails that get sent each day.
There are many different types of conversions you can measure when it comes to email marketing. They all fall under either micro conversions or macro conversions. Micros are small interactions people have with your content (i.e. filling out a form, liking/commenting/sharing an article, watching a video, downloading a freebie, linking on social media, etc.) while macros are the meaningful business-driving actions (i.e. requesting a quote or meeting, making a purchase, agreeing to a free trial, signing up for a subscription, etc.). The micro-conversions add up to a higher likelihood of a macro conversion. So focus on bringing people along in the journey to becoming a customer using these micro-conversions to gauge their interest and then finding the best moment for the macro conversions.
In addition to conversion rates, emails show an average of $40 in return for every $1 spent on email marketing (Omnisend, 2022). That return is still unmatched across marketing platforms. The next closest is the ROI from SEO and SEM which is ~$22 and ~$17, respectively (Oberlo, 2022).
If these facts were not enough to convince you that email marketing is worth the time, here is one more.
"Email continues to be the main driver of customer retention and acquisition for small and midsize businesses. According to the data, 81% of SMBs still rely on email as their primary customer acquisition channel, and 80% for retention (Emarsys, 2018)." (Oberlo, 2022)
Types of Email Marketing
Here are the big email marketing buckets that we see most often used:
Cold Outreach Emails
Coming soon: Download of Persuasive Email Templates (complete with effective CTAs, words that sell, and dos & don'ts for sales emails)
Welcome Series Emails
Coming soon: Download of Welcome Series Email Templates for any business
Automated Emails to Support Orders/Purchases/Subscriptions/Accounts/Referrals/etc.
Coming soon: Download of Automated Email Templates for any business
Informative/Educational Series Emails
Business Updates Emails (includes new products/posts/services, sales, monthly newsletters, progress checks, board updates, trends, etc.)
How each business uses these opportunities entirely depends on the goals you have for your business and for your email marketing.
Certain emails will always have a higher conversion rate because the target audience is closer to a decision point. For example, Abandoned cart emails typically see higher conversion rates because they are directly responding to a customer who was already engaged and shown interest. While cold outreach emails and welcome series emails tend to show lower conversion rates (however Welcome emails have the highest open rates, consistently averaging over 60%).
Just because certain types of emails show a lower return, does not mean your business should not use them. But with all marketing, set reasonable expectations and TEST your assumptions regularly.
How to Increase Email Conversion Rates
If you are entirely new to the email marketing game, there are a few resources for you to consider using, especially if you are a small to mid size business looking to do work yourself:
There are a few best practices to consider when setting up any email or email sequence no matter the size of your business.
Focus each email on 1 point and 1 CTA. This can be hard because once you feel like you have people's attention you may want to share more information. But you are more likely to confuse your reader than to provide them a value. Use 1 point and 1 CTA throughout your email.
Day and time matter so do some work to figure out when the best time is to engage with your audience. A common stat that email marketing companies share is that the US sees ~7% of all open emails occur between 10 and 11 am. Keep in mind, this may not be the best time for your industry and your customers. You will need to do your own work to figure out when your people want to hear from you. For example, alcohol-related emails see a higher success in the afternoon, particularly in the hours right before people stop working (between 3 and 5 pm).
Always use personalization! Consumers know that businesses send mass emails. So when they see their name or other identifying information about them included in the email, psychologically, they feel a bit better about engaging with your email.
Give people fun and engaging chances to interact with your email. Add in interactive content to catch their eye or inspire them to click. Examples of interactive content include videos, GIFs, carousels, calculators, forms, etc. These types of content allow users to take action directly in the email, rather than being redirected to a website.
Create Automated sequences that account for customer actions. Many of the mail service providers allow you to create sequences (or workflows) with a high level of specificity based on customer actions. Do not settle for an email service that does NOT allow you to build intricate automated email flows.
Selecting an Email Marketing Provider
This topic is specific to your business needs as well. However, I recommend trying to find a provider that can also manage your CRM data (customer relationship management data). Email is only as successful as the data and tracking behind it. You will serve your customers much better if you keep up-to-date information on their preferences and interactions with your business.
A few good options to consider include, but are not limited to
If you are a nonprofit, Virtuous is an excellent option to explore
Mailchimp is a commonly known option, however, it does not make my list because, in my experience, of all the software out there, many are better options than Mailchimp. I recommend not even considering it in your set.
If you have other questions about email marketing that this post did not address, drop a comment below about what else you would like to see!
And if you are waiting for those downloads to come out, sign up for our newsletter to be sure you get the update when they launch.