If you are reading this article, chances are that you or your business may be interested in establishing an email marketing campaign. A common question asked – is email marketing still an effective part of the marketing mix?

At this point, we have to make it clear, we are an email marketing company, thus it could be argued that our viewpoint will be a little biased in favor of the industry. If you decide to read the rest of this article, we hope that you find the arguments very logical and helpful.

Is email marketing a good medium?

We would argue that there are 3 key areas which prove that email marketing is a great and growing medium. These areas include; cost, analytics and ease of access.

The cost involved

The costs involved in establishing an email marketing campaign are a fraction of traditional methods. Due to low costs, this makes email marketing a powerful tool inside the marketing mix for small businesses.

Vs printed adverts

“Marketing Mine Field” report that an average full page colour newspaper advert in a national paper costs upwards of £30,000. To save on expenditure you may opt for a 1/4 page advert in a local newspaper, the same source outlines that this will cost upwards of £250.

To broadcast 2000 emails, this will cost your business £8.99. £250 Vs £8.99. At a much smaller investment, we would argue that email marketing can be much more effective than a tiny advert in a local newspaper and at a fraction of the cost.

Vs mailshot

As an alternative, you may opt to run a mailshot to help broadcast your message. Compared to this medium we would still argue that email marketing is the cheaper more effective option.

Breaking down the costs of running a printed mailshot;

  • A first class postage stamp costs 44p per message.
  • Paper costs –  estimated 2p per flyer
  • Printer ink costs –  estimated 4p per flyer (depending on your design)

Already this is bringing the cost to 50p per mailshot advert. This is not taking into account the time it takes to prepare and seal 2000 envelopes. If you are running regular maillshots, filling 2000 envelopes will not be an enjoyable task!

Using this method, sending a quantity of 2000 printed flyers will cost an estimated £1000. Taking into account the always rising postage costs, this medium starts to become very costly.

Analytics

At the end of the day, the purpose of marketing is to generate sales.

If you are using the traditional marketing methods – such as mailshots, it can be suggested that you are marketing quite blindly. When running a printed mailshot campaign – are you able to track how many people read your flyer? Or how many people simply threw it away not wanting to hear from you again?

The traditional marketing methods often don’t give a wide reporting system, this is where email marketing comes into its own.

Most email marketing platforms will offer a detailed analytics suite – to a marketeer the volume of accurate primary data generated can be invaluable. As an example, most email marketing uk programs will automatically record:

  • Open rates.
  • Detailed reports on who clicked on links to your website.
  • Automatic unsubscribe management.
  • Undelivered, no longer valid recipients.

Unless you are the industry leader, any marketing resource that will help you generate a ride range of reliable primary data – if used effectively will almost certainly help your business gain a great level of understanding towards your target demographic. This method will help you quickly understand interest in certain products and buying habits.

The growth of portable devices

The growth of the portable electronic device market will almost certainly cement the future and expansion of email marketing as a great sales tool.

Over the last few years we have seen the release of; smart phones, iPads and other tablet computers. All around the UK ISP’s are setting up free Wi-Fi hot spots accessible to anyone – as an example, the Chinese government offered to install a mobile phone and 3G network on the london underground prior to the London 2012 Olympics.

Due to the growth and success of the smart phone and tablet market – this has great implications for the email marketing industry.

Devices such as the iPhone are enabling end users to pickup email and any other communications from anywhere in the world. With this growth, no longer do you have to be sat in-front of your office computer to read an email.

Large newspapers and broadcasters have recognised the growth of digital media – with Sky News and their iPad app, to ‘The Independent newspaper’ digital edition. This then raises the argument to anti email marketeers that if email is not a relevant marketing medium – why are large broadcasters investing in digital media?

The spam risk

Some companies are put off entering the world of email marketing due to the risk of being accused of being a spammer – as a result damaging the reputation of your brand. We understand and agree with this concern – if you are accused to sending spam this will have negative implications.

As with all marketing methods, you should never market blindly – research and testing is always required. If you purchase a cheap email database and email market to ti, we would put money on the fact that you will be accused of spamming and cause damage to your brand.

When establishing a successful email marketing campaign, you should take it slowly. Take the time to establish you own opt-in database – ask clients who you have sold to recently if you can add them to your database. In addition to this, create a newsletter signup option on your website. Using these methods will help you to build a good quality email database that will achieve results and will not damage your brand though spam complaints.

Is email marketing still effective? – a case study

I hope that by this point we have confirmed any doubts that email marketing is a great and developing part of the marketing mix. In order to re-in-force this further I draw upon a case study at EBUK;

This example uses car leasing company. With a spend of £44, the leasing company broadcasted to their client database. This one campaign generated 3 vehicle sales at a profit of over £2000. Expenditure £44, profit £1956.