The Advantages and Disadvantages of Email Marketing
Many of us have experienced the frustration (and occasional rage) that comes from receiving too many emails from uninvited sources. These emails might be spammy, irrelevant, boring, or there might just be too many of them crowding our inbox. In any case, frustration with this form of digital marketing has led many business owners to question the effectiveness of email marketing. Has a general disdain for unsolicited messages rendered email marketing obsolete?
At FirstPage Marketing, we like to keep our fingers in as many digital marketing pies as we can, including email marketing. Staying informed about the advantages and disadvantages of email marketing can help to ensure that your company makes the right decision about how to use this great tool.
Does Email Marketing Still Work?
If you are wondering if email marketing is still relevant and if it has potential as a method for you to reach your audience, the short answer is “yes,” and the long answer is “yes, but it depends.” There are many different reasons that email marketing might succeed or fail. Although many people believe that social media is taking over the territory of email marketing, there are still plenty of statistics that support email marketing as an effective method to push a message out to potential clients and customers.
An effective email marketing campaign will appeal to the target audience by presenting information that is relevant to them in a way that is brief, interesting, and entertaining. If an email campaign does not do these things, it is likely to fail. For this reason, the most successful campaigns go out to audiences within a specific industry, demographic, or interest group and have very targeted messaging. Ideally, the recipients of the email campaign will have signed up to receive the emails and can expect to see them monthly or bimonthly (depending on the industry and offering). Essentially, email marketing is still effective, as long as it follows a clear strategy and is not boring or obnoxious.
Advantages of Email Marketing Campaigns
There are many great advantages to getting into email marketing. Some of the best reasons to give it a try for your business include:
1. It is a Great Way to Raise Awareness
If you are trying to promote a new offering or product, email marketing can be a great way to raise awareness, especially when paired with a webpage that offers more detail and other digital marketing practices, like remarketing ads. A relevant, brief message in an email campaign with a strong call to action can bring clicks and conversions to your website at best and simply get your product in front of a few more eyes at worst. Email marketing is also a less intrusive way to get your brand in front of a prospective client than cold calling.
2. It is a Cost-Effective Form of Marketing
The number of people who can be reached through an email marketing campaign is incredibly high, and the amount spent on an email marketing campaign is usually incredibly low. When compared with mail-out flyers and postcards, email marketing campaigns accomplish a similar goal and cost much less to produce and deliver.
3. Emails are Shareable
If somebody likes your campaign, they can easily forward it to a friend, thus increasing its effectiveness. This can help to broaden awareness of your brand and offering.
One of the best things about email marketing is that it is measurable when the right software is used. You can easily get feedback on how effective a certain campaign was for conversions, open rates, spam reports, and much more. Some email marketing software also allows you to compare your campaign’s performance with that of others within your industry.
5. Flexibility and Scalability
Email marketing campaigns can be designed to target a large, broad audience or a small, targeted audience with the right tools, language, and designs. They can also take nearly any form, from plain text to infographics to videos.
Disadvantages of Email Marketing
While there are many good reasons to use email marketing, it is not always the best solution for every industry and company. There are many inherent disadvantages to email marketing and, if done incorrectly, many problems can arise from it as a marketing practice. Some of the disadvantages of email marketing include:
Nobody likes getting spam mail. It is incredibly common for recipients to unsubscribe from an email list because the message feels “spammy.” It’s less common for a recipient to mark an email sender as spam but, when this does happen, it can result in your email domain getting marked by email platforms so that your emails fail to get through some of the more aggressive spam filters that are out there nowadays. Make sure that you always follow email marketing and privacy laws when sending out an email campaign.
2. Difficulty Standing Out
With the high volume of emails that most people get every day, it can be difficult to craft an email campaign that stands out. For this reason, having an offering and message that your recipient list will see as relevant is hugely important. It is also important to have a subject line that jumps out from the others in somebody’s inbox through humour, attractive or eye-catching language, or even emoji use.
3. Overly Aggressive Spam Filters
Many email service providers include spam filters that are incredibly aggressive with whose emails they permit into an inbox. Many keywords or domain settings can set off a spam filter, so make sure you are careful not to use spammy language like “click here” or to overuse words like “free” when crafting your campaign.
4. Low Success Ratios
When reviewing an email campaign, it is easy to get disappointed by a low success ratio, either in the conversion rates or even in the open rates. Email marketing has a very low average conversion ratio as a general rule and seeing these low numbers can leave people disenfranchised with the practice. It is important to remember that the primary goal of email marketing should usually be to raise awareness, and conversions should be viewed as a cherry on the sundae. While there are exceptions to this rule, it is important to not give up due to what could be perceived as poor statistics on your email campaign reports.
If you think that email marketing might be a useful tool for you, or if you want to discuss the advantage and disadvantages of email marketing a bit more with us, give FirstPage Marketing a call and we can help you to assess how we can help you reach your goals.