In our previous post, we discussed a few simple ways to increase the effectiveness of your email marketing. It can be hard to believe that in the lightning-paced world of digital marketing, a 45-year-old digital communication protocol can be a powerful tool for connecting with your customers and boosting sales. Doesn’t everyone communicate over social media and through messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp?

Why Email Is Still Relevant

Many of the newer methods of digital communication are very popular, especially with younger audiences, which can make some people wonder why email, which can be clunky and old-fashioned in comparison, is even still around. The fact is that there’s simply no reliable method for contacting all of your customers over every communication platform, and even if you could, some platforms are simply inappropriate for the length and breadth of a good marketing email. Furthermore, a relatively new technology – the smartphone – has also given a boost to email, as mobile device users often receive messaging notifications the same way, no matter the platform, leveling the digital communication playing field and putting email on equal footing with services such as WhatsApp.

The Benefits Of Email Marketing

A primary benefit of email marketing is the cost – sending marketing emails can be relatively inexpensive, especially when compared to other forms of digital marketing and advertising. Most email marketing platforms such as MailChimp or Zoho Campaigns offer both a free basic tier of service and an advanced subscription tier, while others only offer a paid tier. Whether or not your business should pay for an advanced tier of services largely depends on the importance of email marketing in your overall digital marketing plan.

Why You Need To Utilize An Email Marketing Service

If you are unfamiliar with email marketing, you may be asking yourself why you need to utilize an email marketing service – after all, you already have an email account and you may already be paying for an email service for your employees. It is important to understand that email marketing requires a specialized service because federal law restricts who can receive marketing emails and the contact information that must be included in each email. Most third-party services like Gmail restrict the number of recipients that can be included in an outgoing email, and a “do-it-yourself” email marketing solution, while technically possible, would require the services of an IT expert to manage the email system. Because of these restriction and expensive barriers to entry, even large corporations now utilize the services of email marketing providers.

Do You Need To Pay For Advanced Email Marketing Features?

Whether or not your small business should pay for advanced email marketing features largely depends on the importance of email marketing in your overall digital marketing plans. Chances are you’re already writing your own content or paying someone to create it, and you should consider the investment of time and/or money you’ve already made in your email marketing. Most advanced email marketing features include tools for sending automated emails, connecting a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) service to your contact list, and more advanced tools and reports for tracking your emails. If you are primarily utilizing email marketing as a tool for complimenting your other digital marketing, or as a method of casually keeping in touch with your customer base, then you may have no need for advanced features and can forgo the additional cost. However, if you are positioning email marketing as a centerpiece of your digital marketing efforts, and you are making a more significant investment in the content of your emails, advanced email marketing features will allow you to build a more comprehensive system to maintain contact with your customers and provide advanced feedback on the effectiveness of your campaigns.