Before the rise of social media, there were email newsletters. If you wanted to inform your customers about recent news or promote a deal, you could create an email to send out.
But then social media got big. These days, if you want to promote a deal, all you have to do is go to your Facebook page and post about it. And gradually your email newsletter has come to seem less important, less useful, and less relevant….
Or has it?
Not necessarily, according to a number of studies published recently, email newsletters are still killing it, for a number of reasons…
1. Email wins with the numbers
Email has nearly three times as many user accounts as Facebook and Twitter combined? That’s a massive 2.9 billion.
One article makes the following analogy to put it into perspective –
If you imagine a full cup of rice is the number of emails sent every day, then by comparison, all the daily posts on Facebook would make a miserable 10 grains—barely enough to pick up with a chopstick. And all the tweets sent every day would be a measly 4 grains. In fact, Facebook and Twitter combined make up just 0.2% of the number of emails sent each day.
Similarly, even web page visits just don’t compare - every web search made on every search engine every day equals just 1/100th of daily email traffic; and all the pages viewed on the entire web each day—including images and videos—use only a quarter of the bandwidth consumed by email.
2. Email is still more personal
If you’re under the impression that Facebook is the more personal medium, it’s not necessarily the case… Firstly, a lot of people still don’t use Facebook. Secondly, of the people who DO use it, many don’t use Facebook for private, 1-on-1 conversations – they will still opt for an email.
And of course, these days it’s very easy to personalize your emails. On a simple level, you can include the name or title of the user, or if you have a more detailed database to work from, you can include other customised, personal references such as the customer’s location, or even a reference to their most recent purchase. All of this contributes to making the reader feel special and helping them feel connected to the brand.
3. Email is more professional than other social media
Of course some businesses use Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for communicating with their customers, but when it comes to building serious business relationships and communicating with partners and clients, the most “grown-up” medium is still email. If used well, it automatically builds trust, confidence and authenticity, in both your business and your brand.
4. Email is more invasive (and that’s a good thing)
Email allows you to make repeated contact with the receiver, and that contact is ‘invasive’ - it’s in their mailbox. If you send out a ‘tweet’ or post something on Instagram or Facebook, your customers may or may not see it - it’s a small part of a much larger timeline featuring hundreds of other people and businesses.
But even if your email lands in an overflowing inbox, your message is still there, waiting for the receiver’s attention. It doesn’t just go away by itself.
So if your email is interesting, eye-catching and relevant, the receiver will more than likely see it, and hopefully read it (or at the very least skim-read it).
And the more worth reading you are, the more your customers will actually start to look forward to your messages. Indeed, research shows that most people open email from a maximum of 16 “trusted advisers”—and they almost always open these emails. If you can get into this inner circle, you get undivided attention.
5. Email is ‘transactional’ (and that’s also a good thing)
Although these days Facebook is littered with ads, people are really just there to see what their friends are up to, or chuckle at the latest memes. So even if they have a soft spot for your brand, they’re generally not in the right frame of mind to be marketed to.
In comparison, people are used to getting offers by email. So your receiver will not only have a high tolerance for this style of message, but they’ll actually be more likely to be in a buying frame of mind.
If you use email marketing consistently and wisely, you can ‘train’ your customers to expect offers, while at the same time embedding your brand values and personality, and building loyalty and respect.
6. Email is inexpensive
To sum up the best reason to use email marketing – it’s easy, effective, and inexpensive. Yes, social media is also cheap, but email marketing has the added benefits mentioned above. It allows you to reach a large number of consumers at an affordable rate per message. And for small-business owners on a budget, this makes it a much better choice than traditional media such as TV, radio, newspapers or direct mail.
If you'd like to find out how Halibut can help you with your email newsletter, click here.
Or if you'd like to read even more about the advantages of email, here are a couple of good reads –