Updated: Mar 22
by Ross Andrew Paquette
Millions of consumers worldwide use email and its use continues to increase throughout the years. Email is one of the most popular communication channels, and the majority of emails sent daily are business-related.
Think of how many emails you receive on a daily and weekly basis — they consume a large part of your life. From notifications to paperless billing — we rely heavily on emails every single day.
Email marketing has continued to be one of the most effective ways for a business to market to its customers. Email is personal and the open rates put your message in front of its intended recipients more than any other channel.
Email isn’t going anywhere, and while SMS marketing may be experiencing industry-high open rates, specifically in the e-commerce industry, email cannot be ignored. Here is why brands need to be all-in on email marketing.
More customizable and personal than social media
E-commerce brands, especially direct-to-consumer brands, love social media. While social media offers a great platform to market to your customers, it isn’t highly customizable or personal.
If a brand has 100,000 followers on Instagram, for example, every Post or Story is broadcast to that entire audience. What if a D2C apparel brand has both men’s and women’s lines? A post highlighting the women's spring collection is going to be seen by all followers — male and female.
Email, however, allows an e-commerce brand to segment its list based on data. An apparel brand can have a main list that includes all customers, and then segment that into lists according to purchase behavior.
Sending an email announcing a new women’s line to customers that have previously purchased women’s apparel is going to perform much better than an offer broadcast to the entire list. The same applies to men’s drops.
Email personalization also helps to create a stronger relationship. A post on social media feels generic, whereas an email addressed to the recipient feels more personal.
Highly measurable data
When you take all of the data available to you and break it down, you can make incredible improvements in your future email deployments. You can further segment your list, identifying your best customers and you can also use data to determine the best days of the week and time of day to send messages.
Numbers don’t lie, and when you take the time to analyze your email data, you will find new opportunities and optimize them to improve your overall results. For example, you might find those general newsletters have a significantly higher open rate on Tuesday afternoon, while special offers convert better on Friday mornings.
Access to this data also allows you to send dynamic content within your emails, tailored to each recipient. When you place an offer for a product they were recently viewing on your website in front of them, they are more likely to convert than they would be if it was just a generic blanket offer designed to appeal to the masses.
Consumers have instant access to their email via mobile devices
Mobile devices have the majority of consumers’ emails at the tip of their fingers. You don’t have to wait for them to get home or to log in to their email on a desktop or laptop. They are notified as soon as that email hits their device.
Whether or not they open your email immediately depends on several factors. If they are busy, they are going to ignore their email until they have time to dive in. A strong Call to Action in the email subject, however, can potentially get your emails opened very quickly.
Most consumers are glued to their mobile phones all day and all night — from the morning when they wake up until it’s time to go to sleep. Even while working or preoccupied, most will at least glance at their notifications.
Email gives you instant access to the majority of your customer base. Remember, you aren’t the only brand vying for their attention. Strong email subjects to draw high click-through rates are important, as is conveying your message within the first few sentences.
The right offer can trigger immediate action, which is the beauty of email marketing. A consumer could have no intention of making a purchase, but they become intrigued with your offer, and the next thing they know, their credit card is out and they are completing a transaction on your website from their mobile device.
Online marketing costs are skyrocketing for e-commerce brands. Facebook ads are becoming increasingly popular, therefore driving costs so high that it’s forcing many brands to look for additional channels that provide a more affordable acquisition cost.
Email is hands-down the most cost-effective, as the hard costs to deploy messages are minimal. Customer emails are collected when they make a purchase and via opt-ins on-site. While there is a cost associated with every email address added to a list, that is a one-time cost.
That email list turns into an asset that becomes more valuable as it grows. Large e-commerce brands can send email marketing offers weekly or bi-weekly and generate a substantial amount of revenue each time without the customer acquisition costs that come with Google Ads and Facebook ads.