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A lot of marketers “˜do’ email marketing but until we understand the true value of this communication channel can we really harness its true benefits.  In my blog, I’ve looked at 5 reasons why email marketing should not be overlooked in the digital marketing mix and why it should definitely be added to every marketer’s bag of tricks, maybe along with a packet of biscuits.

1. Travelling online? Sign your digital passport here, with an email address please
Despite the metaphor the meaning is quite true. To exist online today we all need an email address to practically do anything. Without one our friends wouldn’t get updated, nor would our groceries get delivered, our holidays would go by un-booked and our personal affairs would descend into a state of unfathomable confusion. The list is exhaustive but the point is: our digital identity is the one thing that email marketers need to communicate with us. And almost everyone has one. With nearly 10% of the world’s population using Facebook (which requires an email address every time a user wants to “˜Poke’ somebody) email has got to be a communication tool that doesn’t fall by the digital marketers’ wayside.

2. In, out – shake it all about – do the email Hokey Cokey
We’ve all done it. A quick sign up here, an opt-out there and reshaped the way our email inboxes look depending on our current interests. This means the power to decide what we read about in email is left solely down to the consumer. Not the other way around.

But what does this mean for the email marketer?

For a start email is an instant foundation of trust between your brand and your audience. They’ve chosen to receive your message so they’re already ascending the rungs on your ladder of loyalty. Secondly it means that clever opt in processes will encourage new signups. Email marketers need to offer their recipients the chance to hear about related news or products and encourage up/cross sells or risk missed opportunities.

3. Emails are like kittens – there when you want them, not when you don’t
When was the last time you sat down to watch a TV show that you’d really been looking forward to only to discover that 10 minutes in, you’re presented with TV advertising for a new potato peeler that you neither need nor want? Last night probably. The beauty of email is that recipients choose when they want to learn about a new product or catch up on news from their favourite brands. Its non-intrusive and the concept of opting-in relates to my point above, that email marketers give their customers more choice on when they engage with a brand, rather than running up to them, tails wagging, brandishing a new promotion.

4. Finance departments love email
Email is cheaper than most other methods of digital marketing, not taking into account social media channels. By and large, an email’s costs are made up of a couple of hours’ production by a marketer and a standard transmission fee charged by an ESP. That’s it. For the more adventurous there may be design fees and additional email marketing features provided by the ESP but they are optional extras. To get a basic message in front of your audience quickly, email trumps most other channels in the marketing communications mix.

5. An inbox is a relatively war free zone
Emails stand a relatively high chance of competing in their recipient’s inbox, unlike web search pages, what the user sees – they get. Unless your recipients are using web based email clients which are often prone to being overwhelmed with cookie based advertising, they’ll only see your email and your message. If they search for your brand on the internet and are anything like me, they’ll easily become distracted by all the different ways to share on social media, the adverts and if they truly switch off and become completely bored, can go and play Angry Birds on Google Play. Emails come complete with specific subject lines, branding, imagery and often relevant content. Almost the complete opposite of web searches which means that in a less cluttered environment where the user is already engaged, your brand has a greater chance of survival when communicated via email and read in its native environment.

And if that wasn’t enough to convince you, I’ll let the statistics have the final say.

Email wins the popularity contest – without costing mega bucks
“¢ The trend for organisations sending between ¼ million and ½ million emails each month has risen steadily between 2007 and 2012
“¢ Almost half of organisations claimed that they only needed to attribute 10% of their sales to email marketing

So there you have it, 5 reasons why email is perhaps the most valuable and underated form of communication in the digital marketing mix:

“¢ Convenient
“¢ Trust bound
“¢ Non-intrusive
“¢ Cheap
“¢ Competitive

*To find out why you need Adestra’s MessageFocus in your bag of marketing tricks, click here.