5 Commonly Overlooked Reasons to Invest in Email Marketing

Email is still underutilized relative to the amount of value it provides.

While many companies build email lists and send infrequent updates, many simply don’t understand what a good email marketing strategy looks like, or haven’t seen good examples of how powerful it can be in transforming their business.

Whether it’s getting unique behavioral data, owning a highly engaged communication channel with your audience, automating and scaling or simply doubling the revenue of your Lifetime Value, there are so many benefits I feel like many business owners overlook.

To walk through some of the often overlooked benefits, I’ve put together these five top reasons to invest in email marketing you may not have considered.

1. Email allows you to build a data-driven marketing strategy.

There are few other channels that show customer conversion and engagement metrics at every step of interaction, and fewer again that build stores of that data automatically and over time.

With a huge amount of data and a clear idea of every stage of the customer journey, it makes it straightforward to know where the limits are in your business, and what levers need to be pulled in order to get the largest ROI.

Combining this with a solid framework like the 80–20 Power Triangle or conversion rate optimization methodology, you’ll quickly build a solid foundation to start making insightful marketing decisions with a clearer understanding of their expected value.

2. Email allows you to avoid platform risk and build a true audience.

Email is still the only way to build an audience that you “own”. Twitter and Instagram followers, Facebook group members, or LinkedIn connections can all be taken away from you without a moment’s notice.

Building an email list is the only way to ensure you have a direct connection to your market, with interested individuals who have granted you permission to contact them. There’s no better way to store your contacts, as an email address is the one piece of information your prospect takes everywhere they go online.

It’s the only way you can ensure you own your customer data — the most important asset in your business. As Ben Thompson says in Aggregation Theory, “Aggregation is fundamentally about owning the user relationship and being able to scale that relationship”. You move from supplying a service on a platform with inherent risk and uncertainty, to building your own.

3. Email is the largest and most engaged platform.

With 3.9 billion active users each spending on average 2–3 hours a day in their inboxes, as Campaign Monitor puts it “Statistics show that email is still king”.

Not only is the platform huge and active, the users are engaged. While web-platform dependent marketers bemoan “algorithm changes” that upset their reach and effectiveness, email is immune.

SendGrid’s annual 2019 Email Benchmark and Engagement Study shows consistent engagement across all metrics over the last four years that put most other platforms to shame.

4. Email allows you to automate and scale like nothing else.

If you’re looking to scale your business and achieve growth, automation needs to happen at some point, and email is the best way to do so. It allows you to build a system to send offers directly to market, automatically sell while you sleep, and build an on-demand, targeted traffic source you can use to promote content on other platforms and drive traffic back into your funnel.

Email allowed us to successfully create a successful ‘go to market’ strategy. It simply wouldn’t have been possible to test and validate a new product with an audience as variable as one located on a platform such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Without the coordination and reliability of email, we wouldn’t have been able to rely on consistent reach and engagement necessary to determine whether we had success. These other platforms may complement a launch, but email is the best way to go directly to your audience.

Email also allows you to automate a sales funnel in a way other platforms don’t. We built an automated system that generated revenue with very little upkeep that also doubled as an engagement channel, keeping new subscribers aware of the brand with metrics that surpass those of other platforms. With a completely automated funnel, you create a revenue stream you can count for a while, as long as you keep leads flowing in to the top of the funnel.

To that end, building a strong email list gives you the ability to send traffic anywhere on the internet you want. Given a ten thousand subscriber email list, an average open rate of twenty percent and a clickthrough rate of ~five percent, you can expect at least a hundred highly engaged and interested readers to interact with any given piece of content you link to in a dedicated email.

While that doesn’t sound like a lot, a hundred engaged people can meaningfully influence social media algorithms, upvote posts in forums and generally give you an upper hand at building virality in a way many businesses simply don’t have.

5. Email allows you to unlock hidden revenue and build CLV.

The most alluring aspect, as I think I show in this case study, is the ease in which email enables you to improve CLV and unlock otherwise untapped revenue for your bottom line.

There’s no better way to build an automated system that simultaneously improves purchase value, frequency and volume — the three levers for improving customer value and scaling your business. As we’ve covered, we hit all three of those levers to build a valuable funnel that gave us the ability to make data-driven growth decisions and plan our growth intelligently.

It also unlocked hidden revenue that we otherwise wouldn’t have had access to. We improved purchase value and volume by adding an entirely new product that increased average order value, increased the number of purchases and increased the exposure to new offers for a given reader. All of these led to increased revenue and more value extracted from every new lead we added.