Here at Rhino, a lot of our clientele are local, small to medium-sized businesses, looking for ways to increase their sales in today’s digital world. We help a variety of customers find the best methods to generate more leads and convert those leads into closed sales. One question that we hear frequently is whether email marketing is still an effective tool, particularly for local businesses.
Does email still work?
For starters, I can say unequivocally that email is still one of the most effective marketing tools for any business. I know that it may seem somewhat “old school” today amidst an ocean of social media feeds. Has the venerable email inbox become obsolete in today’s world? The debate about whether “email is broken” has been raging on for some time. Even the cutting edge technology publication, Wired Magazine recently ran a piece entitled “Email is broken. Can anyone fix it?”, while concluding that, well, email isn’t actually going away any time soon, and does still work. We here at Rhino came to the same conclusion over a year ago as well.
Just take a lot at your email inbox. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably flooded with sales and marketing emails, on a regular basis. At the time of writing this article, I can tell that we’re in the holiday season by the fact that the “Promotions” tab in my gmail account has more than a full page of new messages every day. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Let’s look at a few facts and figures about email and marketing:
According to a study by the Radicati Group, there are currently more than 2.6 billion email users, worldwide. That number is expected to surpass 3 billion, or roughly half the world’s population, by the end of the year 2020. To put things in context, out of that group who won’t be using email by then, 1.2 billion, almost half, don’t even have electricity at all, as per a report by the World Bank. Just how much use does this amount to? The same report by Radicati places that number at over 200 billion emails sent per day, and is expected to exceed 250 billion daily by 2020.
Keep in mind, too, that we’re not just talking about people checking email on their home PCs or on their work computers. Smartphones and other mobile devices are everywhere, with more than three-quarters of Americans (77%) owning one, according to the Pew Research Center. And they’re not just chatting with their friends and playing games. Two-thirds of emails are actually read on smartphones or tablets.
Email Brings a Staggering ROI
How effective can email marketing really be? For marketers, it all comes down to ROI (Return on Investment). For most businesses, a ROI of 500% (5:1) is seen as good; 1000% is generally considered to be exceptional. In contrast, email marketing can be expected to bring a ROI of 4400%. In other words, for every dollar you spend on email marketing, you can expect to yield $44 in new revenue. Do you know any other methods of marketing that produce this kind of result?
Bringing it all back home
Hopefully at this point you’re sold on the value of email in a marketing plan for the digital age. But does this only apply to large, nationwide and multinational businesses? Do the same concepts apply, and is there the same value, for smaller, local businesses. I can answer this question with a resounding “Yes”. Here’s why:
Email marketing is simple and easy
There’s not much of a learning curve to using email for marketing, as it’s something most of us do all the time already. It’s also worth looking into using automation to send targeted emails to your prospects. Most of the “work” of email automation goes on under the hood, so to speak, invisibly, and the interface you’ll be using is easy to learn to use.
Consumers use the internet to find local businesses too
One of the amazing things about the digital age is that we’re connected to pretty much everyone and everything, everywhere on the planet. But don’t forget that this also includes local businesses, right in your neighborhood. Does it surprise you to learn that 89% of smartphone users look up local businesses on their phones at least once a week? We’re using those same devices to get addresses, directions, and even special deals, menus, and more, from local business entities.
Email is a great way to attract and retain your customer base
I hate spam as much as the next guy, but I’m sure you won’t be spamming your customers and prospects. Before you start worrying about whether you’re going to be intruding too much and turning people off when you email them, please take note of this statistic: 95% of those who sign-up for emails from brands say that they find those emails either somewhat or very useful. Of course, you’ll need to be sure that you make those emails useful, by including some valuable information or an offer which will entice people to visit your website or your shop.
Email marketing is highly cost-effective
I’ll reiterate the stat I mentioned earlier. You can expect a $44 return for every $1 that you invest in your email marketing. I don’t know of another channel that gives that ROI. Do you?
If you’re ready to learn more about how to launch a successful email marketing campaign for your local business, why not give a call to the pros at Rhino today?