5 ways email smashes other marketing channels

5 ways email smashes other marketing channels

5 ways email smashes other marketing channels

Sam Beddoes

Senior designer

12 Jan 2023

When people think about great web advertising, they conjure up images of snazzy social media campaigns, slickly produced YouTube videos or well-targeted search result ads. But hiding in plain sight is hands-down one of the most effective marketing tools on the web. The humble email doesn’t only outperform the most well-known marketing channels on the web, as much as it absolutely smashes them.

#1. Email delivers unmatched ROI of 36:1

Let’s face it, if you’re in it for the money, which almost all businesses are, this is the Holy Grail of email metrics. On average, email returns a colossal $36/£30 for every $1/£1 spent. That’s an unreal 3,600% ROI. Plus, this even increases in the UK & EU to $41/£34.

To put it in perspective with other web channels:

Email Marketing: 36:1 Serach Engine Optimisation: 22:1 Pay per-click: 2:1 Paid social media: 19:20

If you’re a small to medium sized business, there’s relatively little cost to starting your own email programme - with basic packages provided for free by many Email Service Providers (ESPs).

Source: Litmus / Smart Insights / Best Writing / HubSpot

#2. Email has dominating reach

Outside of your own inbox, email is a completely invisible thing, so you’d be forgiven for not knowing quite how huge it really is. We’re talking 4.2 Billion email accounts with 207 billion messages being sent amongst them every day. Dwarfing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and, oh yes, every single website on the internet.

Email: 4.2 billion Facebook: 2.96 billion Instagram: 1.35 billion Websites: 1.32 billion Twitter: 368 million

If your customers are web users, you can bet the most common way to reach them will be via their email address.

Source: Statista Email Facebook Instagram Twitter / Siteefy

#3. You own it

You own your own subscriber list, and are free to send to any and all parts of it whenever you like for free. Just add your ESP of choice and away you go. You’re also free to shop around ESPs and take you list with you whenever you like.

Conversely, social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram will limit your organic reach and you’ll need to pay an additional fee to reach more people. You even get limited reaching your own followers that you’ve spent time and effort building up and have to pay to reach more of them too. Plus, if you decide to stop using a social media platform or it goes bust, you can’t take these followers with you.

Unlike social media, email is an open standard split across millions of independent servers all beautifully interoperating with zero cost. Nobody owns email. There’s no middle person involved taking a cut of ESP fees, just a free and open standard that has helped foster email’s impressive ROI and reach.

#4. Instant personalisation and segmentation

In order to show personalised information on a website or app, you’ll need customers to login first. With email, you already have your customers data ready-to-go, so your messages can show personalised content as soon as they are opened. So in addition to greeting them with their name, you can include recommended products, articles, tips on how to use products they already own, anniversary greetings, discount codes and a whole heap of other personalisation tactics to boost engagement.

#5. Rendering

So, technically Rendering is where email is beaten by other web channels, but it’s all been “too good to be true” in this article so far, yes? Well, this is the reassuring part where we explain that a little elbow grease is required to earn such compelling results.

Unlike the web, which has few primary web browsers (Chrome, Edge, Safari and a few others) email has a staggering number of clients that can show your email message. So many in fact that there are more than 300,000 potential ways your email can be viewed.

Each of these email clients have their own quirks that only specialist coding knowledge is able to overcome. Failure to cater for these will mean that your email could look broken and indecipherable - at best an annoyance and at worst could damage your brand.

The great news here is that if you’re using pre-built templates, these will most likely be tested and compliant with your audience’s email clients of choice. But you should always test with rendering software before every send and make sure your email looks as intended.

If you’re building your own emails from scratch, you’ll want to invest by hiring a coder who specialises in email or, ahem, collaborate with an awesome, super-friendly, award winning and modest agency who can help you with this.




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