Is email marketing still important in 2021? The answer is an unequivocal YES.
Email marketing absolutely IS still important in 2021, but you need to understand why. There are three key reasons you need to be building and nurturing your email list, perhaps now more than ever.
1. If you’re relying on social media, you’re missing out on engagement with about 95% of the people who chose to follow you. Email allows you to communicate directly with people who already want to hear from you and WITHOUT the Facebook/Instagram /etc. gatekeepers.
If you’re primarily relying on social media to communicate with your customers, you’re missing out BIG TIME. If you’ve noticed your business Facebook posts aren’t generating the kind of attention they used to in past years, you’re not alone.
Hootsuite reported the following, “As of the end of 2020, organic reach is still on the decline. The average reach for an organic Facebook post is down to 5.2%. (For the record, at the end of 2019 it was 5.5%, and the year before that it was 7.7%). Meanwhile, the average engagement rate in 2020 for an organic Facebook post was 0.25%. That number drops to 0.08% for those of you with more than 100k followers.”
Those are some depressing numbers! The thing is, Facebook’s number one goal is to make money and getting businesses to pay to boost posts that used to show up in their followers’ feeds organically is one surefire way to do that. (And if you think that using Instagram will get you around that issue, think again. Facebook owns Instagram and Instagram has its own algorithm for deciding what to show users!)
But guess what! If you have a vibrant email marketing list for your business, you don’t have to rely on Facebook or Instagram organic reach OR paid posts in order to reach your customers. Email is a natural way of getting longer form content in front of your customers with a guarantee that they’ll at least have an opportunity to see your subject line (because you have no control over whether or not a subscriber clicks on the email to read it, but that’s another subject for another day).
Whether you only want to send marketing emails when you have a special sale happening or big news to report, or whether you want to engage with your customers weekly with helpful tips, solutions, and more, you’ll be glad you have your list so no matter what happens with social media companies, you can still talk to your people.
2. Email lets you stay engaged with your customers in a unique way.
These days you can (and should!) be doing so much more with your email list than just sending out garden variety newsletters. People get a ton of marketing emails. Give your subscribers a reason to stay in the loop. When you do this, you’re also adding value to their lives, whether you send an email to nurture your audience weekly or bi-weekly or monthly.
Imagine yourself on the receiving end of one of your emails. What would you like to see? What kind of content would keep you subscribed and stop you from clicking that unsubscribe link at the bottom of the latest email?
Think about your own inbox. What kinds of marketing emails do actually enjoy receiving? What kind of emails annoy you every time you see them in your inbox?
Some of us don’t immediately unsubscribe when we start getting annoyed with those messages, but when we do, it’s probably too late for that business to win us back on their list again.
I’m always studying the kinds of emails I get from businesses and which emails make me more or less likely to stay subscribed.
I’m more likely to stay subscribed:
- When emails consistently have genuinely helpful content, especially if I’m learning something from those emails
- When emails add something to my day
- When emails aren’t always trying to sell me something
- When emails have a unique discount only available to subscribers
- When emails aren’t daily
I’m more likely to unsubscribe:
- When emails are daily
- When every email has a sales pitch
- When there is nothing in the emails except product information
3. Email marketing lets you learn about who is actually viewing and engaging with your content, and then you can take things a step further!
Most major email marketing service providers (such as MailChimp and ConvertKit) will have a way of tracking email opens and most will let you even tag links that you place in the emails to see who clicked on them.
You can learn valuable information and/or take special actions with that kind of data:
- What kinds of topics seem to be of greatest interest to your subscribers?
- Do you have some customers who seem especially loyal to your business, regularly opening every email? If so, you can often tag subscribers who interact with your list in a particular way and then market to them in a different way. You might decide to send a special discount or reward to subscribers who are committed to your brand.
- Let’s say you send an email out to your list of 1,000 subscribers. You have a 43% open rate, which means around 430 people open the email (a good amount!) In the email, you provide some helpful information that will benefit your subscribers, but you may also include a link to a new product. You can track who clicked on the link to the new product – let’s say about 25% of your readers click on that link, or about 107 people – and if you want, you can tag them and then send an email at some point directly to that group of 107 people who seemed particularly interested in the new product, perhaps with a limited time discount on that product.
The kind of data you can glean from how your list interacts with your emails is really endless. Sometimes it will require you setting up automations on the back end, such as creating automations that tag online customers or that tag subscribers who interact with certain links or interact with your list in a particular way.
So is email marketing still important in 2021? Yes! And here are referral links to some of our favorite tools for creating and managing email lists to get you started:
- Divi Bloom – Email opt-in plugin that allows you to create a variety of forms, including pop-ups, slide-in modals, and gated content forms for capturing email addresses from interested subscribers.
- MailChimp – At under $10/month, this is a good email marketing service if you want to send professional quality emails and set up basic automations, and you also have a small list (under 500 contacts). They also have a free tier with no automations for lists below 500 subscribers
- ConvertKit – This is my favorite email marketing service for lists above 500 contacts. They do have a free service tier up to 1000 subscribers (like MailChimp) with no automations, but once you get above 500, you’re better off paying the $30/month for ConvertKit and their advanced automations and landing pages.