With so many shiny objects in today’s martech stacks, it seems as though tried and true email is often taken for granted. The truth is, it’s no longer a simple, commodity communications medium. Instead, email has evolved to become the digital workhorse that brings today’s digital marketing campaigns to life.
Here are six ways email serves as a marketer’s most valuable tool in the battle to win new customers and retain the ones you already have:
- Consistency over time: An inherent benefit with email is that it offers marketers a unique identifier to their prospects and customers. While many of us switch phones, laptops, cars or work (and even home) addresses, your email address will likely remain the same for many years. Email offers a precise, distinctive identifier that connects marketers with a known individual across multiple platforms, at home, office or on the go. Email is also usually the first and only piece of information you need to know to initiate a relationship with your prospects, as you can collect additional information in other places online or directly from the customer as your relationship grows over time.
- Understanding the big picture: Because email offers a precise form of identification, it can be used to compare a specific individual across your tracking platforms. For example, a person may be a customer for one or more of your products but may be a prospect for additional products or services. Again, the relationship starts with email and builds as their engagement with your company grows. But growing this relationship requires the coordination of the siloed marketing departments if customer lifetime value (LTV) is to be optimized. And email addresses can serve as the underlying, unique customer identifier for that purpose.
- Journey tracking: By keeping a healthy, ever-growing email list of clients and prospects, marketers enable their recipients to leverage email communications to execute identifiable actions such as taking advantage of offers, enrolling in loyalty programs, renewing services, installing apps, or accepting purchase receipts. These actions let marketers recognize and track the customer journey so that future communications can be more tailored and effective.
- Connection to channels and devices: Email as a unique identifier might be comparable to, perhaps, your Social Security number. Your email address can be tied back to who you are, what you want, how often you want it and more. The smart home, car or device of the future will ultimately, most likely, map to the email address tied to your phone, cable or social login. Email will also likely remain the distinct, unique identifier to connect you to these and other not-yet-invented channels and devices.
- Requirement for social: Unlike other communications channels, email serves as a constant thread to online activities, such as e-commerce or social media. You don’t need social media to conduct email, but you do need an email address to purchase an item online or set up a social media page, blog or Twitter account. And while people may use multiple email accounts for various purposes, email remains a required – and accepted – key to the rest of the online world.
- It’s unstoppable: While other devices (phone, laptop, television, etc.) may be turned off (or recharging!), email continues 24x7, 365 days a year. The transaction, the registration, the social share, the promotion, the reminder, the news article, the birthday or the holiday are all reasons to use email. Email is pervasive for marketers because there are endless numbers of brand interaction opportunities that can be made better, more personalized and more effective.
Email continues to serve as an integral part of marketers’ efforts to better serve customers and gather new ones. Its value is indisputable and it offers a rare “sure thing” marketers can depend on -- now and in the years ahead.
Outward Media’s accurate, targeted email data can enable you to achieve better email marketing ROI by targeting your best prospects – including top-level executives -- and, ultimately, converting more prospects into customers. Take a look at our case studies to find out more.