Scientists recently discovered three new Earth-sized planets orbiting at an ideal distance around a dwarf star. Even more interesting, they learned that these planets may harbor the key element to sustaining life: water – which makes human habitation a possibility.
Meanwhile, a bit closer to home, B2B marketers have come across an equally insightful discovery. It seems that while they boldly explore (with varying success) emerging digital and social marketing tactics, the center of their marketing galaxy – around which all other marketing initiatives revolve – still continues to be email.
Indeed, as marketing evolves from influencing prospects and customers to tracking which messages resonate best with them and where they are in their buying journeys, email resides firmly central to the marketing process. Facebook’s recent alliance with Dunnhumby (a U.K.-based customer analytics and insights provider) underlines the importance of using email to identify and track prospects from digital channels (like Facebook) to paying customers.
If a tacit endorsement by Facebook isn’t enough, here are six reasons why email remains at the center of the B2B marketing galaxy:
- Key to the online universe: Unlike other communications channels, email serves as a constant thread to online activities, such as ecommerce 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.
- A unique identifier: What makes email so resilient is its durability -- comparable to, perhaps, your Social Security number. According to MediaPost, your email address can be tied back to who you are, what you want, how often you want it and who else around you knows you want it. 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. And email is poised to remain the distinct, unique identifier to connect you to these and other not-yet-invented channels and devices.
- Tracking the customer journey: By keeping a healthy, ever-growing email list of clients and prospects, marketers enable their customers to use email communications to take identifiable actions such as producing coupons, enrolling in loyalty programs, installing apps or accepting purchase receipts. These actions enable marketers to recognize and track their customers’ journeys in more depth than previously possible.
- Building strong relationships: Email campaigns often collect data and, more importantly, drive consent from prospects or customers, who willingly give permission to marketers to communicate with them for mutual benefit. These days – especially with younger demographics – establishing a trusted relationship may be a required prerequisite in order for prospects to continue their relationship with you with the promise of eventually becoming a customer.
- A galaxy of interaction opportunities: 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, the anniversary or the holiday is a reason to use it. Email is pervasive for marketers because there are endless numbers of brand interaction opportunities that can be made better, more personalized and more effective.
- Universal ROI: The volume of data showing the value of email remains as vast and endless as space itself. For example, McKinsey says email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter. When it comes to purchases made as a result of receiving a marketing message, DMA says email has the highest conversion rate (66%), when compared to social, direct mail and more. It concludes that email marketing has an ROI of 3800%.
It seems email should not only remain at the center of the B2B marketing universe, it could be the central element in sustaining marketing campaigns (and careers) for years to come.
Find and win new customers with targeted, high-quality email marketing data from OMI. Click here for more information and download our new e-book, “The Executive’s 15-Minute Guide to Building a Successful Email Marketing Database,” today.