The Power of Email Marketing (And the Services to Consider Using)

Never underestimate the power of a good marketing email. Especially this time of year. And especially when discounts—or charitable efforts—are involved.

As most of you know, and have probably experienced yourselves, this year’s Black Friday and the lineup of shopping days that followed (still going!) saw many consumers spending online rather than in-store. According to recent data our own Rob Bates reported on in early December, in-store shopper traffic on Black Friday declined by over half what it was last year.

According to data from Adobe Analytics, however, online shopping on Black Friday increased nearly 22% this year, with a record $9 billion spent on the web. Furthermore, this year’s Cyber Monday was the largest online shopping day in U.S. history, with a 15.1% increase over last year’s online spending.

So yeah, mall and outlet shopping isn’t what it used to be, but people are still shopping. And do you want to know a valuable tool that’s inspiring them to click “purchase?” The marketing email.

I can’t tell you how many emails I got on Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday that had me activating the Apple Pay button. Perhaps I could tell you, but you needn’t know of my incredible weakness in the face of a 20% off coupon.

Either way, email marketing works. And by the way, it’s not just about the sales. More than one small business I frequent sent out emails explaining why it wouldn’t be offering holiday discounts, expressing a transparency to their operations that consumers so greatly value nowadays. That message impacted me in two ways: It made me respect the business even more, and it had me spending, because I felt I could trust my money was going to a good place. The same goes for those companies that donated extra money to charitable foundations this shopping season, either in place of or in addition to offering a holiday discount.

If you haven’t dreamed up your holiday-related email marketing schedule quite yet, there’s still time. And though this is a time of year when people are especially looking to spend some dough, post-holiday offers plenty of opportunities, too. With the entrance of 2021, consumers may look to start fresh and treat themselves, so consider appealing to your shoppers digitally in the way that best suits your business, whether that means offering a percentage off a purchase or a percentage donated to a worthy cause (or, just a nice email to check in and say hello, because honestly, it’s a nice thing to do).

If you haven’t settled on a good email marketing platform—or aren’t currently loving the one you’re with—an Infographic on effective email marketing created by WPBeginner (a beginner’s guide to using WordPress) and published on Social Media Today may lend some insight on where to turn next.

You can view the graphic in its entirety on Social Media Today, but I’ll call out a few important stats here. First, according to WPBeginner, for every $1 spent on email marketing, the return is $45. Plus—and this one makes pretty good sense—shoppers spend nearly 138% more after receiving email offers.

Of course there are hurdles. Of the many, many emails I received over the holiday weekend, it’s likely that I deleted more than half. Maybe even 75%. And one statistic on the infographic reflects that as well: Only 21.33% of marketing emails are opened by recipients. So no, email is not likely to be as direct a way to interact with shoppers as, say, Instagram. But it’s still an immensely important tool for businesses of all sizes.

The best platforms to use—again, according to WPBeginner—include Constant Contact, AWeber, Mailchimp, Sendinblue, Drip, and Convertkit. The illustration breaks it down rather nicely as to the key features and limitations of each, so choose which suits you best. Many offer a trial period as well, so it doesn’t hurt to give the platform a test run.

For the full infographic, visit wpbeginner.com.

Top: Me, on Black Friday (just kidding—stock image via Canva)

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