Is the effectiveness of email promotion really dying as some say it is?

Short answer: no. Email use is still one of the most effective methods of online marketing.

So now you’re thinking; “But communication has evolved now. Who needs email when you have great ROI on social media?”

It’s true, social media is huge in today’s world. It’s relatively easy to grow a fan following, post updates, get responses, and cultivate conversations. With some paid investment, you can reach large numbers of potential customers. And yes, that it valuable for marketing your services and products.

But there’s a substantial difference between how social media and email are used. And it’s that difference that creates the effectiveness of email promotions.

OptinMonster studied performance statistics between social media and email, and long story short:

…email marketing is more effective than social media across the board, with just one exception (sharing). (more stats here.)

Social media has not edged out the role email plays in effective online marketing, not half as much as people may think.

Email marketing has an ROI of 3800%, making it the most effective marketing channel for businesses. CampaignMonitor

Let’s look at 5 reasons why email promotions will continue to be effective, alongside our reach on social media.

1. Emails don’t get lost in a news feed

Social media platforms are based around a never-ending news feed. New posts are constantly being added, commenting, liking and sharing keeps it all moving. This means there is a constant shuffling and changing of what’s popping up on your news feed.

The time of day also determines when you are likely to see it, if you even see it at all. And there are some very good reasons for it all, which we can look at in another post.

Emails stay in one place. Once an email is sent to your account, it will stay there until you do something with it. Chances are, you are the only one who checks and moves anything around in your email inbox. This means you see every single email that comes in!

Although you may not open every email you receive, you at least see the subject line.

If you are trying to get promotions out there for your business, do your company a favor and add email marketing to your toolkit.

2. Checking email opposed to skimming social media

Email promotion effectiveness

It’s a question of attitude – the attitude surrounding social media, and your email.

Social media feels like a crowded room, and occasionally you will see an ad that works and explore it. But email is a far better one-on-one environment, in the relative quietness of your inbox.

Provided your spam filters are up to snuff, you should be able to reconnect with the business and brands you chose to subscribe to.

And that’s the difference there.

Email is generally checked only 1-3 times per day (see the graph on Business Insider). But;

The average person has five social media accounts and spends around 1 hour and 40 minutes browsing these networks every day. (

Why does that matter? Because when a user is scrolling through their news feed, they’re usually – not always – there for fun, or information. They don’t have the desire, or the time, to make a purchase.

Effective email marketing includes timing, knowing the best time to send your email so that it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle of your subscriber’s inboxes.

Again, getting into that one-on-one headspace, email presents more opportune moments for people to focus on click-through links. Because there’s a sense of trust established between you and your subscriber, they’re more ready to pull out their cards. Read more about how Mailchimp helps you focus on optimal email sending times here.

So, while you may have more followers on social media, and be reaching a broader group of people,  it’s not the same environment or attitude as email.

Folk following your business through social media don’t always mean business themselves. A ‘like’ on a page on those platforms is the click of a button, very little commitment.

While signing up with an email can be just as easy, psychologically, it is a bigger commitment.

Those are the people who will take your promotions more seriously.

3. A Sense of Privacy

Email provides a sense of security. There is a higher sense of privacy associated with emailing than there is with social media. The more secure people feel, the more likely they are to give more information. The more information they give, the more you are able to personalize their emails.

Combining personal information from your subscribers with the data on open rates and CTR (click-through rates) improves the way you can communicate. It’s a way to rediscover that one-on-one, ‘we’re friends and I know you by name’ atmosphere that surrounds the best friendships and business relationships.

Part of email security will fall into your lap. Be sure you are keeping your customers information safe and secure using a vetted email service provider. Read a little more later about how to respect and ensure their privacy.

4. A Personalized Promotion

We all know this. When you visit a bookstore and the owner knows you well enough to recommend a book to you, you stop and listen. And maybe take him up on it.

When an email is personalized, your subscriber is automatically drawn in just a little more.

Naturally, if you are getting started with your email promotions, you don’t have as much data yet for tailoring your emails to your fans open rates and reading times. Once you’ve been at it for a while, you can start leveraging the data generated by your email campaigns to improve how you communicate.

Just remember; if you choose to personalize, do it with care. It’s very easy to come off as scam-like. And that turns people away.

5. Who are you catering to?

Not every promotion is useful to everyone. All those followers you have acquired on social media is, overall, beneficial for your business. At the end of the day, they’re not at interested in every post of your latest promotions or deals.

Creating a subscriber list focused on receiving a select set of information from you, such as promotions, deals, new blog posts, and so on, is the best way to boost your guarantee that they are listening.

An email list is the most effective way of keeping your promotions targeted, focusing them on the people who actually want to get them.

4 Bonus tips to improve your email campaigns:

1. Focus on one thing and one thing only

Promotional emails are meant to pack a punch. They should be short, sweet, and directly to the point.

Choose what you want the focus to be and make it shine bright. Social media gadgets and the like can distract. Try shrinking anything down that you can so the focus stands out loud and clear.

2. Choose your CTA wisely

Whether you are trying to get recipients to buy, offering a holiday deal or announcing an event, make it known to the recipient right off the bat. Check out this article by CampaignMonitor for more details on using CTA effectively.

3. Personalize when possible.

As stated before, if you can personalize a promotional email, give it a go. If you have the tools, use the tools.

Data can be your best friend to improve your communications, so don’t be afraid to get to know it.

4. The goal is click-throughs: make sure your links stand out

Driving traffic to your page via email means your CTA, or call to action link is easy to find. Don’t make them hunt for it.

The beauty of a good email promotion is that they don’t have to look for it. Focus on making that action easy by being bold with your CTA.

Here are more ways to increase your CTR take a look at these tips.

In Conclusion

Although social media is a fantastic tool for growing your reach and sharing information more quickly, everyone on there has an email.

I mean, how did they sign up for their social media profiles? Most likely with an email address, right?

And the key about the email environment as opposed to social media is the greater sense of privacy, and a one-on-one with your subscriber. On social media, everyone knows that everything posted is for everyone.

But if you tailor your email campaign with data and personalization, you can really create the impression, and the reality, that you are talking directly to your fan, or customer.

It’s that directness, and the friendlier nature of the email, that keeps it such a successful tool for business today.

Just as much as before, the effectiveness of email promotions hasn’t changed. In fact, it’s only getting better.

How long have you been sending email? What’s holding you back?

by Rose o’Reilly, a Christendom Student. | LinkedIn

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