Why Email Marketing is Important in 2021

Why Email Marketing is Important in 2021
Charlene Boutin
Charlene Boutin Jan 22, 2021 — 7 min read
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You might have heard or read that email marketing is old news.

While some people claim that no one reads emails anymore, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, email should be a core part of your marketing strategy in 2021 if you want to grow your business while making the most of your budget.

Here’s why email marketing is more important than ever in 2021 👇


Is email marketing still relevant?

The facts don’t lie – email isn’t going anywhere.

As the years go by, email has actually got even more effective in helping businesses grow sales.

In 2023, it’s estimated that half the world’s population will use email. This means email’s popularity still hasn’t peaked!

But what does that mean for business owners and email marketing?

For starters, each email address is worth, on average, £84.50. That’s because not only there are more people using email, but more people are opening them, too. Open rates increased from 17.2% in 2015 to 20.8% in 2019.

Plus, marketing emails influence 59% of people’s purchasing decisions, and 50% of people buy from marketing emails at least once a month.

So let’s recap: more people are using email, more people are opening emails, and over half of these people use these emails to influence how they spend their money.

When you put it all together, it’s easy to see why email marketing is so important for businesses.

Why is email marketing important for business?

So it’s clear – email marketing works. But how is it so effective to grow your business? Let’s break it down.

1. It’s cost-effective compared to other marketing methods

Did you know that on average, email marketing is responsible for 81% of customer acquisition and 80% of customer retention?

This is by far the most effective tool for both acquiring AND retaining customers. Compare these stats to paid search, which has a 59% and 43% rate of acquisition and retention respectively.

While those numbers are no joke, they don’t come close to achieving what email marketing can do.

Different studies state different numbers for the expected return on investment for email, but it’s always ridiculously high compared to other marketing methods.

Hubspot states $42 for every dollar spent, whereas for some companies it can get as high as $51, according to SuperOffice.

Just imagine launching a Facebook ad campaign and getting $42 back for every dollar spent. That’s email in a nutshell.

This doesn’t mean you should discount other marketing methods. Email marketing alone won’t work if you don’t have anyone on your email list.

We’ve talked a lot about ways to get people to join your list, but in a nutshell, it’s a two-step process. First, you’ll need to use organic and paid marketing methods to drive traffic to your website; then you can convert those visitors into email subscribers using popups like this one:

Growing a list is an integral part of email marketing. If you need some inspiration, check out our email list building guide.

2. Email marketing tools are data-driven with measurable results

Analyzing your metrics is a vital part of growing any business. If you don’t know what’s working and what’s not working at all, you can’t improve what you’re doing.

You need to keep track of metrics so that you can adjust your strategy based on real data, not guesswork.

Email marketing tools, even the most basic ones, make tracking your metrics simple.

You can track:

  • Email open rates
  • Click-through rates
  • Response rates
  • Conversion rates
  • Audience engagement
  • Cold subscribers
  • Number of unsubscribes
  • Revenue per email
  • Lifetime customer value

For example, I can see my average open rate and click rate on my Convertkit dashboard, but I can also see what my subscriber growth and unsubscribe rate look like. Since there’s a peak of unsubscribes on certain dates, I can look back and see what I did on those days to cause this spike.

Convertkit dashboard shows open rate, subscribers growth, and other metrics

Here are more examples of what you can do by analyzing your email marketing metrics:

  • Test different sending times for emails
  • Try to re-engage cold subscribers (people who haven’t opened your emails in three months or longer)
  • See how well your audience responds to different types of calls to action

Using this data, you can easily prioritize optimization tasks.

For example, if you have an above-average open rate and click-through rate, but you are not making more sales, there’s a chance that your sales pages need some tweaking.

On the other hand, if you have low open rates, no one will be checking out your offers anyway, so open rates will be what you need to fix first.

3. You can segment your subscribers and personalize emails

When you publish a post on social media, everyone will see the same post on their timeline. There’s nothing wrong with that, but there’s a limit to what you can do with your audience when they’re all in the same bucket, so to speak.

With email, you can create a much more customized marketing strategy for different audience segments.

For example, you can separate your audience and tag them based on:

  • Who has bought certain products
  • Who opens your emails frequently
  • People who haven’t opened your emails in a while (cold subscribers)
  • Those who abandoned their carts
  • Past buyers who haven’t purchased anything in a while

All of these people are at a different point in their customer journey. As such, they should be handled differently.

For instance, if you own an ecommerce store, you can remind customers about the items they added to the cart and nudge them into finalizing the purchase.

Here is an example of how Banana Republic tackles shopping cart abandonment using email marketing:

Email marketing is important because it helps you reduce cart abandonment rate

Still wondering why email marketing is important? Well, just keep in mind that the conversion rate for such cart abandonment emails alone is over 10%.

This means if you’re not using email marketing, you’re leaving money on the table.

Here is another example of segmentation. If you’re running a limited-time offer for a launch, you can send it only to those who haven’t bought the offer you’re promoting. Or, you could send it only to people who have expressed a specific interest in this offer, either by responding to you about it, or by signing up for a waitlist.

Pushing out the right messaging at the right time means more profit for you and fewer chances of your subscribers getting annoyed by irrelevant emails – and unsubscribing as a result.

Another great way to segment your audience is to allow them to unsubscribe from a certain topic instead of your entire list, so that you reduce their chances of unsubscribing, just like Chanti Zak does below:

Chanti Zak includes a link to unsubscribe from her newsletter right at the beginning of the email

Chanti also sends specific emails in her promotions only to specific people. As you can guess from the subject line, this email is intended for copywriters.

In addition to segmenting your audience, you can add personalization.

For example, personalizing emails and subject lines can help you:

Let’s take a look at Chanti’s emails again. As you can see, she added my name to some subject lines, but she’s not overdoing it either by adding it to every single email.

Subject line personalization example - using the name of the recipient

Wondering what you can personalize? Here are the most common personalization items used in email marketing, according to Sales Cycle:

  • Names
  • Postal address
  • Mobile phone
  • Transaction history
  • Date of birth
  • IP address
  • Current location
  • Online browsing history

You don’t have to limit yourself to using first names only in the greeting section or subject line, however.

Email personalization tactics allow for using the name of the recipient in the body of the text as well

Try sprinkling it into the text to create a more casual, conversational tone, as shown above. Just don’t overdo it, as this can easily slide into ‘creepy’ territory.

4. More subscribers will open your email compared to followers reading your posts on social media

So we’ve already established that email marketing is more cost-effective than social media.

But it’s not just because social media is one size fits all.

Remember those high rates of acquisition and retention for email? In comparison, social media boasts a 51% acquisition rate and a 44% retention rate.

One of the reasons, apart from personalization, is that the average email open rates are much higher than the rate at which your followers will see your posts — and seeing is not even reading.

Let’s break down why this works:

On average, people check their email 15 times a day. Of course, people use social media often in a day, too. As a global average, people spend 2 hours and 24 minutes per day on social media.

But think about it this way: if you’re following thousands of people and brands on social media who post every day, you’ll likely have to sift through thousands of posts.

Compare this to email — people receive, on average, 121 emails a day. That’s nowhere close to the number of social media posts available to you.

So even if people spend more time on social media, they’ll see a smaller percentage of the content that’s on their feeds.

Just as an example, I sign up to a lot of email lists to study what email marketers do, and I received ONLY 37 emails yesterday. If I wanted, I could have read through them all.

I could never have read all the posts that showed up on my Instagram, though.

But that’s not all. When people respond to your emails, it’s much more intimate than replying to a post on social media. It’s much more conversational and could be compared to replying to direct messages on social media.

Plus, it’s so much easier to track email replies compared to DMs!

Make email marketing a core part of your 2021 marketing strategy

Hopefully by now, you see why email marketing is important, especially in 2021 and the years to come.

But remember, the first step in email marketing is to build your email list. Luckily, you can turn your website into a high-converting machine for email subscribers without writing a single line of code thanks to Getsitecontrol. Start your free trial today to see how easy it can be.

Charlene Boutin is a B2B writer for hire specialized in creating compelling case studies, blog posts, and converting copy for digital entrepreneurs and SaaS businesses. When not writing, she can be found prototyping weird games in Unity or playing on her Nintendo Switch.

You're reading Getsitecontrol blog where marketing experts share proven tactics to grow your online business. This article is a part of Customer engagement section.

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