Linda Donahue

The Power of Email Marketing for Your Business

November 13, 2023

I’m Linda
I'm an award-winning copywriter, brand messaging expert, and digital content strategist who loves to share my knowledge to help other entrepreneurs succeed!
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I launched my first business back in the mid-90s. It was a great idea (for the time): audio newsletters that law and accounting firms could white label and send to their clients and prospects. Producing the demo tape was easy. Marketing it was a whole other story. 

First, I had to create a sales kit complete with a customized folder, sales sheets, and the demo tape. Then I had to buy a mailing list from a broker, print out personalized sales letters and labels, make sure the letter corresponded with the right label, buy hundreds of dollars in postage, and shlep my body weight in packaged envelopes to the post office. I had no idea who received the sales kits, who opened them, or which ones got tossed into the trash.

I can tell you that not a single name on my list called me. Every single connection I made came from my follow-up phone calls. It was a whole lot of effort that cost me thousands of dollars with almost zero return on investment. 

Marketing is Easier These Days

Had I launched that business today, I could practically guarantee a double-digit return on investment. I wouldn’t need to rent out a recording studio. No need to spend a dime on print costs. I wouldn’t have to broker a list and mail out unsolicited sales materials to people who didn’t want what I was offering.

That’s because we live in a digital world where email marketing is queen. It’s the key to building lasting relationships with your customers. 

Let me throw some numbers at you. I’ll start with 320 BILLION. That’s the number of emails that are sent and received each day to the 4 BILLION email users around the world. And 61% of U.S. consumers say they like getting weekly promotional emails, while 38% of those folks say they’d actually prefer more promo emails. There’s an even bigger number, but I’m keeping that in my back pocket for another minute.

These numbers add up to opportunity. Opportunity for creating valuable connections with your audience, the kind that build relationships and revenue. That’s the power of email marketing, and if you’re not using it in your business, then you’re missing out. 

Let’s start out with that big number I was talking about.

Email Marketing Offers Incredible ROI

If someone comes up to you and says, “Hey, if you give me a dollar, I’ll give you back $48,” wouldn’t you hand that person a dollar? Well, that’s what you get with email marketing. The potential returns are huge, generating anywhere from $44 to $48 for every dollar spent. And I can’t stress this enough, that’s just an average. If you’re intentional and strategic about your email marketing, the potential ROI is unthinkable. And by intentional I mean not just sending out emails for the sake of sending out emails. There is no other marketing medium that offers ROI like this.

This isn’t just about monetary gains; it’s about the value you provide and receive through each email. The right message can lead to increased sales, enhanced brand loyalty, and stronger customer relationships. This transforms email marketing from a mere communication tactic into a pivotal business growth strategy. That makes email marketing an investment that consistently pays off.

Email Delivers Reliable Reach Beyond Algorithms

When an algorithm determines who sees your message and when, you lose. That’s what happens with social media, where algorithms shift like sand. If you’re going to rely on social media to drive your business, you may as well go stand on quicksand. Your audience won’t be able to save you, because only 1 to 3% of them will actually see your message. Is that enough to save you?

Unlike social media, email gives you a direct, reliable channel to your audience. It doesn’t fall prey to the ebbs and flows of social media platforms. If you don’t post constantly on social media, the algorithm is merciless, sending you to the dungeons. Email doesn’t care if you skip a week, because when your email does hit the inbox, it gets seen. More important, it gets seen by someone who wants to see it, who is primed to see it, and who is ready to take action.

What’s more…

You Own Your List

You should never build your business on a platform you don’t own. You’re just renting space on social media, and the landlord has all the control. 

Building your own email list means that you control the who, what, when, where, and why. That’s the power of email marketing. Your list is worth its weight in gold. It gives you a direct line to your audience without the constraints and uncertainties of social media platforms. 

And …

Email Builds Trust with Every Opt-In

This can’t be stressed enough: every person in your email list has chosen to hear from you. They’ve raised their hands and said, “Yes, I’m interested in what you have to say.” This isn’t just a list; it’s a VIP gathering of people who trust you enough to invite you into their inbox. It’s your opportunity to nurture this trust into a lasting, beautiful relationship, transforming subscribers into repeat customers and, better yet, brand ambassadors.

A woman business owner checks her email.
Woman, owner of small business packing product in boxes, preparing it for delivery.

Email is Budget-Friendly and Effective

Even without the kick-ass ROI, email marketing is one of the least expensive ways to reach your audience. There are endless choices when it comes to email service providers (ESPs) and plans. Some, like ConvertKit (my ESP), even offer free plans for those just getting started, scaling up as your list (and budget) grows. You’re not charged per email sent, so send as many as you want. Bottom line: email marketing lets you craft impactful, targeted messages that connect with your audience and foster engagement without the need for substantial financial investment.

Email Automation Makes Life Easier

Automation in email marketing is like having a reliable assistant who handles repetitive tasks and makes sure your audience is getting the message. It streamlines your strategy, making it easier, more efficient, and effective to send out everything from welcome sequences to weekly newsletters that nurture leads. This lets you focus on other areas of your business.

Personalized Emails Build Connection

Email lets you whisper directly into your audience’s ear. It’s about sending a message that feels like it’s written just for them. You can segment your audience to certain products or services within your business, separating past purchasers from those who didn’t respond to past promotions … by any demographic or psychographic you can imagine. The beauty of using segmentation is that you can tailor your emails to address the specific needs and interests of different segments of your audience. It’s like hosting a dinner party and knowing exactly what each guest prefers. And that makes everyone on your list feel special and seen.

Gain Deep Insights Through Email Analytics

The power of email marketing lies in the analytics. And the beauty of email analytics lies in its ability to offer glimpses into what makes your audience tick. By analyzing open rates, click-through rates, and engagement patterns, you gain valuable knowledge about what resonates with your audience. This data-driven approach allows you to refine your strategies, tailor your messages, and ultimately, create more effective and meaningful email campaigns. But understanding your audience’s behaviors and preferences isn’t just about numbers; it’s about deepening your connection, crafting messages that resonate, and creating experiences that they cherish and remember.

Test, Learn, and Grow

Think of your email campaigns as a laboratory for your marketing experiments. Here, you have the freedom to try new ideas, test different messages, and see what resonates with your audience. It’s a space where learning from what didn’t work is as valuable as celebrating what did. This continuous cycle of testing and learning is crucial for refining your strategy and finding the sweet spot that captivates your audience.

Bonus: Email Extends Your Content’s Life

Your email content is hardly a one-and-done affair. It’s a springboard for other content forms. Turn a well-received email into a blog post, extract sound bites for a podcast, or share snippets on social media. This approach not only amplifies your message across platforms but also ensures consistency in your brand’s voice and messaging.

So now you know how to leverage the power of email marketing for your business — the WHY — but the real magic happens when you master the HOW – creating emails that not only get read but also inspire your audience to take action.

In my next post, I’ll dive deep into the art of crafting compelling, action-inspiring emails. From writing captivating subject lines to designing emails that engage and convert, I’ll explore the strategies and techniques that can transform your email marketing from good to great. Stay tuned for practical insights and tips to elevate your email game and truly connect with your audience.

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