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Do you know anyone who doesn’t use email? It’s a rhetorical question, but if you do, get them a gmail and some Starbucks and welcome them to modern society. In all seriousness though, anyone worth marketing to has an email address, and for companies that want to take their digital strategy to the next level, there are some key advantages to email marketing.

While it may seem simple (and possibly even outdated, depending on who you ask), when done right email marketing can actually be one of the most effective tools out there in terms of bang for your buck, high conversion rates, and increased sales.

That’s why email marketing still ranks as a top contributor to successful digital marketing strategies.

Why is email marketing important?

It provides exceptional ROI

Of all the techniques available to digital marketers, email marketing offers an amazing return on investment. Research from Campaign Monitor shows email marketing generates, on average, $44 for every $1 spent, and some companies see an ROI as high as $76 for every $1 spent.

One of the main reasons why is its high degree of targeting. This includes targeting not only in terms of messaging (more on this with the next point), but also thanks to the fact that unlike many forms of marketing aimed at a wider audience, email marketing starts with a customer opting in.

That means you’re hitting the right consumer from the very start, and it also gives valuable insight into their needs, intent, and other crucial factors that you can speak to directly if you know how.

It allows for highly targeted and personalized content

Email marketing automation programs offer an incredible level of personalization – way beyond just tacking a subscriber’s name in the subject line. Starting from the opt-in, you can gleam insight into subscribers’ general attributes and preferences. But these programs also allow you to see things like who opened your emails, whether they clicked links, went to your website, and more.

Using this data, smart markers can further segment their lists and craft messaging that speaks to specific needs, intent – and, importantly, actual engagement in the customer journey.

And with tools like A/B testing, content can be refined and dynamically changed based on how people respond to these messages. This level of personalization and constant refinement means you’re speaking to the people you want using the most effective and relevant messaging based on what you already know they will respond to.

It can out-market social media

Social media use continues to grow and offers lots of opportunities to marketers, but it’s important to keep in mind that people use email and social media for different purposes.

Research shows that 72% of people prefer to get promotional content by email rather than through social media channels like Facebook or Twitter.

While you might get a lot of people engaging with your brand on social media, they may not be doing so with a consumer mindset – meaning you could be wasting a chunk of your budget trying to market to them in that space.

The numbers on reach and engagement make the case for email marketing over social media even more interesting.

On average, organic reach for Facebook typically hovers around 5-6%, while open rates for emails usually hit the 20-30% range. That means that a similar ad or other marketing message is 5-6 times more likely to be seen via email than with a Facebook message or post.

It ties your digital strategy together

The last thing to consider about email marketing (there are plenty, but we’ll leave it here for today) is how well it can work with other marketing channels. In particular, social media marketing.

Rather than trying to compete with social media, companies that know what they’re doing use email marketing to cross-promote their social media presence. And this works both ways – you can also use social media to build your email list for email marketing campaigns.

But it doesn’t stop with social media marketing. Almost all digital efforts can be supported with email marketing to provide additional layers of touchpoints, communication, and engagement with a target audience.

So, while it may not be the newest or sexiest thing around, email marketing is an ever-evolving channel that can also be a workhorse (thanks to automation) and do a lot of the hard work for you.

The key – and one of the perks of having an experienced agency partner – is understanding how your target audience thinks and what it takes to create an effective strategy that speak directly to their needs.

Bottom line: if you want to stay relevant and top of mind with new and existing consumers and give a boost to everything from web traffic and lead generation to brand awareness – and ultimately, sales and revenue – don’t count out email marketing.