4 Reasons Why Email Should Be the Backbone of Your Marketing

It doesn’t take many Google searches to find out that email marketing gives back an average of $44 for every $1 spent or that it’s 40 times more effective than social media marketing and at least three times more effective than every other marketing channel. 

And while those stats are compelling, that’s not what we want to talk about here. 

We want to talk about the practical reasons that email should be the backbone of your marketing efforts and how to make that a reality. 

Because the truth is… email is the backbone of your business’ growth and success (whether you like it or not). 

Here are 4 reasons that we believe that statement to be irrevocably true. 

1. Email Builds The Best Relationships

One of the most important parts of building a brand is forming long-term, meaningful relationships with your target market. 

Those relationships are what keep massive companies like Nike, Apple, and Amazon afloat. It’s what makes a business stand the test of time. 

Because when your target market feels a connection to your company, they buy from you again and again over the years or even decades. 

In fact, according to Sprout Social, 64% of consumers want brands to connect with them. 

So this is a critical question: what is the best way to build a relationship with your audience? 

The answer is almost always emails. 

While calling people on the phone often feels too invasive and social media feels too disconnected, email offers an appropriately personal touch that no other platform can match. 

Email marketing lets you approach each person at the right moment, with the right message. 

From new leads to paying customers, you can message people according to their past actions, demographic, position in your sales funnel, and more. 

Subscribers, then, feel like they’re on a personal journey with your business (rather than just being a part of the herd).

2. Email Doesn’t Have a Gate-Keeper

If you want to reach your audience in the online world, who do you have to go through? 

The answer to that question depends on the platform where you’re running ads or posting content. 

On social media, you have to pay to play and follow constantly changing guidelines. If you miss a beat, then you can lose engagement or get suspended (even banned). 

Since social media sites make money off of selling businesses access to their target markets, they can intentionally decrease the potential for organic growth. 

Look at Facebook, for example…

Source

Unfortunately, that means you have to pay to reach your audience (even if they’re already following your page) and you have to follow Facebook’s rules, which seem to be getting more and more stringent. 

But social media sites aren’t the only ones telling you what you can and can’t send your audience. 

Google Advertising, YouTube, and every other advertising site have their own terms of service. 

This makes reaching your audience expensive and complicated. 

So what about email? 

Well, the only “sort of” gatekeeper of email is ISPs and their spam filters. 

But spam filters mostly pay attention to your sender reputation and the content of your email to make sure you’re not a spammer, whereas other sites regularly block content from ethical, legitimate businesses because of their own interests and sometimes biases. 

That’s an important distinction. 

Avoiding spam filters is as simple as following some basic guidelines. But getting through most other gate-keepers requires understanding that specific platform’s rules and restrictions… which may or may not serve your business. 

That makes email the single most powerful way to communicate with your target market. 

Not to mention that emailing your audience is far less expensive than running ads on other platforms to reach your target market.

3. All Other Channels Redirect to Email

After our first point, you might think that we would encourage you to avoid social or advertising platforms altogether and to only use email marketing…

…but that’s not what we’re trying to say. 

In fact, other advertising channels are an extremely important part of your overall marketing strategy. 

After all, your new subscribers and leads have to come from somewhere

From all of the successful businesses that we’ve examined through our email marketing teardowns, other channels always redirect to the company’s email list. 

That is, the company will run an advertisement on Facebook or YouTube usually giving away something free (maybe a downloadable resource or a free trial of their service, for instance). 

But the only purpose for that advertisement is to get their target market on their email list. 

Because once those people are on their email list, following up, offering special deals, sending free content, or sharing compelling brand stories is free

They don’t have to ask anyone for permission to communicate with their email list… and neither do you. 

That’s why all other marketing channels should redirect to your email list where you can do the real follow-up and sales.

And it’s also why email is the backbone of any good marketing strategy. 

4. Email is Extremely Versatile

Social Media and advertising platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Google are always trying to adapt and create new ways for advertisers to engage with their audiences. 

Typically, this is simply a way to make more money off of those advertisers. 

And while some of those new features are genuinely useful (like Facebook Live, for example), email is as versatile as you want it to be… and you don’t have to pay for it. 

You can send your subscribers images, videos, text, or a link to a separate page with all three. 

With email, you have complete control over what content you send to whom… and when you send it.

In a way, your email list is like your very own advertising platform (especially if you segment your list by interest and/or demographic). You can send what you want and target who you want for free… and email marketing only gets more flexible and versatile as you collect more and more audience data. 

Here’s How Email Fits Within Your Marketing Funnel

By now you should understand why we believe that email marketing is the backbone of any company’s success, regardless of industry or niche. 

But that doesn’t mean you should ignore all other marketing channels. 

To understand where email marketing should fit within your business, let’s take a look at the classic marketing funnel. 

You’re probably familiar with this. 

Awareness is where someone learns about your business for the first time, whereas interest is where someone becomes interested in your business, so on and so forth. 

The goal is to drive as many people as possible down the sales funnel to purchasing and becoming loyal customers. 

And for the very beginning of that funnel — the awareness and interest stages — other platforms are critical. 

Facebook, Google, YouTube, and other similar sites are all great places to build brand awareness (if you’re able to pay) and generate leads for your email list. 

But that’s the kicker, isn’t it? 

As we discussed earlier, the primary goal of using those sites should be to get your target market on your email list so that you can communicate with them for free in the future. 

So while advertising sites are a critical part of the awareness and interest stages, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that effective email marketing can single-handedly dominate all other parts of the sales funnel.

Email can drive consideration and intent, and it can definitely drive evaluation and purchases. 

In fact, it should. 

Because it’s free of a gate-keeper, it’s versatile, and that’s where your audience wants to be reached. 

Here’s what that looks like (the “Email Marketing Flywheel”)…

It all starts at the “Attract”. 

You can use some sort of incentive or lead magnet to attract new people to your email list. 

Once they’re on your list, you can build a relationship with them, delight them and retain them by providing massive value, and eventually convert them into paying customers. 

The entire process can and should happen on email. Because the fact is, no other platform allows you to build such an ongoing and authentic relationship with your audience. 

And no other platform allows you to do that without a gate-keeper calling the shots.

So where does email fit within your marketing funnel? 

After opt-in, email marketing should begin steering the ship. 

Enjoy the article? Sign up to get our practical email marketing case studies and articles as soon as they're published!

    Become an email master in just 7 days