Including your email marketing strategies in your business plan gives stakeholders, especially prospective investors, a clear idea of your plans to take your product/service to customers.
In fact, the marketing plan is one of the most crucial of the business plan sections because potential investors and other stakeholders gauge the likelihood of your business’ success by how you plan to market it.
One highly recommended marketing strategy to include in your ecommerce plan is email. If you doubt the value this humble (and often underestimated) tactic can deliver, here are some facts that might change your mind:
1) Email is Used by 3+ Million People Worldwide
According to Oberlo, email was used by 3.9 billion users in 2019, and this is expected to increase to 4.3 billion people by 2023. That means it is possible to reach a majority of your customers through email, which makes it an indispensable marketing tool.
While the primary definition of email marketing is using email to promote your products or services, it also enables you to maintain your existing customer relationships, build your brand image, and reach out to prospective customers.
2) Email Marketing Ensures Immediacy of your Marketing Message
Consider these statistics:
- According to HubSpot, 99% of consumers check their inbox daily.
- According to HubSpot,73% of millennials prefer business communication through email.
- According to Oberlo, 49% of emails are opened on mobile devices.
Email is an easy and convenient way for your customers to receive your messages instantly, even if they are on the go. Because of the explosive increase in the use of mobile devices, checking email has become even more convenient. It is therefore important to optimize your email marketing campaign to mobile users for a greater reach.
3) Email Marketing Strategies Facilitate Message Personalization
Email marketing is much more effective than many other marketing methods because of its ability to be personalized. Businesses can create customized messages – from addressing the recipient by his or her name to delivering messages tailored to the interest of the recipient, such as offering a sale on the latest item they viewed in your e-commerce store. And consider this fact: According to Oberlo, emails with a subject line personalized to the recipient have 50% greater open rates. Remember to check email addresses before sending, in order to keep your sender reputation clear.
4) Email Marketing Delivers a Significant ROI (Return on Investment)
Perhaps the most important benefit of email marketing is its power to deliver significant returns. According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), every dollar invested in email marketing can return an average of $42.
Quoting such an ROI in your business plan can create a solid impression on your stakeholders regarding the viability of your business.
Email marketing works because it enables you to connect with your customers at a time and location that is convenient to them, while not imposing your products or services on them. As a result, it can quickly and easily boost your sales productivity.
Email marketing also enables you to talk to every customer individually. According to Inbound Rocket, 74% of marketers agree that such targeted reach boosts customer engagement. It should thus be included as part of your inbound marketing plan. You bring in new customers and prospects using content marketing, social media marketing and search engine optimization, and nurture and keep them coming back via email marketing.
According to HubSpot, the power of email marketing also lies in the fact that 59% of consumers say their purchase decisions are influenced by marketing emails. Such emails can be considerably influential if they’re part of your content marketing strategy and educate and/or compel customers to take action. This fact leads to an important distinction between the two key types of email marketing promotions: broadcasts and autoresponders.
Autoresponders are sequences of emails that you write in advance and deliver to recipients over a period of time. For example, let’s say visitors to your website download a guide on how to find the best professional website development services (let’s also assume this is a service you provide). Immediately, on day zero, you would email the recipient a copy of your guide. Then, perhaps on day 2 you would email them information about your company’s own professional website development services and how they might be a fit. Then, perhaps on day 4 you send them another email asking if they’d like to schedule an appointment. By using autoresponders, you can schedule a series of emails that nurture the prospective client into knowing, liking and trusting your firm to help encourage them to become a client.
Broadcast emails on the other hand are one-off emails that you send to recipients. Such emails can accomplish a variety of goals from providing customers with useful information to promoting a sale. Such emails are usually more time sensitive (e.g., promoting a one-day sale or end-of-month recap). They can be very effective in getting recipients to take the action you’d like.
Finally, to optimize your email marketing strategy, be sure to assess, on an ongoing basis, your key performance indicators (KPIs). The most important KPIs for email marketing are: email list size, # of emails sent, open rate, click through rate, opt-out rate and conversions.
Below are brief descriptions of each of these metrics. Importantly, review them frequently and revise your emails as needed to improve results.
Email list size: this is simply the number of emails you have collected. If this number isn’t rising as quickly as you’d like, consider adding more email opt-in forms to your website.
Number of emails sent: this is simply the number of emails you send in each autoresponder sequence or broadcast.
Open rate: this is the percentage of email recipients that open your email. If you are sending emails your recipient’s value, this metric could be 25% or much higher. If you aren’t, this metric could be very low and threaten the effectiveness of your email marketing plan.
Click through rate: this is the percentage of recipients who click on your email. If the goal of any of your emails is to get the recipient to click to buy a product or book a meeting, this metric is critical.
Opt-out rate: this is the percentage of email recipients who unsubscribe from your email list. Clearly, you want to keep this percentage low.
Conversions: finally, conversions are the amount of desired results from your email campaigns, such as the number or amount of sales, leads, etc.
Marketing strategies including email marketing increases your business’s chance of lasting success. Be sure to use both autoresponders and broadcasts wisely and monitor and improve your key email marketing metrics over time.