LisBiz Strategies: Email marketing still works

Home Columns LisBiz Strategies: Email marketing still works

Aug. 3/10; Volume 30/Number 4

By Lisbeth Calandrino

Some would have you believe that email marketing is dead and has been replaced by social media, but this is not so. According to McKinsey & Co., an American management and consulting firm, email marketing is 40 times more efficient than Facebook and Twitter combined.

The real problem seems to be obtaining customers’ email addresses. Instead of just asking for their email addresses, explain that you will be sending them valuable information and special offers, inviting them to store events and sharing useful design and product information. Be sure to tell them you will not share or sell their email addresses to anyone. According to a study by Marketing Sherpa, more than 60% of consumers said they would be more likely to give out their email addresses if they knew their information wouldn’t be shared with other companies.

Most of the retailers I talk to are afraid of contacting their customers too much. They say, “What if they get mad at me?” Of course, if you continue to send them advertisements for sales and discounts, it’s likely they will stop reading your emails. Instead, send them useful information such as tips for taking care of the products they bought or decorating ideas. Your email will appear more like a magazine and less like an ad. No matter how many times you contact your customers, you must have the right message. If the only time you contact them is when you need to make cash, it’s likely they will lose interest.

The truth is if you don’t stay in touch with your customers they will forget you. The average business loses 5% to 10% of its customers yearly and don’t realize it. If you’re not in touch with them, how will you know how you can get them back? If you stay in contact with the customer and they choose to “opt out,” you will know it and have an opportunity to reach out to them.

According to “Email Frequency Matters,” a research study conducted last month, the average subscriber receives more than six emails each day, 53% of which are promotional. If you stop sending emails, customers will not recognize your brand or your message; if you send them inconsistently, it becomes annoying. If you’re going to send emails, the trick is to be consistent.

Email marketing generates a significant ROI for every dollar spent. This is due in part to the fact that more customers are engaging via email. Direct Marketing Research concluded that 93% of email users have opt-in relationships with a consumer brand, in contrast to 15% on Facebook.

So why should you use email marketing? It is a simple and cheap way to keep your customers informed. Consumers actively seek out email marketing campaigns from their favorite brands and local stores. I have three preferred shops: Staples, Bed, Bath & Beyond and White House | Black Market. When I get the coupons, I always try to figure out if I can use them. I like knowing when they have sales and helpful information concerning fashion or my business.

Email marketing is also a way to deliver useful content to your customers. If you don’t send it to them, someone else will. If you include a video in your email campaign, it adds zip and keeps your name top-of-mind for consumers. Having good email content moves the conversation about your business to a more personal level—that level is an inbox. If your voice is distinct and your message delivers quality and uplifting content, you will be inspiring referrals and word of mouth.

For more information, read my blog, “Watch how you respond to those ‘opt-out’ messages,” at


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