Advantages of email marketing and how to use it effectively

By Eliud Custodio

In the ever-evolving digital marketing landscape, one strategy stands tall, proving its efficacy time and again: email marketing.

While often overshadowed by newer, trendier tactics, email marketing remains a cornerstone of B2B marketing strategies, offering benefits particularly advantageous for business-to-business hospitality companies. Let’s delve into the compelling advantages of email marketing and why it should be an integral part of your marketing arsenal.

Untapped potential

Thanks to online invoicing, electronic sales communications, customer service inquiries and more, many businesses are sitting on a wealth of underutilized email addresses and don’t realize it. This is gold. Aggregating these addresses is a quick and powerful way to begin email marketing.

What’s more, sending emails to a list of customers already familiar with your brand tends to yield a high open rate. Unlike cold calling, this group already has a relationship and awareness with your brand.

Simple trumps sexy

When it comes to sales and marketing, keeping it simple is generally the best approach. Whether finding an easy-to-understand way of describing your goods and services or taking advantage of low-barrier technology, getting your message across clearly and concisely should be your goal.

Few technologies in the marketing space are simpler than email. The barrier to entry is relatively low, as it’s challenging to find someone who does not have an email account. Access to email is ubiquitous, inexpensive and easy.

Don’t sell. Educate.

In my conversations with business owners and operators, the suggestion of email marketing is occasionally met with hesitation. A common remark I hear is, “People get junk email all of the time…why would they care about an email from us?”

Whether your email is perceived as junk or not depends on the content’s quality and your relationship with the recipient.

Generally speaking, an email filled with sales jargon and “buy now” calls to action can often result in a quick trip to the Deleted Items folder.

Instead, I strongly recommend distributing content that provides the recipient with helpful, educational content. Not only is this disarming, but it positions your brand as a genuine thought leader. The email is also more likely to be saved for future reference or passed to a colleague.

When possible, aim to produce and distribute unique content that is proprietary to your business. Blogging is an excellent way to feed an email newsletter and drive traffic to your website to further engagement. Teasing the article with the first paragraph or two in the newsletter and directing the reader to your website to continue is an easy way to lengthen the time spent with your brand.

Blogging is also a highly efficient way to produce social media fodder while developing a web library of evergreen educational content. But I’ll save this topic for a future article.

Staying top-of-mind

The intent of many marketing exercises is to stay top-of-mind. Balancing the type of content you market with and the right frequency should be a high priority.

One persistent marketing challenge is not knowing when your target customer will need the goods or services you provide. Identifying the most appropriate platforms and distribution cadence can be demanding as you compose your marketing messages.

As a platform, email can be pretty forgiving in this regard. Email typically has a longer shelf life compared to, say, social media. Distribution with email is also more targeted, with less guesswork on who will hear your message. The time-to-market from the messaging conception to launch is reasonably quick, unlike video marketing, as one example. It’s also easier to save and search for interesting emails for future reference.

Building relationships

At its core, marketing is about relationships. It specifically involves initiating relationships with potential customers and strengthening bonds with those you already have.

Few relationship-building efforts are more powerful than making your customers feel they are on the inside with unique access to what’s new at your company, your latest product announcements, fun industry insights and more. Intimacy can be created through email, bolstering solid connections with your brand, especially when the messaging is personalized.

Leverage this opportunity to treat your customers as valued partners.

Measurable results

Email is one of the most straightforward marketing tactics for tracking performance. Depending on the KPIs (key performance indicators) that are important to you, it can be easy to determine how well your messaging is being received.

With nearly all email service providers, you can track how many recipients open your email, click through to your links, and, with the right technology in place, where they subsequently journey through your website. These are just a few compelling insights gleaned through an email marketing effort—telling you with precision who is interested in which areas of your business.

Your marketing department can follow up with more personalized content to further nurture this lead, or your sales team can immediately leverage this data for proactive outreach.

Simply start

As mentioned earlier, keep it simple. Gather the email addresses you have, put together some useful, unique content, and send out your first email. Monitor the results and adjust your messaging as the data directs.

Marketing is all about relationships, and relationships take time. Communicate with your community through email regularly, listen to how they respond and give them more of what they’re asking for.

Before you know it, you will unearth valuable gold nuggets through the power of email marketing.

Eliud Custodio is the president/founder of Turn One Studio, a New York-based agency servicing small- to medium-sized businesses with their digital and print marketing needs.

This is a contributed piece to Hotel Business, authored by an industry professional. The thoughts expressed are the perspective of the bylined individual.