When you start planning a marketing campaign, one of the key considerations is which channels you want to use.

For sure, someone at the table is going to say Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Instant messaging and SEO are also on the “strategic meeting” bingo card.

All these channels have their merits. But read the blogs of any marketing thought leader, and you will see the advice: “Start building an email list”.

This received wisdom has been repeated since the dawn of time. But does it still ring true? 

In this guide, we’re going to look at all the reasons why building an email list should be a central pillar of any campaign.

Is Email Marketing Still a Thing? Yes, and More Than Ever

In marketing, we’re all scanning the horizon for the next big trend — some unique strategy to help us get ahead of the competition. This endless search leads us to places like TikTok and Pinterest. 

These platforms can undoubtedly have a place within a larger marketing strategy. But the truth is, tried-and-tested email marketing is still favored by most marketing professionals, and still delivering big numbers.

Don’t believe us? Here are some stats to prove it.

319.6 Billion Emails Are Sent Every Day

Let’s start with raw volume. Current forecasts suggest the overall average for 2021 will be 319.6 billion emails sent and received every day.

With each passing year, the number of emails being sent increases significantly. This upward curve has been with us for some time, and it shows no sign of slowing. 

In fact, many experts predict that email usage will accelerate in the coming years. So, you should probably keep email in your future plans.

Almost Everyone in Marketing Still Uses Email

While it’s fashionable to be different, you can end up being the one crazy person swimming against the tide. 

According to the stats, the “tide” is definitely with email marketing. 

Recent surveys have found that 87% of B2B marketers use email as part of their strategy. In B2C, the figure is around 79%. In both cases, email is one of the top three most used distribution channels. 

In other words, it’s quite rare to find a marketer who doesn’t use email.

Email Absolutely Owns Social Media

Building a social media following is a smart move for any business, particularly in B2C.

However, be aware that email marketing absolutely obliterates social media in almost every key marketing metric. 

For example: you might assume that younger generations would be more attuned to TikTok than email. But in reality, almost three-quarters of teens still send and receive email. When you look at the wider population, more than half of us check our inbox in the morning before doing anything else. 

This translates to a gulf in engagement. The average email click-through rate in many industries is above 10%; if you break through 1% engagement on social media, you’re doing well.

Email Marketing Offers a 4,100% Return on Investment

This level of engagement comes with a pretty impressive pay-off.

For every $1 spent on email marketing, businesses generate an average of $42 in revenue. That is an unbelievable 4,100% return on investment. 

You won’t see numbers like this in any other area of digital, print, or display marketing — and it shows just how inexpensive email marketing really is.

Why Building an Email List Is Important

When you look at the stats, it’s clear to see that email marketing is alive and well. Thriving, in fact. For anyone who is initially unsure about the idea of utilizing email, the massive return on investment is pretty convincing. 

However, you still might be wondering how all the revenue is generated. What exactly are the benefits of email marketing today?

Here’s a closer look at some of the key reasons why you should adopt this channel and start building your email list today.

Email Builds a Human Connection

No-one wants to feel like a statistic. Even when you’re trying to strike a multi-million dollar deal with a global brand, making the client feel special can tip the balance in your favor. 

In comparison with almost any other kind of digital marketing, email gives you the opportunity to make a human connection

The most successful campaigns are usually written in the style of a letter, addressed to each subscriber personally. 

And that doesn’t just mean starting the email with “Dear John Doe” — the likes of Noah Kagan write emails that feel like they’re coming from a friend. Readers actually start looking forward to receiving them, and they begin to trust the sender. 

If you build your email list now, you can work on creating this foundation of trust. Later down the line, it will help you turn subscribers into clients.

Newsletters on the Rise

In case you haven’t heard: newsletters are sexy (again). Overwhelmed by the noise of social media, millions of people have returned to following their favorite blogs and brands through email. 

This trend has been supercharged by platforms like Substack and Memberful, which allow writers to charge for subscriptions. Even social media companies are getting into this space; earlier this year, Twitter acquired newsletter platform Revue and put the new talent to work.

Brands that jump on this trend now and start offering valuable content are sure to win hearts and wallets. 

Bring Your Visitors Back

The majority of people who visit your website will never come back. Some of these people just didn’t find what they were looking for. Others might have been distracted, or perhaps they found a different solution.

The thing to remember is that this figure isn’t set in stone. If you give people a good reason to return, they will. Email provides the perfect medium for making such an offer.

Serving up juicy discounts is a common strategy, but content can be even more effective. People often arrive on your site because they are looking for products or answers. If you send them an email that links to a buyer’s guide or how-to blog post, you have a good chance of earning that return visit.

All you need to do is persuade them to join your email list on their first visit.

Better Targeting With Segmentation

If you have ever spent a few dollars advertising on social media platforms, you will be familiar with the idea of targeting specific audiences. It allows you to adapt your messaging, depending on who will see your content.

Email marketing takes this idea to the next level with segmentation.

Instead of just having a single list of subscribers, you can divide people into any number of categories based on a myriad of criteria. This could be people who claimed a particular lead magnet or bought something previously, for instance.

By using segmentation, you can create highly targeted offers that are relevant to every recipient

We have solid proof that this works: on average, campaigns that utilize segmentation produce 760% more revenue from email than non-segmented campaigns.

Email Is Easy to Automate

All this talk of personal messages is enough to make marketing executives break out in a cold sweat. Are we really gonna spend 10 minutes writing a from-the-heart email to every potential lead?

No, you’re not. In fact, it’s possible to syphon someone through the entire sales funnel while you’re sitting on a beach drinking piña colada. 

That’s because email is super easy to automate. There’s no need to reply to thousands of comments every day or research the latest hashtags. You simply set up a sequence and leave your email tool of choice to do the hard work.

Once you have built your email list, it’s possible to run entire campaigns this way.

Email Reaches People

Tone and targeting are both important, but they mean little unless potential clients actually see your content. When it comes to attracting attention, email is king

For a start, more people use this digital channel than any other. Even Facebook trails email by more than one billion active users. The stats also show that the average American spends 5 hours a day just checking their emails.

A small fraction of messages are blocked by junk filters, but the vast majority reach their destination. When the message is relevant, open rates are pretty good as well.

In order to ensure all your emails are reaching their destination, you should be actively taking time to clean and verify your email lists. This is especially important for email addresses acquired outside of Datanyze. Email addresses are created and abandoned all of the time, and sending to invalid email addresses is a recipe for disaster. It could potentially damage your email sender reputation — which creates even bigger problems in the long run.

Email cleaning and verification tools can and should be integrated into your email marketing process so you can reach as many people in your list as possible. This can be done in several ways:

  1. Bulk cleaning your lists
  2. Verifying emails at the point of entry in your forms
  3. Syncing email cleaning with your CRM platforms and marketing automation tools

Even if someone decides not to open your email, they probably saw it. That’s way better than someone skimming past your display ad while they’re trying to read a post or watch a video.

You Own Your Email List

Want to know the #1 reason why building an email list is important? 

You own it

No-one can ever remove access to your subscribers. They can’t force you to pay for views, or suspend your account for no reason (*cough* Instagram *cough*).

With most other channels, these risks are always present — no matter how much time and money you have invested in growing your audience.  When you build an email list, you have complete control.

Email Marketing: The Key Takeaways

Phew, we have covered a lot of ground! By now you have probably got the message: building an email list should be your top priority. 

Here’s a recap of why:

  • More people use email daily than any other digital channel
  • Email marketing offers ridiculously huge ROI
  • Newsletters are hot right now
  • Email is personal
  • It brings people back to your site
  • Email marketing is easy to automate
  • Your list is always under your control

Want to use email for outreach or find people for your list? The Datanyze Chrome extension helps you get accurate contact details for anyone on LinkedIn, along with other key info. Sign up free today to give it a try!