To compete in today’s crowded marketing environment, sometimes it feels like you must invest time and money into mastering countless new platforms and mediums. From display ads to social media to SEO, you feel as though you’re on a never-ending roller coaster of new marketing trends and technology.

Each new platform takes weeks to learn and requires tons of trial-and-error to get it right — and even then, you only bring in a small trickle of new business. Even if you’ve spent months building an engaged audience on social media, few of those fans ever turn into actual customers.

Plus, it’s expensive. It’s easy to end up exceeding your budget with boosted Facebook posts and sponsored Tweets or LinkedIn posts. Maybe, in order to compete, you’ve even invested in an advertising or SEO firm but were disappointed by their results (and their price tag). Buying display ads around the web and bidding on search terms also gets pricey fast.

There has to be some other way to get a solid return from the money you spend on marketing, right?

Getting a positive ROI in new marketing mediums is a challenge for most small businesses.

Research shows that most small businesses struggle with social media ROI. Despite the fact that 49% of businesses have increased the time they dedicate to social media, with 74% having at least one person dedicated to social, only 39% of them have seen a return on their investment. You aren’t the only one struggling to make your business’s digital marketing efforts worthwhile.

Most small businesses have also fallen prey to some pretty pervasive digital marketing myths. According to digital marketing expert Steve Surman, instead of believing that you can’t ignore a new digital marketing trend, it’s likely you probably can. He maintains, “When you jump on the bandwagon, all of a sudden you’re present in half a dozen channels that you can’t scale because budget is short.” Most entrepreneurs and small businesses are just too afraid of missing out on a new trend and spend way too much time and money struggling to make it work for their business.

As trends come and go, email remains constant.

Getting a positive ROI from your marketing efforts doesn’t need to be nearly as complicated as many entrepreneurs make it. It may come as a surprise, but today’s leading marketing medium is actually one of the most old-school forms of digital communication: email.

“It seems like every few months a new marketing trend arises that is finally ‘going to kill email.’ The subject line ‘Email is Dead!’ is quite common in inboxes, but after taking a look at the facts, it’s clear that email is not going anywhere.” – How to Craft the Perfect Email

Why? Because it’s familiar! Think about it. Despite the rise of social media and other messaging platforms, people still rely on email as their primary form of online communication. Smart digital marketers know that the key to grabbing their customers’ attention online lies in the inbox, and they have proven that this medium has the potential to drive more sales than any other. If you’ve been struggling to make an impact online, it’s time to focus on building profitable relationships with your customers through email.

Here’s why email is the best way to reach customers

According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing has an incredible ROI of around 4,300%, earning on average $42.08 for every dollar spent. While companies on average spend just 16% of their marketing budget on email, they attribute 23% of their total sales to this channel. Almost a quarter of companies attribute 30% or more of their sales to email marketing. How to Craft the Perfect Email reports, “With 204 million emails being sent every minute, it’s clear that email is not only alive and well — it’s booming. In fact, 60% of marketers believe that email produces positive ROI, and 74% of consumers prefer to receive communication via email over any other marketing channel.”

In The Atlantic, Alexis C. Madrigal declared, “You can’t kill email! It’s the cockroach of the internet, and I mean that as a compliment. This resilience is a good thing … Email is actually a tremendous, decentralized, open platform on which new, innovative things can and have been built.”

Email marketing is actually one of the best ways out there to acquire customers and increase the amount existing customers spend. McKinsey & Company researchers report: “Email remains a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media — nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined. That’s because 91 percent of all U.S. consumers still use email daily, and the rate at which emails prompt purchases is not only estimated to be at least three times that of social media, but the average order value is also 17 percent higher.”

When it comes to marketing ROI, there’s a clear winner. Email is the way to go if you want to acquire more customers and nurture them into larger sales at scale.

Still not convinced?

Staying in touch with customers and leads via email benefits your business and gives you:

  • A cost-effective way to turn leads into actual customers so you don’t have to spend a fortune on marketing to acquire new business
  • Easy ways to segment and personalize your messages so you can improve brand loyalty by focusing on what each customer values most
  • The ability to establish rapport and build relationships with existing customers so you will see larger and more frequent sales from happy, engaged customers
  • The opportunity to be seen in the personal, private context of your customers’ email inboxes so you can grab and hold their full attention with fewer distractions
  • An efficient way to stay in touch with your target market so you can spend less time on marketing and more time on building your business.

To learn more about how you can use email marketing to build profitable relationships with your customers for a reliably impressive marketing ROI, check out How to Craft the Perfect Email.

About Andy Reese

Content Specialist Andy Reese graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2014 with a B.A. in Environmental Studies (emphases in Sustainability and Entrepreneurship). In his short career, Andy has already written grants and media plans for several businesses and nonprofits, worked at two tech startups and the Surfrider Foundation.