What Is Email Marketing and Why Is It Important?

what is email marketing

What is email marketing? Think of it as still one of the most cost-effective and conversion-rich forms of digital marketing today. Sure social media has since come along and gotten marketers all excited, but don’t get fooled! Email marketing is potent, persuasive and gets your eCommerce store great results.

Let’s look at some stats that will make you take notice. According to the Direct Marketing Association, you get $32 for every $1 that you spend on email marketing! That’s incredible. What other form of digital marketing has that high rate of return? So the next time you ask yourself, “What is email marketing?” remember that it’s an affordable way to advertise your small online store that gives you a really good ROI—if you know what you’re doing and apply it properly.

email marketing roi

Here’s another stunning stat: last year, business leaders increased their email-marketing spending by 60.7% while only increasing their social-media spending by 48.9%. This is another indication that email marketing is what you, as a small eCommerce store owner, should be looking at more and more.

Here’s more on email marketing and why it’s important!

What is email marketing? It’s more effective than social media

We just covered above how email marketing provides an insanely good ROI and also how business leaders are focusing on it instead of spending resources on social media. That’s all well and good, but we also have specific stats that show that email marketing is really more effective than social media—in spite of what you may have heard.


When it comes to overall performance, email marketing is more successful than social media marketing, by far. According to a poll conducted by MailMunch, 60% of the Internet marketers who spoke to MailMunch said that email marketing outperforms social media in their experience. It’s also noteworthy that the other 40% in the sample said that email and social media are simply different animals, so no one MailMunch asked actually said that social media was better overall! If that doesn’t convince you to direct a lot of your efforts to email marketing, then you’ll continue to get inferior results.

Let’s break down these poll results a bit further to gain more insight.

Where email really beats social media is in driving traffic and direct conversions to websites, which is where it really counts the most to your online store’s bottom line.

It’s easy to push sales and conversions with email reminders

Email reminders are a blessing to both you and your customers. Never think of them as annoying or bothersome because your customers sure won’t.

The beauty of emails is they serve as reminders to your leads and customers, always keeping your eCommerce store’s products front and center in their minds.


Here’s an example. Let’s say that your online store sells high-quality athletic shoes for outdoor activities. If someone who subscribes to your newsletters or promotions suddenly damages his shoes while using them too roughly outside, he’ll solve his problem of where to buy his new shoes when he sees your select athletic shoes in your store’s newsletters or promos. As a result, he’s very likely to visit your online store to quickly buy a new pair of outdoor shoes.

It should also be noted that a special email reminder centered on a holiday season is also excellent at pushing sales and conversions at your online store. This is because people are already in the buying mood during the holidays, whether that’s Christmas or Thanksgiving. So if you can highlight your best products in these holiday-themed email reminders, that’s going to align with your customers’ intentions, helping to drive online sales.

You can personalize email to reach different segments of your audience

Okay, we can hear you still ask yourself, “What is email marketing?” Consider this fact for another indication of the power of email marketing. Email allows you to personalize your messages and communication to your customers, empowering your eCommerce store to reach various segments of your audience. Segmenting your customers in this fashion is intelligent because it enables you to send more relevant and targeted offers and product details to the right people in your email lists.


Look at it this way. If you’re on someone’s email list and you have a strong preference of chocolates, yet the eCommerce store whose newsletter you subscribed to keeps sending you deals specifically around broccoli and potatoes, you’re going to be angry. In fact, you’re likely to unsubscribe and not shop there anymore since the store’s unsympathetic emails indicate that it doesn’t know YOU, its customer, although YOU’RE the most important person!

As an eCommerce store owner, you have to find the people in your database—this info is culled from all of their browsing and purchasing details—that match the promos and deals you send out in your emails. For instance, if you notice that a certain segment of your online store buys a specific kind of chocolate for each holiday occasion, you should be emailing them about special chocolate offers specifically centered on the holidays. Do segmentation like this, and watch your conversions spike!

It doesn’t cost much to use email for advertising

Email marketing is so vital to your small online store because you don’t have a lot of or any money that you can devote to your advertising. Email lets your market effectively and widely without costing you a lot. This makes it an ideal choice for small business marketing.

There’s no need for you to hire employees or even outsource your email campaigns. You don’t need to pay for things like postage, phone lines, ad rates and printing costs. Various email marketing services on the web offer free plans up to a certain number of subscribers. Beyond that, the costs for a full subscription are always reasonable and low-cost.


These same services offer you a range of readymade templates that require you to simply plug in your content, quickly and easily. Then, you’re all set to send out your email reminders, promos or newsletters. It’s really a hassle-free way to promote your small online store’s products, which is another bonus.

And now you know what is email marketing

Everyone says that email marketing works, not just us. Forbes Magazine sings the praises of email marketing and asserts that it works a lot better than social media. So embrace email and make it work for your small online store. Your increased conversions, sales and revenues will be a testament to the effectiveness of this powerful type of digital marketing.

In a time when email is considered “old” compared to social media since it’s been around virtually since the beginning of the web, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that email doesn’t work anymore. It’s still one of the best and most solid ways of driving traffic and conversions to your eCommerce store.

Want to learn more?

Is there anything else you’d like to know more about and wish was included in this article? Let us know in the comments below!

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