Struggling to Get a Decent Return From Your Marketing Dollar? Focus on this Surprising Marketing Channel for the Highest ROI

Does getting a positive ROI out of your marketing efforts feel like an uphill battle? 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 like you're on a never-ending roller coaster of new marketing trends and technology.

To stir up excitement about your business online, you have to devote a huge amount of time to learning about new marketing mediums and strategies. Maybe you're frustrated because you end up spending far too much time writing and optimizing ads that only bring in a small trickle of new business. Maybe you're at the end of your rope because you've spent a few months trying to build an engaged audience on social media, only to be disappointed by how few of those fans ever turn into actual customers. Each new platform takes weeks to learn and requires tons of trial-and-error to get it right. By the time you start to figure out a workable strategy on a new medium, there's already another new marketing channel that you're behind on!

On top of being incredibly time-consuming, maintaining your collection of marketing mediums is really expensive. If you've tried everything to get eyeballs on your social posts, you know that it's easy to end up exceeding your budget with boosted Facebook posts, sponsored Tweets or LinkedIn posts. Maybe you've even tried investing in an advertising or SEO firm just to compete, but you were disappointed by their results (and their price tag!). Buying display ads around the web and bidding on search terms also gets pricey fast. After spending so much, you'd expect your ROI to be pretty decent, but while your marketing costs just keep going up and up, your revenue doesn't seem to follow. There has to be some other way to get a solid return from the money you spend on marketing, right?

Getting a positive return on investment in new marketing mediums is a challenge for most small businesses. For example, research shows that most small businesses seriously struggle with social media ROI. Despite the fact that 49% of businesses have increased the time they dedicate to social media, with a full 74% having at least one person dedicated to social, only 39% of them have seen a return on their investment! (Source) And as for pay-per-click ads, only 3% of small and medium sized businesses say that it is an effective lead generator. (Source) 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, “No, it's likely you probably can.” 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.” (Source) Although it's smart to focus on what works, 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.

However, getting a positive (and even impressive) 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. Why? It's familiar! Think about it. As trends come and go, email stays constant. According to Crafting the Perfect Email, “It seems that every few months a new trend arises that is “going to kill email.” The subject line “Email is Dead!” is quite common, but after taking a look at the facts, it's clear that email is not going anywhere.” 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.

Want to know just how well email performs? 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! (Source) While companies on average spend just 16% of their marketing budget on email, they attribute 23% of their total sales to this channel. For almost a quarter of companies, they attribute 30% or more of their sales to email marketing. (Source) Crafting the Perfect Email reports, “With 122,500,453,020 emails being sent every hour, 60% of marketers believing that email produces positive ROI, and 74% of consumers preferring to receive email marketing communication via email, it's clear that email is not only alive and well but booming.” So much for email being dead!

On the contrary, it actually seems impossible to kill! 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.” (Source)

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 that “E-mail 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 US consumers still use e-mail daily, and the rate at which e-mails 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.” (Source) 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.

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

  1. 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.
  2. The ability to establish rapport and build relationships with existing customers, so you will see larger and more frequent sales from happy, engaged customers.
  3. 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.
  4. Easy ways to segment and personalize your messages so you can improve brand loyalty by focusing on what each customer values most.
  5. The opportunity to be seen in the personal, private context of your customers' email inbox, so you can grab and hold their full attention with fewer distractions.

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 Crafting the Perfect Email!

This guest post is courtesy of Julia Anghel.

CEO Blog Nation

This is a post from a CEO Blog Nation writer. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.

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