“Did you know that 26.8million South Africans spend over 3 hours a day on social media?” Entrepreneur Magazine reveals this fact in their Beginners Guide to Digital Marketing In South Africa.

Whether you’re in the communications industry or not, we’ve all been exposed to email marketing of some sort. Takealot.com and OneDayOnly are two company’s whose daily mailers are easy examples of email marketing. A trend that continues to grow, we will break down the following in this blog:

  • What is email marketing?
  • What are the benefits?
  • The Top 3 tools of the trade

Before we start, here are a few interesting stats that will act as a catalyst for the statements in our blog post. According to The Radicati Group, more than 3.7billion people use email around the world as of January 2017. And it’s expected to grow by 3% (or surpass 3.8 billion) by 2018. Linking it to a South African context, a recent study on the digital landscape in 2017 by Qwerty revealed that: “South Africa has a total population of 55,21 million people, with an Urbanisation rate of 66%. Within that, 28,6 million (52%) people utilise the Internet in some format. This has increased by 7% since Jan 2016.” These stats highlight the significant number of the population that are exposed to the internet. The report goes on to note that checking our emails feature in the top 3 online activities. Look at the following graph:

What is email marketing?

MailChimp – one of the leading email marketing tools defines email marketing as:

Email marketing helps you connect with your audience to promote your brand and increase sales. You can use email marketing to do a lot of things, like sell products, share some news, or tell a story. With MailChimp’s email campaign builder, it’s easy to find the right email templates for any message. This can include anything from sending welcome emails to new subscribers, to notifying customers of a sale, to wishing a subscriber happy birthday—email marketing covers all of this and more.

Email marketing is an easy way for you to communicate customised messages to a targeted list of consumers gathered through competitions, brand activations or a customer database. These messages can be sale notices, “thank you” messages, or important notices.

What are the benefits?

TouchBasePro describes the 5 key benefits of email marketing as:

  • It’s Simple
  • It’s Measurable
  • It’s Targeted
  • It’s Personal
  • It’s Fast

These are only 5 benefits, but there are many more. One benefit we didn’t add to the list is Integrating other media to boost response e.g. social media/blog content (Small Business Trends)

As email marketing continues to grow, trends such as AI-powered email marketing and a rise of list segmentation will take shape in 2018. Huffington Post includes these in their list 5 Email Marketing Trends to Watch for in 2018.

The Top 5 tools

Here is our list of email marketing tools based on our own experience and opinions gathered online.

  1. Get Response
  2. Mail Chimp
  3. RedCappi
  4. Aweber
  5. Hubspot

It is a good idea to use free price plans and/or trial periods, this allows you look at the functionality, features and send a test campaign to ensure that you can use the tool confidently. User experience and cost are two important factors to consider when making your final decision. Online schools and YouTube also offer a variety of tutorials you can view or use to give you more insight.

In closing, email marketing is multifunctional and can be utilised in small or large businesses. Contact our offices if you would like our team to assist you with your next marketing campaign. Thank you for taking the time to read our blog post. Feel free to comment, like and share this with your friends and family.