Ten Reasons Outlook Email is still Relevant for Business Communications

With so many methods of communication available it’s easy to believe email is dying, if not already dead! Surely people want to use the latest technology available with all the new bells and whistles available…… wrong! Change can be expensive, time-consuming and challenging to change ingrained behavioural habits.  The explosion of a variety of ways to communicate can leave people overwhelmed and searching for familiarity, simplicity and ease.  That’s why I believe email is still king and will be here for the foreseeable future.  That’s not to say we shouldn’t embrace new technology options, but I see it as a hybrid movement versus a complete replacement of email.  Let me share the top 10x reasons why email is still relevant for business communication.

1.            Everyone has an email account

With so many options to communicate, whether its social media or within a work environment it can be overwhelming.  To compete different tools target different audiences, i.e . Snapchat appeals to a younger demographic.  Email, however, is used by most people across the board.  Who doesn’t have an email address?!  Most services people use in their daily life require an email address to sign up.  This means you can expect the majority of people you want to communicate with will have an email address.  The same can’t be said for any other platform.

2.            Email is easy to use

As email was one of the first forms of online communication and has been widely used for decades, users are familiar with how to use email.   Alternatively, other methods of communication take time and effort to learn. 

3.            Email has massive reach

While social media platforms have grown and continue to grow their user base email still has more chance of reaching your audience since email is opt-in and isn’t ruled by algorithms.

4.            Email is an account of record

By sending an email both the recipient and sender have a copy.  Business policy can vary but most organisations now have document management processes in place to ensure appropriate records are maintained for both internal and external communications.

With so much data shared today the need to manage data simply has become essential for business productivity. Emails and their attachments often need to be saved as part of business protocol, but unfortunately without a clear data management policy multiple copies are banded around and the data saved can be duplicated and have numerous different versions meaning when it comes to accessing this information its challenging and time-consuming to find the correct data.  A solution such as OnePlaceMail can make it easy to save emails and their attachments to SharePoint or a Microsoft Teams channel with a couple of clicks – leading to better compliance, accessibility and ultimately productively.

5.            Email is a cost-effective

Depending on how engaged your audience is email can have an excellent ROI, but that’s not the only way email is budget savvy!  Email content can be created in-house and with numerous affordable/free email management platforms they can be designed with templates to look professional.  Emails can be tested to improve results; automation tools allow customized campaigns based on audience actions to increase your opportunity to close business with your leads.

6.            Email is measurable

Today’s email management platforms offer exceptional insights into recipient interactions with your content, including who opened your email, at what time, how many times it was opened, if it was forwarded and what they clicked on within the email.  As an added bonus email management platforms, such as MailChimp, allow you to measure what will have the most impact on recipients prior to sending with A/B and multivariant testing available.  Email metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, bounces and unsubscribes give you the opportunity with every campaign to create more engaging and relevant content for your audiences.

7.            Email increases productivity

Email automation and workflows make email a real time-saver.  Email management platforms allow you to send highly targeted email campaigns to a variety of audiences with different purposes; leads, customers or partners, with the goal to onboard, engage or share your latest updates.  There is some work involved in the initial set up of automations, but once up and running you can look to work on other tasks knowing you are communicating effectively.

8.            Email is permission-based

With new laws, such as GDPR, being created around the globe to protect the individual’s rights  receiving email is now opt-in rather than opt-out meaning what people receive in their inbox should be what they want to receive, leading to an engaged user.  Assuming you capture emails legally users will expect your communication in their inbox, and this should lead to better interaction and conversion.  This is a higher quality relationship than a like or follow on social media platforms.

9.            Email can be personalized

Email can be personalized, and I don’t mean just adding in a recipients first name! Based on a person’s buying behaviour, email or website interactions relevant emails can be triggered to be sent to their inbox.  This highly personalized communication is much more likely to be opened and engaged with due to its high relevance and value to the recipient.  Marketing technology makes personalization easy.

10.          Email is omnipresent

Thanks to smartphones and WIFI email is available everywhere – you must be very remote to be without a working device and WIFI connection!  Keep this in mind when designing emails and ensure design works across all devices.

Email is not dead. How do you make it work for you and your business?

Now we know email is still relevant for business communications, how can you make it an effective tool for your business?  Here are my top tips:

•Be relevant and specific to your audiences needs

•Be interesting and offer value – not a sales pitch

•Design for mobile first and ensure design works across devices

• Make it easy to unsubscribe to build trust

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