The arrival of social media marketing and mobile smart devices changed the landscape of email marketing once again. People started using social platforms like Facebook and Twitter to do the majority of their communicating, leaving email as a backup or as a reserve for only business communications. They also started relying on their mobile devices more and more, working on the go with a small screen size instead of using the more convenient desktop setup. Many marketers projected this to be the end of email marketing altogether; since people were using email less often and email marketing tactics were beginning to wear thin on an uninterested audience, it seemed reasonable to think that the medium was a dry well.
However, the numbers are indicating that email marketing is alive and well, and companies are seeing substantial returns on their investment in the marketing medium. Almost any business in any industry can reap the benefits of a strong email marketing campaign, so consider implementing or increasing your email marketing budget in 2015:
1. Email Marketing Is Alive and Growing. The statistics don’t lie. At the end of 2014, 73 percent of marketers claimed that email marketing was a core strategy for their business. Additionally, 59 percent of marketers are planning to increase their email budgets in 2015 and beyond. Of course, it’s not always a good idea to go with the crowd and make decisions based on popularity, but these marketers have had experience with email marketing, and it looks like it’s been a positive one. It’s not entirely clear why email marketing is seeing a bit of a renaissance; it could be because people are more used to checking emails on their mobile devices and open rates are increasing, or it could be that the options available to email marketers are more diverse now than ever. Either way, email marketing is on its way up again, and it’s a trend you should get behind.
2. Email Marketing Feeds Your Other Campaigns. Email marketing isn’t just about email marketing, at least not anymore. Email marketing is simultaneously your gateway drug—which leads new customers to your other, more substantial marketing efforts—and your mortar—which ties all your other campaigns together. Through an email marketing initiative, you can draw people to your blog by offering snippets of content, or you can drive up your following numbers by inviting people to share deals on social media. You can also use your other marketing channels to invite people to sign up for your email blasts, resulting in a closed, cohesive system that nurtures your overall customer base as one unit.
3. Small Increases Lead to Big Returns. Email marketing doesn’t take much to get going. You can get a MailChimp account for free, and if you already have a list of customers, you can use that as the basis for your initial email blasts. After that, even small, low-budget upgrades can give you a massive return. Spending a few hundred dollars on a list of emails can net you hundreds of potential new customers. Spending some extra money on your email designs can present your brand in radically new ways to unfamiliar customers and increase both brand loyalty and engagement.
4. You Can Objectively Measure Your Results. There’s not much to lose by increasing your email marketing budget. If things go bad, you can always reduce your budget back to where it was or eliminate the campaign entirely. One of the greatest benefits of email marketing is that you’ll be able to objectively measure your results. With every email blast you send out, you’ll be able to monitor your delivery rates, your open rates, and the total number of click-throughs you receive. As long as you know your conversion rates, from there, you’ll be able to objectively determine whether your email marketing budget is enabling a profitable return. If not, you can make a change, but if it is, you can throw more fuel on the fire with an even greater budget.
5. People Are Demanding More. It isn’t enough to send a simple promotional email or a short list of new content on your site. People need more from email campaigns, and in order to give the people what they want, you’ll have to step up your overall budget. Serve them well with better designs, more appealing copy, and better offers—free giveaways, discounts, and special deals are all winners, but they take an upfront investment to be successful.
Remember that email marketing is about more than just sending as many emails as you can. You need to find an audience and get to know that audience first. Only then will you be able to anticipate your audience’s needs and create emails that actually have value to them. Modern email marketing isn’t about making a sales pitch or attracting as many clicks as possible; it’s about providing value to your users, and you’ll have to work hard to hold up your end of the bargain.
This article originally appeared on Forbes.com.