The internet has changed dramatically in the last decade. These days, it would be challenging to find any marketing strategy that doesn’t include a lengthy section on social media. There’s no denying social media’s presence and power. However, way too many businesses have fallen into the trap of believing that it’s the only way to generate new business.

And frankly, that line of thinking is just patently false.

In terms of ROI, many other marketing streams win out. Forbes reported that CMOs see an average ROI of 95% from social media, yet 54% of marketers still say that achieving meaningful ROIs from social media is a struggle.

On the other hand:

  • A separate report found that PPC (pay-per-click) advertising generates an average ROI rate of 200%.
  • SEO (search engine optimization) achieves up to a 275% ROI, according to another study.
  • An eMarketer study found that the humble email has a median ROI of 122%.

So, we must ditch the narrative that says social media marketing is the only way because it’s not – especially when we’re talking about lead generation.

Every business out there wants more leads.

One of the most powerful and cost-effective ways to get more leads lies in a robust email marketing strategy.


Email marketing is relatively cheap, and when done correctly, you can gain massive rewards, and get many of the same branding benefits that you get with social media.

In fact, according to an Email Analytics report, email is forty times more likely to generate new sales than Twitter and Facebook combined.

However, many businesses feel like emails aren’t effective anymore. This belief is partially to do with the lingering views about social media proliferation (see above).

It also has many thing’s to do and that many people aren’t doing email correctly.

Here’s the reality: Email isn’t dead. However, you have to re-think your approach.

The Truth About Emails

We’ve come a long way from the “you’ve got mail” days. Spam filters are getting tighter, and it’s much harder to get people to actually read the emails you send. If your target demographic is Millennials or Zoomers (Gen-Z), this can be especially true.

Campaign Monitor noted that in 2019, the average email open rate across all industries sat at 17.8%. So, just getting your email open is a task.

The reality is that the old tactics don’t work anymore. People recognize marketing manipulation from a mile away, and the tried-and-true techniques aren’t as effective as they once were.

To make it in email, it starts by recognizing that the times have changed, and people are looking for a few key things:

  • Personalization
  • Simplicity
  • Value

Let’s talk about all three of these for a minute.

The Importance of Personalization

Our devices are getting smarter, and the algorithms are getting more aggressive. People are used to and are beginning to expect a hyper-personalized marketing experience.

This change extends to email as well. Whether you’re sending a promotion, a sales email, or a newsletter – the recipients want to know why they’ve been targeted.

You don’t have to dig long to find statistics to back this up. One Email Analytics report found:

  • Personalized subject lines have 26% more opens.
  • Personalized emails have 14% more clicks, and six times as many transactions.

Personalization can feel like the buzzword of the moment, but what does it mean?

Regarding email, it’s about including the recipient’s name in the subject line or email body. It’s about swapping your emails from copy-pasted formats to feeling like they’re one-to-one.

It’s the difference between your email sounding like this:

“50% off store-wide online sale today. Hurry. Sale ends soon!”

And changing it to something like this:

Hey Sarah,

Wanted to let you know that our whole store is 50% off right now. I wanted to personally email you so that you didn’t miss out.

It’s about segmenting your list so that you target the right recipients for the right offers. It’s about asking your email recipients questions. Emails with questions have a 50% higher response rate than those without them.

Social media is like your brand having a big megaphone and shouting at the world. While you can reach a lot of people, it can feel impersonal. With email, you can share your brand, one-to-one with your leads and customers.

Personalization is critical to any successful email campaign.

Simplicity Matters

Everyone knows the joke about how we all have the attention span of goldfish, right? Well, it’s important to remember that when working on your email.

People don’t have time to read lengthy manifestos. They want fast, digestible, and simple-to-sift-through information.

  • One Boomerang study found that the emails written at a third-grade reading level have the best results.
  • Another study found that emails with between 75-100 words get the best response rates.

So, simplicity is critical to successful email campaigns.

Be Valuable

This one should be obvious, but if you don’t have any value to offer, don’t send the email. Your email strategy should consist of a healthy balance of promotional emails and valuable emails.

You should regularly share useful content, tips, and discounts with your recipients. This same principle applies to sales emails, too. Send your prospects useful emails in between your sales solicitations.

You need to provide value so that you aren’t thrown into the spam folder. It’s also the only way that you’ll ever get a click, response, or conversion.

The Real Secret to Email: Follow-Up

Sometimes the truth is that businesses are doing 90% of the job correctly. Their content and copy are fantastic. Their products are excellent. Their sales staff is top-notch. So, what’s the hang-up?

The missing component often lies in a failure to follow-up.

According to a Velocify study, it takes five emails to hit optimum conversion rates. Yet, a whopping 70% of companies only send one email before giving up, even though 80% of people will say “no” to an offer four times before they say “yes.”

What do all these statistics mean?

They mean you need to increase your follow-up game.

That’s much easier said than done, right? Because let’s get real – setting up that initial email takes a lot of work. You have to perfect the copy. Get the list just right. Then, you have to get the graphics looking terrific.

By the time you hit “send,” follow-up is the last thing on your mind.

This one little mistake could be the reason your emails have failed to take off. The good news is that there’s a secret weapon for making the follow-up process a breeze. It’s all about automation and using your CRM to make it seamless.

CRM + Email = The Secret Sauce

Automation is critical for any marketing campaign, but it’s especially vital for emails. It is essential to have the ability to track and keep up with where, what, and when your prospects respond. However, when you’re running the other areas of your business, manually tracking email results can be a nightmare.

That’s where a CRM comes in. CRM means customer relationship management, and it’s a software that allows you to oversee, track, and automate every aspect of the customer pipeline from lead to close and beyond.

When it comes to automating emails, you want your emails to run automatically, but you also need to track the results of those emails. CRMs allow you to do just that.

Your emails run, the results are tracked, and an array of actions can be triggered automatically.

Let’s run through what that looks like.

One of the most well-known CRMs out there is Salesforce. 83% of Fortune 500 companies use them, and they have 3.75 million users, and more than 150,000 paying customers. It’s pretty clear to see why they’re one of the heavy hitters in the game.

We’re going to use their capabilities and functionality to illustrate how useful integrating a CRM into your email automation can be.

Using your Salesforce CRM:

  • You can segment your lists into leads, customers, first-time buyers, hard-sells, etc.
  • Then, you can design and automate an email campaign within Salesforce or use your current email automation software and integrate it with Salesforce.
  • Once you hit send, Salesforce goes to work. If a recipient clicks on the email, it’s tracked in Salesforce on their profile. If they respond, it’s tracked. If they don’t open, do open, unsubscribe, etc. – it’s all tracked within the system.
  • Furthermore, you can trigger actions to occur.
  • For instance, if the recipient doesn’t respond in X days, send them the second email.
  • Or, if the recipient clicks on the email, alert a salesperson to call them immediately.
  • Or, if the recipient purchases, take them off out of the follow-up email sequence.

All of this happens behind-the-scenes without you having to do anything beyond the initial set-up phase. To be fair, these functions don’t come out-of-the-box with Salesforce (or any CRM). You’ll have to conscript the help of some salesforce consultants to make everything work how you need it to work.

However, once everything is automated, you can ensure that your emails don’t fall flat. You aren’t succumbing to the one-and-done email habit. Instead, you set yourself up with winning campaigns from the jump, by incorporating the tracking, follow-up, and automation from the beginning.

Changing Up Your Email Flow

When it arises to email, there are a few things you need to know:

  1. Email is still wickedly effective.
  2. Personalization, simplicity, and value are key.
  3. Email won’t work without follow-up.
  4. Automation via a CRM makes follow-up a breeze.

If you consider these things, email can be a superbly successful part of your marketing strategy.

So, if anyone asks if email is still relevant, you can confidently tell them, “Yes – the game has just changed a little.”

Author Bio

Raj Damera is the co-founder and a Salesforce Architect at AppShark. He is a well-rounded IT professional that can engineer and deliver complex technology solutions centered around the Salesforce platform. Raj often helps customers that have multi-cloud and multi-platform solution needs. Raj loves to travel; He is Based in Toronto, but can be often seen in different parts of the world meeting clients and attending events.