The Email Marketer’s Prep Kit for 2024

5 Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Email

Marketing is about to undergo a tectonic shift. Generative AI is changing every industry and every strategy. 

As artificial intelligence takes over many email-related tasks, the various email marketing advantages and disadvantages will shift in interesting ways. 

Overview of Email Marketing in 2024

Let’s put aside the email marketing advantages and disadvantages for a moment. 

Today, over 4 billion people checked their email, and this will happen again tomorrow, just as it did yesterday. 

Last year, 4.5 billion emails were sent from the beehiiv platform alone. That’s a huge leap from the mere 500 million emails sent in 2021. 

There are advantages and disadvantages to email marketing, but the recent rapid growth confirms the obvious: Email marketing is bigger than ever in 2024. 

The Relevance of Email Marketing in the Current Digital Landscape

First, let’s address the elephant in the room. Virtually, all digital marketing has to do with search. 

A potential customer or subscriber is looking for something; and, ideally, they come across your content or ads in the course of their search. 

Unfortunately, AI has bent this model. 

Currently, when a user does a search, AI scans the search results and provides a specific answer to the user’s question or a summary of the available content. 

This bypasses the need to read a blog or watch a video. The user is way less likely to see your content or even your ad.

Unless you have an AI-savvy tech team and a large advertising budget, email marketing is one of the only sure-fire ways around this new reality. This makes email marketing highly relevant in the current digital landscape.

Email is the future for creators and small businesses.

The Email Marketer’s Prep Kit for 2024

What Are 5 Advantages to Using Email Marketing?

The classic advantage of email marketing is that you own the audience. You don't need to worry about an algorithm taking your audience away from you.

This is now more important than ever because it's becoming much harder to build an audience.

People often ask, “What are 5 advantages to using email marketing?”  

If we have to choose just five, here’s what they are:

1. Cost-Effectiveness

Compared to pay-per-click and other advertising models, the cost of email marketing is essentially nothing.  You can email thousands of recipients for a flat cost, which is usually just a few dollars a month.

And it works.

This is why studies by Litmus and others show that a strong email marketing strategy can give you a $3,600% ROI. 

2. Targeted and Personalized Communication  

The other big advantage of email marketing is that you can talk to an audience of one. 

First, you’re contacting readers who literally signed up to receive your emails because they're interested in what you have to say. This is a valuable segment of the broader audience that may see your social media or advertising.

With the right platform, it’s easy to segment your audience even further. This can amplify the reader’s feeling, “This email is for me.”

3. Measurable Results and Analytics

Since you have complete control over the emails that you send, it’s easy to incorporate analytics into your email marketing.

Email analytics allow you to gather data such as which emails are getting opened, how frequently, and even what time they're being opened.

The Email Marketer’s Prep Kit for 2024

Analytics allow you to see which links are getting clicks and by whom, and you can A/B test almost any element of your email to get an even clearer picture on what's effective and what isn't.

Over time, the incredible ease and richness of analytics enables you to constantly tweak your email marketing efforts to make them even more effective.

4. Increased Customer Engagement

Most advertising and marketing efforts at least start with a period of throwing everything against the wall and seeing what sticks.

But email marketing starts with an opt-in, so you can count on a minimum level of interest before you even send your first email.

You can take advantage of this captured interest to share stories about your brand, announce special events, and offer sales. 

Your emails amplify any additional marketing or advertising you do by increasing customer engagement.

5. Automation and Efficiency

Finally, you can automate much of your email marketing. 

Automated customer journeys such as a welcome sequence are an obvious example of what you can do with email, but there are others.

You could also pre-write a number of emails in one shot and schedule them to go out at the right date and time.

Creating an email template so that you don't have to reinvent the wheel is another way to boost efficiency. And by using new AI tools to help you with the images, design, and the writing itself, it's getting a lot faster and easier to carry out an effective email marketing campaign.

Why Trust Us? All beehiiv writers are carefully vetted for their knowledge and experience. Jacob Bear has been writing email marketing campaigns for more than 10 years. The number of subscribers for his new beehiiv newsletter, Ithaka, more than doubled in the first two weeks of 2024.

What Are the Disadvantages of Email Advertising?

We want to give you the truth, warts at all.  Email marketing comes with many disadvantages as well 

Success Is Email’s Biggest Enemy

One of our writers did an experiment.

With a stopwatch counting the seconds, he opened his inbox and added a star to every message that required a timely action or response. Then, he tackled the starred emails while ignoring everything else.

The process took 1 hour, 34 minutes, and 12 seconds.

Because of its many advantages, email has become the go-to means of communication for anything that can’t fit into a text. 

This means that a growing blizzard of email is saturating your inbox. As a marketer, you need to be prepared for lower open rates because of the sheer volume of email that your readers receive. 

In fact, our own research has shown that email open rates were down about 4% in 2023.

Deliverability Issues and Spam Filters

Another disadvantage to email marketing is that your reader may never see it. 

There are many ways to improve deliverability for your email, but you can never be 100% certain that it's not going to bounce or end up in a spam folder.

To further complicate the issue, Google recently created new rules about email sending. These rules will impact your email marketing campaigns for years to come.

Design and Accessibility Challenges

Your email won't look the same to everybody. Whether they view it on a desktop or a phone is going to make a big difference, and this is why responsive design is essential today. 

Fortunately, responsive design is built-in automatically with email platforms such as beehive, but there are other issues with the design of an email.

Choosing the right image, including alt text to your image, and making accommodations for readers with visual impairments are just a few examples.

When you design your email, it's important to make it accessible to anyone who has an interest in reading it, and this takes a little extra effort.

Potential for Negative Brand Perception

How much is too much?

If you don't send your email out often enough, it might not stick in your readers’ minds; and, as a result, you may not be able to reach your marketing goals.

The Email Marketer’s Prep Kit for 2024

On the other hand, if you send too often, you might get labeled as a spammer, and this can harm your brand.

Need for Regularly Updated Contact Lists

People get bored and distracted. Their interests change. 

Eventually, some of your readers will unsubscribe, or they may simply stop opening your emails.

The latter case can actually harm your deliverability, even if you haven't done anything wrong. It's important to regularly  “clean” your data by removing inactive readers from your list.

The Email Marketer’s Prep Kit for 2024

You will also need to actively campaign to get new readers onto your list in order to make up for the natural attrition that happens as a few people unsubscribe every month.

What Are the 5 Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Email?

To sum it all up, here are the 5 advantages and disadvantages of using email.

Advantages:

  • Cost-Effectiveness

  • Targeted and Personalized Communication  

  • Measurable Results and Analytics

  • Increased Customer Engagement

  • Automation and Efficiency

Disadvantages:

  • Over-Saturation of Inboxes

  • Deliverability Issues and Spam Filters

  • Design and Accessibility Challenges

  • Potential for Negative Brand Perception

  • Need for Regularly Updated Contact Lists

How To Optimize Email Marketing Advantages and Disadvantages

Now that you've read about some of the advantages and disadvantages of email marketing, it's time to make it all work in your favor. Here are some top strategies that will help you.

Strategies To Maximize Advantages of Email Marketing

Segment Your Email List

Targeted and personal communication is one of the keys to successful marketing, and it's very easy with email. 

For example, if you have a newsletter for pet owners, you can send one version to people who have dogs and another version to those who have cats.

Craft Engaging and Relevant Content

We talk a lot about the advantages of email marketing, but one of the most important things you can do is write emails that people want to read.

Leverage AI tools, brush up on your copywriting skills, or hire someone talented to do the writing for you. Any investment in better content will pay off many times over.

The Email Marketer’s Prep Kit for 2024

Optimize Email for Mobile Devices

Last year, 85% of readers used a smartphone to access their email. Mobile devices account for 42% of all email opens.

Statistics like this are the reason that beehiiv has responsive design automatically built in. Make sure that your emails are responsive so that your readers can access them no matter what device they're using.

A/B Testing and Analytics

Testing is one of those things in the “if you can, then you should” category.  

Test all of the major elements in your template to see if you can improve engagement and open rates.

If you send the same email repeatedly, such as a welcome sequence or a customer journey, then you should definitely A/B test your subject lines.

Mitigating the Disadvantages of Email Marketing

Anything that can't be avoided can be managed. This is how you do proactive email damage control.

Employ Effective Email Deliverability Practices

A lot of this stuff happens under the hood, so it's important to use an email platform like beehiiv that takes care of deliverability issues for you.

Build and Maintain a Clean Email List

In addition to following the best practices to avoid being labeled spam, you should make some effort to maintain a healthy email list.

Remove inactive users from your email list to avoid bounces and spam complaints. 

Ensure Compliance With Email Regulations

We've already mentioned the new Google regulations that take effect in 2024. It's important to stay on top of these things, even if you have a platform that can do most of the heavy lifting for you. 

Follow our blog to keep up with the latest regulations, rules, and best practices. 

The Future of Email Marketing

The Email Marketer’s Prep Kit for 2024

For years, email has been marketing’s best kept secret. 

This is starting to change, as more businesses and creators begin their own email newsletters and jump on the email marketing bandwagon.

In the future, it won’t be enough to just follow best practices. You’ll have to differentiate and make your emails stand out.

Artificial intelligence will soon manage and even write most emails. 

In 2023, beehiiv made history by arming our creators with AI-powered analytics and other tools. This is just the beginning.

The Power of Personalization 

2023 saw the creation of more new email newsletters than ever before. Businesses are trying to move their followers from the “rented” space of social media to email lists that they own and control.

This means that the inbox is now a highly competitive space. Personalization is going to become a vital differentiator. 

This is more than just starting your email with “Hello, {FirstName}.” 

You should be tracking as many data points as possible, such as gender and other demographics, purchasing history, responses to surveys, and links clicked.

Use this data to segment your list and give every reader a more personalized experience.

Zero-Party Data

Whenever you visit a website, certain cookies are installed on your device that allow the site to collect data about you and possibly sell this data, usually for marketing purposes. 

Users now have the ability to opt out of many cookies, and Google is going to phase out 3rd-party cookies (the ones that buy and sell your data) in 2024. 

To make a really long story short, your email is an invaluable tool for collecting so-called “Zero-Party Data.” This is information that your readers provide voluntarily.

You can collect this data through surveys, quizzes, polls, and other interactive tools. Use it to understand and segment your list for better personalization and engagement. 

Integrating Email With Other Marketing Channels

There are many ways to integrate your email newsletter with other marketing channels. You can use your emails to invite readers to follow you on social media or even point them to specific content.

The Email Marketer’s Prep Kit for 2024

Likewise, you can do the opposite and use social media to drive people to sign-up pages where they can opt in to your newsletter. 

For example, several of our creators have successfully leveraged Twitter to rapidly grow their lists. Tools in the beehiiv platform such as magic links make it even easier to grow your email list by leveraging social media. 

In fact, many of the built-in features that are part of beehiiv will keep you on top of the dramatic changes that are coming in 2024. 

You’ve already heard about deliverability tasks that are largely handled automatically. You may be aware of our 3-D analytics powered by AI, which help you optimize every email.

What you may not know is that our no-code editor lets you customize every feature of your email from header to footer. 

You can also grow your list in unique ways, some of which are unique to beehiiv. 

For example, you can boost your newsletter, give and receive recommendations from other newsletter creators, and use our referral system to track and reward readers who share your newsletter with their friends and colleagues.

If you want an additional revenue stream, our Ad Network lets you get premium sponsorship for your newsletter with just a few clicks.

The email marketing advantages and disadvantages are constantly evolving. Your best bet is to take advantage of the fastest-growing platform on the internet and start a beehiiv newsletter.

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