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Why Email Newsletters Are Making a Comeback (& Why You Should Care)

Email Is Back on Top (Here’s Why & How You Can Start a Newsletter)

In 2023, everyone’s talking about three things: Chat-GPT and AI, TikTok, and Crypto.

But… what we really should be focusing on is email newsletters.

While email newsletters have been around for 20+ years, they’ve been consistently left in the shadows while the latest thing has taken the spotlight.

But what people seem to ignore is just how effective they have been this entire time.

With an average return on investment (ROI) of $40 for every $1 spent, there’s no better place to invest your time and money. And with emerging newsletter technology like beehiiv, it’s never been easier to get your foot in the door, even as a newbie, to create new income streams.

In this article, we’ll break down exactly why email newsletters are back on top, how effective they are(with key statistics based on recent data), and exactly how you can get started with one today.

What Is the Resurgence and Importance of Email Newsletters?

I’ve been in the marketing industry for a while; and sometime in the past couple of years, I’ve watched email marketing and email newsletters experience a rebirth.

Email newsletters used to be a regular everyday medium for creators and business owners alike. But somewhere along the way in the mid-2010s, they seemed to take the backburner while marketers shifted their focus to new shiny objects.

Now, in the early 2020s, newsletters are resurging in the digital world.

Why? While every other channel seems to be in a constant state of flux, email remains smooth and steady.

Tossed To and Fro by Facebook’s Algorithm

Why Email Newsletters Are Making a Comeback (& Why You Should Care)

5 to 10 years ago, just about anyone with a pulse could throw money into Facebook ads and it would turn into a money tree. Facebook ads were once the cream of the crop when it came to generating a nearly guaranteed return on your marketing spend.

But as is the case with many ad tech giants over the years, you have to pay to play. And if you stop paying, you don’t get to play anymore. Facebook advertising became so solid for advertisers that people relied too heavily on it.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Facebook made a few changes to its algorithm that put online advertisers into a frenzy of fear and panic. Just like that, it was harder to reach audiences, more expensive to generate revenue, and profit margins started shrinking.

Guess who wasn’t phased by these changes? The creators and companies who diversified their marketing efforts and already had a newsletter. Rather than putting all their eggs in the Facebook ads basket, the prudent marketers leveraged other channels like their email newsletter to bring in revenue.

Apple’s Privacy Dagger

Why Email Newsletters Are Making a Comeback (& Why You Should Care)

In April 2021, Apple introduced major changes to its privacy controls. They released an update that drastically limited the tracking capabilities of digital advertisers. To make things even worse for online marketers, iPhone users could now choose to opt out of data sharing.

Just like that, the second tech overlord shifted the entire digital advertising landscape. Since the iPhone is the best-selling smartphone, this meant the majority of the brand’s audiences were much harder to reach effectively.

Effective marketing and content creation is all about gathering data to understand your audience, so you can create relevant messaging.

One of the best ways to gather data in a privacy-driven era is to build an email list and begin collecting first-party data. This is more important than ever because of the big changes coming to online privacy as you’ll read next.

The Death of Third-Party Cookies

The final dagger in the coffin is the end of third-party cookies.

A third-party cookie is a digital footprint that's placed on a user's device (cellphone, computer, tablet, etc.) by a website. They’re most commonly used in online advertising to track a user’s browsing history and activities to present them with personalized ads.

For instance, if you searched for “how to remove my back hair” in Google yesterday, chances are, next time you’re scrolling Facebook or Instagram, you’ll be getting ads for Dollar Shave Club or local laser hair removal services.

But that’s all about to change. Third-party cookies are going to be history sooner than later as Google is phasing them out in the next few years.

According to Justin Schuh, Google’s Director of Chrome Engineering, “Users are demanding greater privacy—including transparency, choice, and control over how their data is used—and it’s clear that the web ecosystem needs to evolve to meet these increasing demands.”

The result is that third-party data is becoming less valuable, while first-party data that’s collected on your site and stored in your email platform is becoming more valuable.

With an email newsletter, you’re able to draw people into your sphere of influence to collect your own data that they willingly opt into. The best strategy to combat these privacy changes is to create a newsletter, build your email list, and gather data, so you can best serve your audience with content that’s relevant and valuable to them.

Why Are Email Newsletters So Popular?

Why Email Newsletters Are Making a Comeback (& Why You Should Care)

With the ever-shifting landscape of the tech behemoths and the path towards more privacy, there’s no better way to market to your audience than with an email newsletter.

But these trends aren’t the only reason email is so powerful. Email marketing has always been one of the leading marketing channels. Here are three reasons why:

1. It Outperforms Social Media in Customer Acquisition.

When you’re building a digital presence, you need to think with a business mindset. Without customers, you’ll never earn a dime online. That’s why customer acquisition is so important, especially when you’re first starting out.

Even if you’re building a standalone newsletter business, you need to think about customer acquisition (since each subscriber you gain has a monetary value that you can calculate).

Why Email Newsletters Are Making a Comeback (& Why You Should Care)

Many people turn to Instagram, Facebook, and even TikTok nowadays to get more customers. And while it’s a powerful way to build and engage an audience, the data is pointing towards email being more effective.

According to an eMarketer survey of 254 retailers, 51% reported that social media drives customer acquisition, but 81% of respondents believe email marketing drives customer acquisition.

When you’re looking to draw strangers into your circle of influence, social media is a great tool. But when you’re looking to increase subscribers and drive conversions, email is a more powerful channel.

2. Email Marketing Has the Best ROI of Any Medium.

Gone are the days of dumping the majority of your marketing spend on Facebook and Google ads. While paid ads were on top for a while, the earnings are lower, privacy changes are shifting, and it’s harder than ever to remain profitable by playing their game.

Data from Smart Insights shows that Google pay-per-click ads offer an ROI of $17 for every $1 spent. That’s not bad.

The ROI of SEO is even better at $22.24 for every $1 spent.

But email tops them all with a return of $40 for every $1 spent.

That’s a 4000% return on your investment.

So why is email so powerful when it comes to driving profit? Reason #3 explains it.

3. It’s Highly Personal, Relevant, & Customizable.

Did you know that nearly 60% of businesses admit email marketing is their biggest source of ROI?

The reason it outperforms social media, paid ads, and even SEO is that it’s highly targeted. This is made possible because email marketing stands on the firm foundation of an opt-in. People have taken a specific action to consent to receive marketing messages. In other words, they’ve told someone they want to be sold to.

Even more importantly, you can split up your audience into segments based on different sub-categories. This means you can send even more specific and relevant messages to your audience that will outperform more generic ads.

Why Email Newsletters Are Making a Comeback (& Why You Should Care)

With an email platform like beehiiv, you can create custom journeys and trigger-based automations, allowing you to send the right message at the right time, even if you’re away from your computer on vacation.

4. You Own the List.

You don’t own your social media followers. You don’t own your traffic from Google’s search engine. You don’t own the visitors who see your paid ads.

In any of these instances, the tech giant can change the algorithm, update their terms and services, or simply remove you from the platform, and your audience is gone.

But when you build an email list, you own your audience. You’re not subject to algorithm changes. You’re not prone to the shifting privacy landscape. Social platforms, digital advertising strategies, and search engines will come and go, but your email list is yours.

You get to decide when you want to send a message. You get to decide the type of content you write without restriction. You can maintain profitability even during seasons of economic uncertainty.

Why Listen to Me? I’ve managed two ecommerce email newsletters over the years including one with 100,000 subscribers and one with 30,000. I currently run a digital media business, Hockey Question, that gets over 50,000 visits per month.

Are Email Newsletters Still Effective?

Email newsletters have been around for a long time -- much longer than you’d think. Back in the 90s, with the widespread adoption of the World Wide Web (www), email began taking off.

During the Dotcom era and into the early 2000s, businesses were growing rapidly thanks to email. Email newsletters began taking off, as an alternative path to traditional blogging.

But then came Facebook. And Instagram. And Snapchat. And… well, social media basically took over everything.

It took our eyes off the prize. Because, in reality, when businesses shifted their focus to social media marketing, businesses who continued investing in email got to reap the rewards.

While email newsletters have taken a back seat during the 2010s and simply weren’t as enticing as social media, that began changing in the early 2020s. With all the privacy changes and shifting social algorithms, digital creators started looking for different ways to build an audience, so they landed right back where digital marketing started – email.

The question is: Is email marketing still relevant in 2023?

Why Email Newsletters Are Making a Comeback (& Why You Should Care)

1. Email is 40 times more effective than Twitter and Facebook at acquiring customers (McKinsey).

2. 89% of marketers leverage email as their primary lead generation channel (LuisaZhou).

3. 73% of retailers admit email is their top budget item, and 20% rank it as their top investment priority (Emarsys).

4. 73% of email marketers admit email marketing is the best way to keep customers (Econsultancy]).

5. 72% of consumers prefer email as their main business communication channel (Constant Contact).

6. 99% of email users check their inboxes every day. 58% of regular email users check emails shortly after waking up (HubSpot).

7. 29% of marketers state email marketing is their most effective marketing channel (Snow.io).

With beehiiv, It’s Never Been Easier to Start an Email Newsletter!

Why Email Newsletters Are Making a Comeback (& Why You Should Care)

In 2023, there’s no doubt that email marketing is back on top. An email newsletter is a powerful way to overcome the shifting waters of social media, search engines, and the tech giants.

When you start a newsletter, what you’re really doing is building an audience that will stick with you for the long haul. You’re able to create content that will resonate on your terms, and you can leverage and monetize the audience for years to come.

Right now, it’s never been easier to launch your own email newsletter, thanks to beehiiv.

beehiiv offers content creators and business owners a simple interface that’s easy to navigate, even if you’re completely new to the email game. Built by the same team that grew the Morning Brew to millions of subscribers, we understand what it takes to create a successful newsletter business.

If you’re thinking of launching your own newsletter for a viable business, then get started with beehiiv for free today! We’re the newsletter platform built for growth.

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