How Does Email Fit Your Digital Marketing 

The newly found Email Digital Marketing is finding its way in the marketing world and is preferred to be used alongside other channels. This article covers everything you need to know about email marketing as a beginner, answering all your Whats and Hows.

Robbie Fitzwater
Updated on

If you’re aiming for a fruitful business venture, you should make Email marketing an essential part of your marketing activities. But as it is relatively a new concept, being confused about its role and importance in the marketing world is well justified.

Let’s not worry! This article covers everything you need to know about email marketing as a beginner, answering all your Whats and Hows.

So, without any further ado, let’s dive right into it!

How email is used in digital marketing?

Email marketing is all about driving consistent communications, building the brand’s reputation, and also building relationships with the audience based upon that reputation, and then finally moving forward towards expanding on those relationships.

Once they become a part of this process and engage themselves with your message, it opens the door to nurture them until they make that first purchase. And when they make that first purchase, the focus shifts to retaining them to make more purchases in the future. 

Email marketing has its way of owning the relationship between the audience and the communication piece. It works to see how different audience reacts to different algorithms and different pieces of your marketing.

For example, if we turn off our ads, nobody’s going to see them… 

If organic takes a hit after we change something on our site changes or Google updates its algorithm, we won’t have the reach we once had…

If social changes an algorithm, our audience may no longer see our posts…

However, with email, what makes it different and unique is we own so much of that relationship. We have an addressable audience that we can reach and influence that is not beholden to our credit card clearing or an algorithm serving it up. 

This allows us to nurture and shape this communication in our way, which is very unique as we wouldn’t be dependent on and controlled by other channels. And this is something extremely powerful because it allows us to scale those one-to-one interactions that we wish we could do with everybody. 

We can do that with a lot better, cleaner, and more precise data in the way that we’re able to communicate with our audience, i.e. with prospective purchasers and returning purchasers. This allows us a lot of unique opportunities to grow our business

Why is email marketing so powerful?

In older times, there haven’t been more channels and opportunities to grow in terms of digital marketing. As explained by this graphic below that, I made a while ago.

different channels of digital marketing

So basically, in modern time marketing strategies, we have many things under the umbrella of digital marketing. These include SEO, mobile, places where you can market affiliate influencers, your website, social email messaging, SMS, AR, VR, and many more other channels that are not included in this graphic. 

In this era now, there are just too many channels for marketing purposes. They are not just limited to those shown in the graphic; you could throw a lot of other things into this bucket.

Another thing about today’s marketing is that it has never been moving faster than the pace it’s running right now.

I always make a joke saying, “So today’s the slowest rate of technological change. You’re probably going to see the rest of your life. 

And we have got to admit that this is kind of scary and kind of crazy, but it’s true.

Where does email marketing fit into your digital marketing?

As an e-commerce practitioner, it is important to know where email fits into this and why it is important. There is a good need to know all about digital strategy as a whole and also its components.

So, let me share with you the things I learned the hard way from my own journey that later helped me understand how email marketing fits into the digital marketing mix:

  • Never depend on one or two channels 

One thing you need to know as a business person is that you cannot be dependent on one or two channels because business environments are very unpredictable at times, and things can change at any point, causing problems

Sharing from personal experience, when I started my career in social media back in 2011, it was a wild phenomenon. 

Whenever I shared information, my entire audience could see it making me believe that my business has now got an incredible reach. However, the truth was a little different.

On channels like Facebook or Instagram, that organic reach that you got to enjoy? That’s not going to be there forever. 

So it’s like, such social platforms are kind of like a drug dealer, which lets you have a first free taste. You get a lot of nice organic rates and engagement in the beginning, and then it starts costing you. 

As competition increases on these channels due to becoming more crowded, it becomes harder to reach that organic audience. It becomes harder to control the volatility that this competition brings with it for the business. So it’s better to not depend your marketing on only a couple of channels. 

  • A stool is never stable with two legs

When talking about this, I always give the example of a stool with two legs. So how does it feel to sit on a stool with two legs? Does this stool look very stable? Are you going to feel confident or even comfortable sitting on a stool with two legs? 

The answer is obviously no. It’s not comfortable. It’s like you’re always in a balancing act because things could change at any given time.

So this is where this email becomes so important here, like let’s say our pay channel or organic are driving a lot of traffic for us or a lot of revenue for us. 

We introduced email as one of those third channels. And by doing that, we add another leg to that stool, which makes it more comfortable and balanced than before. It gives us a lot more stability because I’m not balancing on two legs only now.

So if the paid leg of the stool begins to dry up or our ads are performing poorly, or we migrated sites and our pixel needed to retrain itself, we’re still fine because we have the other two channels (organic and email) that are going to help prop us up. 

And if organic took a nose dive, if we had a penalty in organic search, we hopefully will have paid and email to keep us going.

So in cases, we may be ramping up our paid budget, we may drive sales through email. And if we dropped our organic, hopefully, we’re going to get that back eventually, but it’s scary to not have that option and fall through the floor, and then all we have to do is paid. So again, as we said before, being dependent on only two channels stinks. 

  • Going upstream from digital marketing

So that’s where email gives us a lot more stability because we own that relationship. 

We get to communicate with our audience and build a personal relationship with them. And not to forget that the people who are most probably likely to purchase our products the most are going to be these existing customers.

The concept here is too easy, which suggests that let’s not bring in new people. Let’s look at bringing them back. And that’s a unique opportunity that we have through email, and that’s what makes it such a powerful opportunity for businesses

One way of viewing digital marketing strategy is in terms of three different ways to geometrically grow a business, i.e. by increasing the number of purchasers that are purchasing from our site, by increasing the average order value for each order on the site, or increasing the number of purchases each person makes or the frequency of making those purchases.

But what if we double any one of these three strategies. It is eventually going to double the revenue of the business, which is kind of unique and kind of different, but everybody focuses all their attention on the acquisition side, just because it’s appealing.

And, when you come to think of it, email gives us a chance to perform that retention piece well.

So, if we’re doing it well enough, building an audience and adding value to it, we’re most probably increasing the average order value along the way too. Hence, we still need the acquisition piece, too, because it brings too many unique opportunities for the business

It is the same thing you do on social, except you can say you are three steps closer to the cash register and you’re not battling an algorithm all the time because you don’t have to constantly worry about Facebook or other social platforms and how and when they are going to change the rules. 

It’s all about stability, and building a one-to-one relationship that you wanted through these social channels is now granted by email marketing.

This also provides a lot of opportunities for the retention side of the marketing, which is in some ways not given the attention that it deserves. 

So, if every e-commerce business had to think about their business, like a software as a service business, for example, Spotify doesn’t make a ton of money off on the first purchase, but it does make $15 a month, every single month. 

If you compound that over 36 months, you realize that it’s a lot of revenue for them. It may not be enormous in the front end, but it’s gradual and over time, and that lifetime value goes through the roof eventually 

Another example that could explain this better is grocery stores. Can you estimate how much we spend at a grocery store over the given 10-year window? If you go to any grocery store in your area, you or your family are likely going to spend around $50,000 at one grocery store. 

As a business, they want to retain those customers to keep them coming back. And that’s kind of the way we look at the retention side, but again, as we said earlier, it doesn’t get the attention it wants. 

So how we can prevent this is that we simply retain customers. We try to minimize the customer turnover by using the email power as a tool, owning that onboarding experience. 

Suppose if somebody is purchasing a car, they’re likely looking at 18 to 25 different sources of information before making a decision. They would need a lot of different information, and data points to help me make a decision. And so they look around for support from the business because it’s not like I’m out for purchasing a Band-Aids. So again, that onboarding piece is really powerful and helpful.

And also, for products that people don’t know how to use that, onboarding can walk them through that process and make sure they’re going to be successful using that product

  • Paying attention to Growth Multipliers

From another perspective, we also focus on growth multipliers that optimize retention and lifetime values and also the average order value, which would typically go up if we keep informing and educating about our product. 

This makes our email strategy much more powerful as it allows the owner to perform better by providing an experience for the customers that would be very close to reality. We might use personalization automation that would allow one-to-one interaction that we wish we could do in a physical retail location. 

For example, making it look like the customer is walking through our store, and we’re giving them a personalized tour, making personal recommendations, and valuable, helpful tips.

This is going to add much more value to the customer, and that person’s likely going to walk out the door of that retail location with a higher, higher purchase value. This is what we can do through email and make that personalized experience seamless and well-aligned.

There is a lot more you can do in digital strategy, For example, email and SEO working together, which is a very common concept. 

So it’s good to have good content, but it’s a game-changer if you have great SEO content which can be used through email. It provides a great opportunity because suddenly, I can monetize that content fast or email it before it ranks or drives revenue through organic.

Also, the concept of automation and sending emails based on triggered behaviors is very helpful here. 

So if somebody does something, we can automate a message on that. We can automate a trigger to communicate that with them, guide them down one path, and that’s going to be helpful to help us understand where this all fits.

How Do Other Digital Marketing Channels Benefit Email Marketing?

Let’s have a look at that list for answers!

  • SEO

SEO helps to drive traffic organically, and once that happens, we can get them onto an email list. This creates a great likelihood of transferring them through a welcome sequence or any other email communication sequence. 

So again, once that organic channel brings them in, we hopefully are getting them onto a list where we can communicate with them and hopefully drive them towards that conversion. 

All this is going to depend on the type of category they fall in (i.e. are they problem aware, solution aware, or product aware) and the customer journey stage they are in.

They’re also going to need a lot of information regarding the product or prices, and that’s where SEO is going to benefit them in the research phase. This is going to make SEO look good because my conversion rate is going to go up. 

  • Paid

You’re bringing people into the door through paid. 

Some of those people may be part of the funnel. They may be again shopping, Google shopping ads, where they’re ready to pay. They’re looking for a price, and they’re ready to go granted. 

Have they been in the cart, we could still bring them back in, and that would’ve impacted our conversion rate. And it’s also going to make those ads perform at a higher level

So again, paid works well here where they’re bringing people into the top of the funnel, and email is going to be hopefully bringing them back in the middle and the bottom of the funnel to get them to make that purchase and convert them over. 

  • Social

There are instances when we can pull somebody from our social channels into behaving in a certain way. If I can take a social follower and get them over to an email subscriber, that’s a lot more valuable customer for us because we’re not following that typical social algorithm to reach that person.

So again, social fits into the same category as paid search or paid display, where it is top of the funnel ideal. But in terms of organic social, we’re able to get people from a social channel into our email list. And hopefully, from there actually, get them to eventually convert.

We have before talked about audience hierarchies. This is just like that. We want to take somebody from our social follower to an email subscriber because we have just a lot more structure and a lot more ownership of that relationship, which gives us a lot more power as a marketer.

  • Using the whole Buffalo 

“Using the Whole Buffalo” basically means to take what we’re doing on one channel and incorporate it somewhere else. We get the most use out of the content we have and get to maximize its effectiveness across our marketing.

How do I take what I’m doing in SEO and incorporate it into an email? How do I take what I’m learning in email?

This CTA works well with this audience. We should use that here in this organic piece. That’s what we need to be thinking about. And it is how is going our different marketing efforts going to inform each other.

As I have said earlier many times, this email should be kind of your digital Petri dish for doing those experiments and making sure they’re working because you can test so many different things, and you can come out with really well-defined results.

So again, this is where it kind of fits in well, and while that customer journey can be extremely long, in some cases, email helps to create that stable platform from again, first touch until last touch and conversion. 

And then also beyond that, beyond that last touch and bringing them back in the door to hopefully convert if they are on that retention side.

Hence, that retention side is extremely important and extremely helpful, but that’s where all of these work together. 

So this article that we’re writing for SEO, we can use that in an email because they probably need different part products in your specific category at different times of the year; let’s make it relevant. Let’s make it helpful. And let’s use that in there, and we can really get the most out of our content. 

So, in terms of monetization of what we’re doing, it gives us a lot more opportunities to drive revenue from content and allows us to invest in it early because we see a faster ROI from it. 

Examples of different types of email in marketing

The different types of email in marketing include promotional and informational marketing.

I prefer to focus more on informational marketing as it focuses on building the audience, which is ultimately the main goal of the whole marketing phenomenon.

It is a long and hard process to build a concrete audience in many cases, but when you can do that and build an informed, educated audience, you’re going to have an audience who’s more willing to buy and more willing to purchase who sees you as a trusted expert. 

When you put yourself in that position, it’s really helpful, and you’re naturally going to think of it, and that’s what gives us a lot of unique opportunities. 

Is email marketing important in 2022?

Yes, it’s extremely important. 

This can prove to be your highest ROI channel and your biggest opportunity channel. And once you can understand your customer journey and their behavior, it gives you the most power of any of your other marketing channels.

It gives you an owned relationship where you’re directly going to convince the other party to make purchases or to return. And it provides us with the opportunity for a lot more business growth. 

As we said, with email, there is a lot less instability, and it gives us a chance to kind of expand in different ways and deepen the relationship we have with our existing customers.


So to sum it all up, it is important to think about email as a channel; it’s important to give it the time as it deserves your attention and concern like any other relationship in your life. 

Spend time and attention on the retention side of things.

This type of care and devotion gives you a lot of unique ways to differently look at your email audience and gives you ways to drive more revenue through your digital marketing activities.

So this is all I wanted to talk about in this blog! Hope it was helpful and answered all your questions. 

Don’t forget to give your feedback in the comments below and ask anything if there is any confusion or missed out points.

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