So, about that prediction a while back that email was going to go the way of cassette tape — looks like that was a whole lot of nothing.

Email is STILL the most influential source of outward-bound B2B information. In fact, the only two sources of information that rank higher are co-worker recos and advice from industry-specific thought leaders.

That puts email in pretty impressive company. But some people are still not convinced. They think email is archaic and that platforms like Slack are superior — at least, that’s what these platforms are touting. But they’re not having very much success.

Email isn’t going anywhere. It’s easy. It’s universally accessible. It’s become part of our behaviour since we all got our first hotmail addresses in the late 1990s. And kudos to all the contrarians out there who had a “coolmail” address.

But here’s the best reason for sticking with email:

A recent study found a $44 return for every $1 spent on email marketing.

Yes, you read that right. A well-thought-out email marketing strategy can deliver a 440% return. So the million-dollar question becomes this: “What’s a well-thought-out email marketing strategy? The way we see it, it’s a 4-step process.

Step 1: Build a robust list

Take every opportunity to add more email addresses to your list. There’s no wrong way to do this. Some of the more common tactics include:

  • Offering exclusive content in exchange for email addresses
  • Inviting people to enter a contest by giving you their email addresses
  • Adding a request for email addressesat the end of a blog post
  • Creating social media posts that ask for email addresses
  • Collecting email addresses one-to-one at trade shows or events

We came across this blog post that breaks down the value of an email address. It’s an interesting read, but the money shot of it all is this:not only is email the most effective form of marketing, it’s also the most profitable because you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get email addresses. You just have to give people a reason to offer you a place in their inboxes. And from there, the following equation applies:

# of contacts x Conversion Rate x Average Order Value = Revenue

Now simply plug in your conversion rate and your average order value and you start to see what a quality marketing email campaign can do.

1000 contacts x 2% Conversion Rate x $10/order = $2,000

You didn’t spend any money. You didn’t run an ad. You sent an email.

Step 2: Increase your conversion rate

This is the key to maximizing the equation above: you have to get through people’s natural inclination to delete emails before they read them. And this is where you need a good copywriter.

We approach an email this way:

Subject lines — They’re everything. If they’re not compelling, the email won’t get read.

Headlines — Email readers really don’t have a lot of time. Get. To. The. Point.

Offer — What’s in it for the recipient?

Strong Call to Action — Get good at being direct in a friendly way. Tell people what you want them to do and why they should. Do that and they probably will.

Step 3: Be consistent

It doesn’t matter how often you communicate with the folks on your list. But whatever schedule you choose, stick to it. You win when people start to expect and look forward to your presence in their inboxes.

We send out a monthly email. People like it. And you will too.