No marketing channel should be used in isolation – even email marketing.

Thanks to the recent advances in attribution technology, we’re getting a clearer picture of how channels work together and how customers interact with our marketing. We can see which marketing methods introduce new customers, assist a purchase, encourage loyalty or close a sale. We are also now well aware that there’s rarely one channel that does all the work.

In the following post we’ll look at how your email marketing helps increase the efficiency, productivity and impact of your major marketing channels – as well as being a force within its own right.

Supporting SEO

SEO is back in fashion. It’s not black magic but the simple business of putting good content on your website. Google will reward you with a high ranking if you’re producing genuinely useful content which is targeted at your audience and is highly relevant to they’re searching for.

But there’s a limit to how much organic traffic your latest blog post, press release or new product page will receive naturally. Sometimes it needs a little push along the way and if you want to share the great material you’ve produced, then there’s no better way of doing it than email.

By distributing links to your content, email encourages engagement that will increase shares, likes and comments. The more attention your content receives in this way, the higher Google is likely to rank it – all thanks to email.

Boosting affiliate marketing

The competitive nature of affiliate relationships means marketers are clambering to ‘out-do’ each other, offering increasingly competitive offers which hit the profitability of your sales. This reduces the ROI of affiliate marketing, making it one of the most expensive online channels.

But there are ways to make affiliate marketing a little more reliable with help from your email marketing channel.

Often affiliate websites will see a spike in traffic when their clients email their own databases. Some existing customers start to search voucher code and cashback sites for the latest offers when they see something on the email they like. So if you’ve got a big affiliate campaign in the pipeline then don’t forget to coordinate it with an email broadcast to spark searches.

Once you introduce new customers to your business with affiliate marketing you can then encourage them to make future purchases through your email channel with exclusive offers to your database. This will transfer customers from your most expensive channel to your cheapest, while helping to enrich your database with new customers.

Partnering with PPC

Paid search (PPC) can be one of your most valuable tools when it comes increasing your company’s visibility. A good PPC strategy will siphon off new customers from Google to the front door of your website.

It shares some key benefits with email marketing – it’s fast, flexible, and immediately measurable, meaning that you can optimise performance in an instant.

PPC and email make a great partnership – you can test subject lines and calls-to-action in email and then roll out successful ones as keywords and titles in PPC campaigns. Alternatively, you can test copy in paid search adverts and roll that back into your email.

You can even launch a PPC campaign to encourage people to sign-up to your emails by featuring a welcome offer. It’s one of the strongest mutually beneficial relationships in digital marketing.

Supercharging social

Every major retailer seems to sign-off their email template with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter icons – it’s a great way to get traffic to your social sites. But it’s not a one-way street and there’s some very savvy reasons why you should be encouraging your social media community to sign-up to your emails.

Firstly you’re far more likely to make contact when you send an email. When you update your Facebook status you can’t guarantee your customer is going to see it in their newsfeed – in fact consumers are five times more likely to see a message in email than on Facebook (Radicati).

By promoting the benefits of joining your mailing list you can regain control. When you receive someone’s email address you own the data and you can speak to them when you want. Then, when you want to bring the attention back to Facebook, Instragram or Twitter you can send an email alerting them to your social media activity so it doesn’t get lost in busy newsfeeds.

Reinforcing offline

Last but not least, it’s not just the digital channels which work harder with a little help from email marketing. We’re dual screening all the time – on our phones, ipads and TV screens. According to research, 46% of people are using their smartphone as a second screen whilst watching the TV (Neilsen).

With the advent of smartphones our emails are never far away and should be used to reinforce the marketing efforts of print ads, direct mail and telemarketing.

Achieving closure

So where does email marketing fit into the consumer’s journey with a brand? With the highest ROI of any marketing channel, email brings in nearly £25 of sales for every £1 you spend (DMA, 2014) suggesting it’s often the biggest closing channel, securing sales.

It also does a pretty impressive job of retaining customers and encouraging loyalty by bringing them back to your website. This doesn’t mean that email does all the work, but it’s there when it counts. In fact it’s likely that we’re underestimating the ROI of email as its assistance to other channels is rarely credited.

So next time you’re thinking about your digital marketing strategy, get smart about using email to boost the efficiency and impact of all your other channels, and see how much more you can get out of your time, money and effort.

Download the Pure360 & The Drum Market Insight Report: Big Data Edition