Email marketing and vampires have at least one thing in common: Both are undying.

The world of digital marketing evolves at a breakneck pace, yet email marketing still provides significant return on investment. So while you may be figuring out how best to leverage Snapchat or wondering if Facebook Live is right for your brand, don’t forget the ROI offered by a good old-fashioned email campaign.

By the numbers

Email newsletters are the third most popular content marketing tactic among professionals in the business-to-business space, with 77 percent of marketers using them. Email takes the No. 3 spot for business-to-consumer marketers as well, with 75 percent of marketers reporting email newsletter usage.

Long live email marketing best practices!

According to Jeff Baker, Director of Digital Marketing Strategy at Brafton, it’s because email offers opportunities blogs don’t.

“You can get your content right in front of somebody in a way you’re not able to with pure inbound marketing, like publishing content on your website,” he said. “The thing is, very few people will actually open it and consume it. That’s just the nature of the situation because so many people receive so many emails each day. But if your send list is big enough, there will be some people who respond, and those people can turn into a deal.”

For example, assume there’s a 20 percent chance a response to one of your emails will lead to a meeting, and your average deal size is approximately $20,000. An email campaign that results in five responses means one person will likely sit down to discuss the possibility of working together. If a deal comes to fruition, that means you just made $20,000 in exchange for a bare minimum of effort.

“That’s a lot of money for the price of writing an email,” Jeff said. “Subtract the cost of time to write one email, maybe one to two hours to get the messaging right, and the cost of an email marketing automation software, and the return on that deal is huge.”

But don’t take our word for it. Data shows the vast majority of Americans use email daily, with emails driving purchases at a rate three times higher than social media. Additionally, the average order value is 17 percent higher over email when compared to social. In fact, by one estimation, for every $1 spent on email marketing, it generates a $38 return.

Getting it right

Haphazardly sending out emails imploring people to “buy now” just won’t do. First, you have to have content worth sharing.

By publishing high-quality content on your website, be it blogs, eBooks, white papers or infographics, you’ll give your audience something worth clicking on. Providing links to valuable, relevant assets that capture lead information is a recipe for success. Asking people to provide you with their personal information without offering anything in return is straight out of the marketing failure handbook.

Next, make sure you’re using an appropriate email service provider, such as Pardot, Marketo or MailChimp.

You can’t send out 200,000 emails from your own IP address,” Jeff said. “It’s highly impractical and leaves the door open for a lot of mistakes. Plus, email service providers can communicate directly with your customer relationship manager software, making it easy to track campaigns and use that data to inform future efforts.”

Finally, target your audience. While you’ll want to cast as wide a net as possible, it pays to consider who you’re talking to.

Throwing words like ‘free’ into a subject line is going to get you in a spam filter as fast as if you’d written ‘Viagra.'”

“The subject line you write for a B2C audience is going to be very different from the one you write for a B2B audience,” Jeff said. “You also need to figure out if you’re targeting people on desktop or mobile. And don’t forget to use email marketing best practices. Throwing words like ‘free’ into a subject line is going to get you in a spam filter as fast as if you’d written ‘Viagra.’”

Launching an email campaign is just the beginning, however. Data is your friend, and analyzing your email marketing results will help you test and refine your campaigns until you have it just right. Remember, more than 205 billion emails are sent every single day. Making sure yours are clicked through is an uphill battle.

However, with the high reward and low risk provided by email marketing in terms of ROI, nothing should be stopping you from throwing your hat into the ring. After all, there’s a glut of vampire movies out there as well, but audiences keep eating the good ones up. Just make sure your emails are more “Let the Right One In” and less “Queen of the Damned.”

Eric Wendt is a writer and editor at Brafton. He discovered his love of words after realizing he was terrible at math. If he's not updating his Tumblr with poetry he's too embarrassed to share, there's a good chance he's out in search of the perfect pale ale.