Email newsletters can help your business connect with customers—and increase sales—as long as you make sure they’re effective.

With the advent of social media and a host of new ways to market your business and products online, many businesses forget about the power of email as a marketing channel. But, according to many studies, email marketing is more effective than Facebook. If you’re still on the fence about investing the time and effort into developing a newsletter, then read on to see just how beneficial email marketing can be for your business.

1. Email Newsletters Drive Sales.

According to Jay Baer at Convince & Convert, 44 percent of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email.

It’s actually quite simple to understand why email marketing is so effective when it comes to selling. When a recipient views your email, you’ve got the opportunity to highlight a product, explain the benefits, and connect them to a point of sale in moments (if you do online sales).

People are impulsive, and including an incentive like a coupon, a special promotion, or even a call to action (“Call us now!”) can prompt your reader to take action. This impulsivity is why 7 in 10 people say they made use of a coupon or discount from a marketing email.

2. You Can Connect With Your Customers.

A recent Return Path study found that consumers receive more newsletters than person-to-person emails. While this may not be surprising, Return Path also found that one reason for that is because consumers want to receive commercial email.

When newsletters deliver great content and follow email best practices, you build stronger relationships with your customers and develop more loyalty. This results in new sales, repeat sales, and referrals.

Customers want to connect to the businesses and brands they like. Connecting to your customers in person is a matter of being personable, presentable, and professional—and that’s easy to do via email as well. Your newsletter can provide great value, beyond sales, by informing your customers with interesting content that resonates with them.

So, how do you provide value, and why does it matter?

People don’t buy because you sell. They buy because they trust you, are loyal to you, and are fans of your business. There are many ways to build that loyalty and connection via email. If you’re informing alongside your selling, you’re building a long-term relationship with your customers. That’s connecting.

3. You can boost your social media following.

According to a recent blog post from Salesforce, emails that include social sharing buttons have a 158 percent higher click-through rate. Social media channels like Facebook and Google+ are integral to your overall marketing and growth strategies. Growing those channels, however, can be tricky.

Email newsletters are highly effective for building your online community. By starting a conversation in the inbox, where engagement is more focused, and then finishing it in the social media arena, which has more reach, you’ll generate more activity on Facebook feeds and beyond. Experts recommend sending an email newsletter at least once a month.

4. You Can Increase Traffic to Your Website.

According to the Salesforce blog, 82 percent of consumers open emails from companies. If you want people to visit your website, it’s simply not enough to hope that your customers will automatically go to your website for free. Your email newsletter will play an active role in encouraging people to visit your website.

You wouldn’t throw a dinner party and assume that the right folks show up. If you want people to stop by your website, browse your content, and purchase, you need to invite, encourage, and incentivize their presence. There are many ways to accomplish this, such as including a strong call to action and ensuring your email is well-targeted.

5. Creating an Email Newsletter is Easier Than You Think.

According to Experian, $1 spent on email marketing typically provides a return of $45 to $50. The biggest barrier to sending out email newsletters regularly is that many people view it as a chore, but in most cases, it does not have to be. If you partner with a local marketer, they can do all the work for you, for between $60-$90 per month.

Using a single and simple newsletter means it’s easy to build and stay on schedule, and you avoid sinking too much time into it. Single-topic emails are also easy for readers to digest and keep up with.