If you’ve spent any amount of time around business owners or marketers, you’ve no doubt heard the wild claim that “email is dead”. With open rates plummeting and over 203 billion emails being sent each and every day (Source: Radicati), if you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s easy for your emails to get buried in the endless tide.
However, contrary to what many think, email marketing is actually growing and showing no signs of stopping. Just as online trends change over time, so too do email marketing tactics. In this article, we’re going to explore the different reasons why email marketing is still one of the most effective strategies you can employ, and then we’ll take a look at where it’s headed in the future.
Unlike with social media and PPC marketing where you’re displaying your ad to broad sections of your target audience in hopes that they click, email marketing is permission based. Whether they opt into a newsletter or sign up for some promo codes, your consumers are willingly giving you their email as a way to say “Hey, I’d like some more information”. A study done by Marketing Sherpa found that 91% of consumers like to receive promotional emails from brands they support (Source: Marketing Sherpa).
From the time the alarm goes off in the morning till the sun goes down, people are attached to platforms and services that provide them with the information they deem valuable.
While social media handles the entertainment and current events side of things, email is reserved for more important, time-sensitive information like special offers and dreaded bills. In fact, the average person checks their personal email 3 times per day!
Marketing is all about metrics, and without them, you might as well be flying blind. That being said, email marketing is one of the easiest strategies to accurately track, giving you detailed information like open rates, inbox placement, and unsubscribe rates to name a few of the important ones. With this powerful information, you gain a full overview of what’s working and what’s not so you can rectify problems and optimize emails for engagement.
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Believe it or not, email marketing generates a 30x return on investment on average (Source: DMA). So, rather than dumping hundreds and thousands of dollars into other channels (which still have their place in a balanced strategy), email marketing is a powerful way to reach your target audience without breaking the bank.
What about social media? While many of the marketing strategies you can employ across these platforms are free, email marketing has been found to be as much as 40x more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined (Source: McKinsey).
No one likes to feel like they’re being sold something. More often than not, if you try to push for a hard sale on a new lead, you have a good chance of scaring them into the arms of a competitor.
Email marketing gives you the opportunity to take a slower, more nurturing approach with your target audience, giving them time to learn more about your company and build trust. By providing them with valuable information on a regular (but not overwhelming) basis, you greatly increase the chances of earning their business when the time is right.
Email marketing is unique in being able to cater to a number of different needs. You can target niche groups within your target audience, sending value-packed newsletters, a series of emails for a new product unveiling, or even a holiday sales opportunity. With this kind of flexibility, you can formulate multiple email campaigns throughout the year to ensure you’re reaching your audience during the most important times.
Just as the fast-paced online world is ever evolving to stay relevant, so too is email marketing. With 89% of all ads being completely ignored (Source: The Balance), email is becoming a more coveted marketing channel for companies to utilize. Look out for the following trends to gain the upper hand.
More and more consumers are craving 1 on 1 interactions with the companies they’re interested in. That means, going forward, list segmentation and personalization is going to be of great importance if you want to stand out in crowded inboxes.
The more you cater to specific groups within your audience and provide them with customized emails, the more likely you are to stay at forefront of their thought and beat out competitors.
These unique emails are designed to give users a website-like experience from the convenience of their inbox. By including features like photo carousels, hover buttons, shopping carts, and plenty more, interactive emails will give you the ability to stand out to your target consumers like never before. With this technology already becoming available, be sure to beat your competitors to the punch.
The age of mobile shopping is upon us with over 23% of online purchases being made via a smartphone or tablet (Source: Statista). Since this trend is showing no signs of slowing, it’s only natural to assume that mobile email is going to continue growing in popularity as well, with over 66% of email in 2017 being opened on a mobile device (Source: Marketing Land). To stay ahead of the curve, take the time now to ensure your emails are mobile optimized.
Whether you’re a small or large scale operation, many aspects of business are becoming automated, and email is next on the list. With some preliminary technology already making this possible, AI-controlled email will help to make the time-consuming process of building a campaign much easier. Already able to make headline and image recommendations, this powerful technology will make email customization and personalization easier than ever.
Given the above information, it’s safe to say that yes, email marketing does still work and it’s features and capabilities will enable it to continue being a strong channel for business growth.