The longevity of email marketing is a heavily debated topic in the digital marketing community. Digital marketers know it’s not uncommon to come across a headline proclaiming “email is dead again” followed with acclamation for the new technology that killed it this time. The most recent example of this phenomenon came with the rise of social media.
It’s important to remember that bold predictions often garner more attention (and pageviews) than accurate ones. The truth is email marketing is far from dead. In fact, email is stronger than ever and expected to grow. With the exception of a few opinionated bloggers, the general consensus is that email is here to stay, and industry data supports that notion. Here are 7 reasons why email marketing is (still) not dead.
It’s not a secret that email is the heavy favorite among marketers. Email was ranked by marketers as the single most effective media to raise awareness, acquisition, conversion, and retention. Unsurprisingly, email marketing technology is used by 82% of all business organizations, more than any other marketing media. Businesses have become dependent on the revenue that email marketing creates. 55% of U.S. companies receive more than 10% of their sales from email marketing.
The growth in email marketing is not a new trend and isn’t slowing down for the foreseeable future. Forrester Research has reported consistent growth in email marketing spending since 2009 and estimate that spending will continue to grow from $2.07 billion in 2014 to $3.07 billion by 2019.
The labor market also confirms email marketing’s viability. Email specialization is one of the most important and sought out skills in digital marketing according to an Online Marketing Institute report. For job seekers, it couldn’t hurt to consider adding email marketing to their list of skills on LinkedIn.
The prolific use of email marketing can be explained by the fact that customers want it. Email marketing is ranked highest amongst consumers by a landslide. A 2015 Marketing Sherpa Study revealed that 72% of all consumers chose email as their preferred form of communication with businesses, more than any other communication channel. The study went on to report that 61% of consumers like receiving promotional emails weekly, and 28% of consumers would be in favor of receiving them more frequently.
The level of engagement achieved through email has also grown. The majority of businesses included in a DMA study reported having annual growth in delivery, open rate, and CTR. 76% of marketers see active growth in the number of email subscribers they have. The overwhelming majority of online U.S. adults, at 92%, use email and 61% check their email daily.
It is clear that internet use and consumer behavior vary generationally. That being said, Boomers, Gen X, and Millenials all favor communicating with businesses through email.
A popular misconception among marketers is that Millennials are interested in social media and can’t effectively be reached through email. They aren’t wrong about social media—a higher percentage of Millenials are on social networking sites than any other age group. Though social media is a way for Millenials to engage with brands, they primarily use social media to interact with friends. A study from Adestra reveals that 73% of the Millennial age group actually prefers email to communicate with businesses.
The rate of conversion is higher for email marketing, and the amount of conversion per individual is also the highest. 88% of marketers say email marketing is bringing them a positive ROI. For every $1 spent of email marketing, $38 in revenue is generated. No other marketing media comes close to a 3800% ROI.
The growth in social media marketing is undeniable. It’s an aspect of digital that cannot be ignored, but before allocating all your marketing efforts to social over email, consider these facts:
- Organic (unpaid) Facebook posts from large brands reach just 2% of their fans and that number is falling.
- CTR on email is in the range of 3% and the CTR on Tweets are in the 5% range or lower
- Conversion rates for email are three times higher than conversion of social media and the value of each email conversion is 17% higher than that social media.
- 24% of visitors from email marketing buy something as compared to 2.49% of visitors from search engines and 0.59% from social media
This shows how email outperforms in terms of reach, CTR, conversion, and ROI. The majority of marketers would agree email is a very effective business tool. That doesn’t mean that social media doesn’t deserve a share of marketing budgets.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and now Snapchat are effective in terms of engagement and branding but social media and email is a difficult comparison to make. They serve different purposes and possess different strengths. They’re most effective when they are used as complements to each other.
You don’t need to be a marketer to see the growth in the use of mobile devices. The increase in smartphone and tablet usage has implications for the growth and strategy of email marketing.
- 75% of Gmail’s 900 million users access their accounts on mobile devices.
- 91% of consumers check their email at least once per day on their smartphone, making it the most used functionality.
- During 2015, 45% of email opens took place on a mobile device, 36% on desktop and 19% in a webmail client.
As consumers become more immersed in the digital world, the viability of mobile email marketing will rise as well. It is important to make links and landing pages seamless and functional on mobile devices to make the most of mobile trends.
As technology and access to big data have become more prevalent, emails have become smarter. Emails are automated, customized and highly targeted. Marketers are now cashing in by leverage big data to create personalized, targeted email messages.
People like seeing their name in an email. A study by the Stanford Graduate School of Business revealed that adding the recipient’s name to a subject line increases the probability opening it by 20%, which translates to an increase in sales leads by 31% and a reduction in the number of individuals unsubscribing from the email campaign by 17%. The ability to personalize email campaigns is now conveniently available for marketers. Personalized emails have a 29% higher unique open rate, a 41% higher unique click rates and also have 6 times the transaction rate.
Big data is being collected in droves from virtually any connected device. Coming from phones, tablets, point of sales systems even video game consoles, consumer data is being collected and utilized to boost ROI. Of the online shoppers who receive emails based on previous shopping habits, 81% were at least somewhat likely to make a purchase as a result of targeted email.
The compiling and aggregating of data is a perpetual process. The more consumers open, click and convert, the more data is collected. Over time, behavioral data collection allows email marketers to target more accurately and with higher rates of conversion.
Given the vast amount of statistics that affirm the value of email, it’s clear that email marketing isn’t going anywhere. Without a doubt, the way people and businesses communicate is rapidly changing. We can expect the future of digital marketing to bring about a rise in new forms of media, but email isn’t getting replaced anytime soon. The numbers speak for themselves – email marketing is alive and well. We have the knowledge and ability to help your company step up your email marketing game. Contact us today to discuss how we can build a specialized gameplan just for you.