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Email Marketing: Dead or Alive?

Emails, emails, and more emails.   Today alone I have 384 new email messages waiting for me to open (or delete).

Each of us suffers from inbox clutter, even you.  Consider the numerous personal, business, and yes those sometimes pesky commercial emails you need to wade through on a daily or even hourly basis.

Just how are you, as a digital marketer, supposed to break through that ever growing inbox noise to sell someone your product or service?   And furthermore, isn’t email supposedly dead?  Just ask Google.

Can’t Deny ROI

According to a recent Experian report, for every $1 spent on email marketing, the average ROI is just over $44.  I don’t know about you, but that ROI is certainly nothing to shake a stick at.

Regardless of some people acting as if they are annoyed by the amount of emails they receive, the truth is that 70% say they always open emails from their favorite companies and only 18% say they never open marketing emails.

It could be said that email falls into the FOMO phenomena (the fear of missing out).

Email marketing is also a very inexpensive way to get the marketing message of your company into the hands of both your customers and potential customers.  When a person gives you their email address by, for example, signing up for your free report, they have given you an invitation to their inbox.

For these reasons, email is still to this day the most targeted communication channel with nearly $2.1 billion spent annually on email marketing.

Number Crunch

Still not convinced email is the alive and kicking?  Consider the following facts:

  1. 247 billion emails are sent every day.  That’s one email every 0.00000035 seconds. (Source:  Email Marketing Reports)

  2. As of 2013, there are nearly 3.9 billion email accounts worldwide.  (Source: The Radicati Group)

  3. When marketed through email, consumers spend 138% more than people who don’t receive email offers.  (Source: Convince and Convert)

  4. 91% of consumers use email at least once a day, if not more.  (Source: ExactTarget)

  5. eMarketer estimates the US adult email audience will reach 188.3 million in 2013 and will continue to climb to 203.8 million by 2017. (Source: ExactTarget)

  6. 72% of consumers sign up for emails because they want to get discounts,but only 8.2% sign up because they love the brand. (Source: BlueHornet)

  7. 44% of consumers made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email they received. (Source: Convince and Convert)

  8. 60% of marketers say that email marketing is producing an ROI for their organization. (Source: MarketingSherpa)

Leaving Facebook and Twitter in the dust

According to a recent report put out by market research firm Forrester titled “Social Relationship Strategies That Work,”  brands are wasting their precious time and money on Facebook and Twitter.  They found that posts from top brands on both Twitter and Facebook reach a measly 2% of their followers.  Engagement is further disappointing with a mere 0.07% of followers actually interacting with those posts.

“Stop making Facebook the center of your relationship marketing efforts,” writes Nate Elliott, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester.  As discussed a few weeks back, Facebook has been in the process of slowing down it’s freebie traffic with their roll out of their new guidelines that are due to hit mid-January.  Unpaid efforts will most likely yield little to none, which puts anyone who solely relies on the social network in a difficult position.  Bottom line:  Pay up or move along.

More Likes for Email

The same Forrester report also shows findings that attitudes to emails from brands are actually becoming more positive, despite the fact that most tend to write them off as “spam.”

Why the change in attitude?

In 2010, 49% of US online consumers said they received too many email offers and promotions.  Today that’s down to only 39%.   19% of those same people admitted to reading every single newsletter or offer they received just to see if something was worth while to them personally.

The poll also yielded a change in “straight to trash” emails.  Only 42% of the polled stated they delete promo emails without looking, which is down from 59% in 2010.

The change up might also be because, over time, marketers have learned from their mistakes.  The “spam” you are receiving is probably more highly targeted and relevant than before.   Not to mention that, email services are becoming more sophisticated at filtering out the actual “spam” for us.


Rub of it All

Media hype often leads to “email is dead” headlines, followed by praise for whichever new technology killed email this time.

Does that mean you should throw all your eggs in the email basket?

Hell No!

Diversify.  Test.  And Test again.


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