Why Email Marketing is Still Relevant… and Effective

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In 1998, Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks celebrated the current technology of the time by emailing each other back and forth. From there, comedy and romance ensued in the ever-popular movie “You’ve Got Mail”. Now if this scenario happened today, this movie probably wouldn’t exist because of the inundation of emails we receive everyday (notwithstanding that chat rooms have been replaced by social media sites). The initial email would have gone straight to the spam folder or it would have been deleted with other countless other unknown email addresses.

Technology has made immeasurable strides over the years. With Google Docs, Slack, and other popular doc sharing and messaging apps, is email marketing still effective? Absolutely, and here’s why…

Email Engagement Surpasses Social Media Efforts

According to Kim Stiglitz on Campaign Monitor:

  • You are 6x more likely to get a click-through from an email campaign than you are from a tweet.
  • Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter.
  • 72% people prefer to receive promotional content through email, compared to 17% who prefer social media.
  • Email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel, including search and social.
  • A message is 5x more likely to be seen in email than via Facebook.
  • 24% of visitors from email marketing buy something as compared to 2.49% of visitors from search engines and 0.59% from social media.
  • The average order value of an email is at least three times higher than that of social media.

While social media is perfect for updates, promotions, and general advertising, email campaigns provide more depth for greater click-through rates driving customers to your stellar landing page. It’s similar to reading a book versus reading a magazine; one is for more comprehensive, customized content while the other depends heavily on bright images and bite-sized text.

Unparalleled, Risk-Free ROI

Email marketing is cheap comparatively. You don’t have to pay for paper and postage, airtime or print ads. If you bomb and get a low response, you can just try again with a fresh format or present new A/B testing. You can cast a huge net and even if only 10% respond, that’s a decent return. Moreover, the Direct Marketing Association estimates that email marketing yields an estimated 4,300 percent ROI.

Another benefit to email is that it is available to both large and small businesses. You can easily customize your message to your audience regardless of size or industry. A report by Blue Hornet cited the following reasons clients sign up for company emails: 64.3 percent join a mailing list to be part of a loyalty or rewards program, 39.3 percent sign up because they love the brand, 35.2 percent enter for contests or sweepstakes, 20.1 percent subscribe for exclusive news and updates, and 19.8 percent want product or service information. You can customize your message accordingly, measure your results, and adjust your frequency, subject lines, and promotions to find what attracts the most visitors. All of these changes require minimal effort and financial investment.

It’s Where Your Customers Are

“95% of those who opt into email messages from brands find these messages somewhat or very useful,” found the 2014 Mobile Behavior Report. Customers want to know the latest updates, discounts, or services that you have to offer. This is especially true when it comes to emails that are personalized. In fact, emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened and 50% of companies feel they can increase customer interaction through email personalization.

Better yet, some studies have reported that smartphone users check their phone an average of 91 times per day. Beyond calling and texting, checking emails is one of the most popular uses for smartphones. There’s something about that ping or the buzz of our smartphone that makes us all feel connected, needed, or aware.

When emails first entered mainstream society, we pretty much were relegated to clunky desktop PCs. Fortunately, as devices have evolved and have even gotten smaller, emails have progressed accordingly. Rob Cates of TargetMarketing states, “51 percent of all email is now opened on either a smartphone or a tablet. As you develop your content, make sure that your messages are mobile responsive. If your email takes a long time to download or is difficult to read on a mobile device, customers will move on to the next message and aren’t likely to revisit your email, even when they’re back on their laptops.”

The first email was sent in 1971 by Ray Tomlinson and email communication and marketing is nowhere near extinction. While the competition may be increasingly fierce, it just means that you might have to spend additional time being more creative and testing different approaches. Does the task still seem too daunting? There are a variety of email marketing companies that can help you to stand out in the crowd and create your best email campaign yet.

Image © leszekglasner / depositphotos

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Eleonora Israele is a senior analyst at Clutch, where she is responsible for research on marketing software and digital agencies. Clutch is a Washington, D.C.-based research, ratings, and reviews platform for B2B services and software.

Gravatar mystery man

Eleonora Israele is a senior analyst at Clutch, where she is responsible for research on marketing software and digital agencies. Clutch is a Washington, D.C.-based research, ratings, and reviews platform for B2B services and software.

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