E-mail Marketing: Outdated?

E-mail is phased out by social media. Millennials do not use e-mail. Other marketing tactics are more effective than e-mail marketing. These frequently held misconceptions are in sharp contrast with actual data. There are about 5.5 billion e-mail accounts, and this figure is increasing further. E-mail is used by 92% of Internet users, while 79% of them have a social media profile. This means that e-mail is a marketing channel which withstands the competition of social media, and has solid potential for further growth.   

Despite the anti-hype, e-mail is an effective marketing channel. An e-mail campaign is 6 times more likely to generate click-troughs than a tweet. A message is 5 times more likely to be seen in an e-mail than in a Facebook post. MarketingSherpa reports that 72% of people prefer to get promotional material by e-mail, while only 17% prefer social media. Furthermore, e-mail marketing creates more sales conversions than any other medium, reaching 66%. The average order value through an e-mail transaction is more than 3 times higher than that of social media. 

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According to eMarketer, 81% of retail professionals say that e-mail marketing is an effective way to acquire new customers, 51% think the same about social media. That makes e-mail more than 40% more effective in acquiring new customers than through Facebook or Twitter. This happens partially because there are many people who read e-mails, compared to a low number of people who check the social media activity of companies. 

All of this means that e-mail marketing is an important marketing channel. One of the key benefits of e-mail marketing is its reach: e-mail can reach more targeted customers than any other marketing channel. Compared to other marketing channels with fluctuating results, e-mail consistently delivers quality results. More than half of marketers agree that e-mail generates the most return on investment (ROI) to their companies. It is estimated that it generates a 44$ return for every dollar spent.     

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To improve the effectiveness of e-mail marketing, some practices should be abandoned:

(1) Impersonal subject lines. Subject lines determine an open rate. To increase the number of clicks, think of the key take-away of your e-mail, and write a short subject line that would make subscribers click.

(2) Ignoring General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). The regulations ensure that readers give clear permission to receive marketing e-mails. GDPR-compliance means that e-mails will be sent only to those users who are genuinely interested in certain brands. 

(3) Using ‘mobile-unfriendly’ templates. E-mails that are not mobile-friendly can increase your bounce rate exponentially because of poor user experience. Businesses which use e-mail automation software need to check both their desktop and mobile previews when drafting their e-mail design. If the template does not look good on mobile or makes the key message difficult to understand, it should be replaced with something else.

(4) Poor e-mail design. An e-mail newsletter with long paragraphs, an old template and a repetitive call to action (CTA) is more likely to repel users and direct them to competitors’ newsletters. More attractive design is thus important for the customer retention rate. 

(5) A non-strategic use of metrics. Tracking metrics provides insights on how to improve marketing decisions. For example, a marketer who checks metrics regularly notices that the bounce rate is high. This information tells them what to focus on to improve the next marketing e-mail. 

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References:  Sulabh Shekhar Gupta, linkedin.com | campaignmonitor.com | Kayla Carmicheal, blog.hubspot.com