Two things have been dominating digital marketing news – the end of the 3rd party cookie and Apple’s continuous vendetta against digital marketers. Namely, their recent iOS change that essentially makes one of the most often used data points in email marketing (the open rate) useless. These types of headlines may make you wonder if email marketing may become a thing of the past. But as we see it, email marketing is here to stay and will remain a key tactic in our clients’ marketing efforts for years to come. But like everything in our industry, we will evolve with the changing landscape.
Is email marketing dead? No! And here is why
Email marketing is still widely used
Email has become a part of our daily lives since the 1990’s and isn’t going anywhere any time soon. There are over 4 billion email users around the world and over 400 billion emails sent every day. In a span of 30 years we have gone from email being the newest form of communication to 2.4 billion emails being sent every second. And these numbers are continuing to grow at a steady pace year over year.
Emails are still an essential form of communication for businesses and are used daily to increase sales, convert new customers, and support brand loyalty.
Email marketing is affordable
Of all the marketing channels out there, email marketing remains one of the more affordable options. Email marketing has an incredibly low cost of entry – MailChimp is the most widely used email marketing platform and its pricing is incredibly affordable (even free). Once the email marketing software is purchased, you just need to write and execute your emails.
Of course you can invest in a more sophisticated email and marketing automation platform that allows for automated workflows, conversion forms, variable data and more. These bells and whistles are great but at the end of the day a simple, well-written email going to a targeted list of contacts will have a higher ROI than most marketing tactics. In fact, according to HubSpot, email marketing has an ROI of 4,200% and generates $42 for every $1 spent.
Email marketing is trackable
Like all digital marketing tactics, emails are completely trackable. And while Apple’s recent iOS update has made tracking open rates less important, there are numerous other data points that you can use to track the effectiveness of your email marketing.
- Traffic: How many email recipients clicked from your well-written email to your website? What is the CTR?
- Engagement: What did they do when they got there? How many pages did they visit? What was their path?
- Conversions: Did they fill out a lead generation form or make a purchase?
Email marketing is effective
Email marketing remains the most effective form of communication despite the growth of social media marketing and privacy concerns. The average open rate is 22.86% and click through rate is 3.71%. Compare these engagement rates to the 0.58% on social channels, time and money is better spent on email campaigns that speak directly to your target audiences.
But it is not always easy, over 50% of all emails are considered spam. Emails can easily turn off potential and current customers. It takes some trial and error for every business to figure out the correct cadence, content, and level of personalization to drive engagement, sales, and loyalty.
Tips for Success
Develop an Email Marketing Strategy
While the ease of email marketing allows you to be reactive and send quick emails to your audiences on a whim, it is always best to develop an email marketing strategy. By mapping out each of your email marketing campaigns, you can see a full picture of who you are communicating with and when. This will help to not only stay on schedule but also prevent yourself from sending too many emails too frequently.
Optimize for Mobile
Make sure all of your emails are optimized for mobile devices. Over 68% of emails are opened on a mobile device. Don’t believe it? Check your analytics to see what percentage of your website traffic is on mobile vs. desktop – you may be surprised.
Segmentation and Customization
Segment your recipient lists so you can write content that is the most relevant to that segment. Segments can be based on date of last purchase, geographic location, products or services they are interested in, and more. The more relevant the content the more likely the recipient will be to engage.
Consider investing in an email platform that allows for automation. Whether it is sending an automatic welcome email when a prospect fills out a lead generation form or a drip campaign to nurture a longer sales cycle, email automation makes your job easier.
The frequency at which you send emails can be a delicate balance. Too many emails and you annoy your recipients, too few and they forget who you are. The frequency of your email communication will depend on your sales cycle, the goal of the emails and more, but it is something that should be tested and changed to improve performance.
What action do you want the email recipient to take? Do you want them to visit the website to read your latest blog post? Purchase the product they left in their shopping cart two days ago? Whatever your call to action (CTA) be sure that is clearly stated and prominent on the emails. You cannot expect the recipient to take action if they are not what they should be taking action on.
One of the best things about digital marketing is the ability to easily A/B test. You can easily test a different subject line, CTA, messaging, email cadence and more to see what performs the best. These learnings can all be applied to your next email marketing campaign to only improve performance and ROI.
So is email marketing dead? It’s alive!!
Despite the changing landscape, email marketing is here to stay and remains one of the most effective forms of communication for B2B and B2C businesses. But like everything else in our industry, our approach to email marketing must adapt.
Do you need help with your email marketing? Call the team at RedShift to learn how we can make email marketing work for you.