Is Email Marketing dead?


With the advent of social media, and a barrage of Facebook and Instagram posts, YouTube videos, Tweets, Pins, Snaps, and more, there are many who argue that email, like the hand-written letter before it, has died.  There are factions of marketing experts who believe that posting to social media allows the entire world to immediately find and view your content, and to an extent, they’re not wrong.

It is possible for nearly anyone in the world to see your business’s Facebook post.  The question is:  will they?  While email isn’t new and shiny, statistics and experience show us that it is still the number one way to get information to your audience.

The Numbers of Email Marketing

After reviewing a variety of numbers on a variety of different sites, we can confidently tell you that email is still very popular.  Each year, trillions of emails are sent.  That’s a very high number for an outdated means of communication!  

In the US, lead generator software Optinmonster has discovered that, in age groups over age 15, 90% of the population sends and reads email every day.

Furthermore, nearly everyone in this group checks their email every day.  Particularly social people check their emails up to 20 times a day, and now that email alerts are a thing, smartphone users might even check each email that shows up in their inbox.  

Sure, there are filters, and some people will report emails they don’t appreciate as spam, but approximately 85% of the people you send emails to will receive it.

Think about your own email inbox.  Maybe you don’t look at the special offers and sales emails every day, but you probably take a peek into your “Promotions” folder, scan the senders and the offers, and open one or two… and chances are good that you do this every single day.

So, if we’re measuring email’s lifespan by its pulse and circulation, it appears to be doing better than ever!

Email Marketing adds a personal touch

Do you still think that email marketing is dead? Here are some more numbers:  

0% of people enjoy a straight, boring sales pitch, but 100% of all people appreciate a personal touch – a little something that says “this was created just for YOU.”  

With email marketing, you can create personalized content that doesn’t bore or alienate people with a surprisingly low investment of both time and money.  

First, consider content.  People have only so much time each day, and so very much information to process.  Some people may love to have a full color newsletter several times a year, while others want “just the facts.” 

With email marketing, you can do both, and allow your audience to pick and choose what they open.  This is a great place to engage some A/B testing.  Send email newsletters AND quick and splashy content (with links to the newsletter, of course), and check open and click through rates.

Check newsletter sign up rates, too.  This information will tell you whether your niche prefers short and to the point, or quality, unique content.  From there, you can make sure that those who prefer brevity get emails like “Now Through Saturday – Free Shipping!” instead of “3 Places in Our Hometown That Have Inspired Us.”  

And don’t stop there- A/B test frequently.  Measure click-through rates, measure open rates, and measure delivery rates.  Nothing will be 100% effective 100% of the time, so create strategies that work for each subset of your audience.

The better you’re able to tailor your email campaigns, the higher the conversion rate, and the sweeter the ROI.

Next, there’s the very simple task of putting a name on it.  When collecting email addresses from subscribers, ask for their first name.  Many email marketing programs allow you to send personalized emails, so instead of a bland announcement, the email reads, “Hi Jane!”  

Unlike social media, where you throw things onto the internet and hope they stick, email allows you to own a small piece of your audience’s time.  Address them by name.  Give them content they want to read.  And most importantly, give them options for more!

Some more reasons why email marketing isn’t dead

Email takes action: pulling up your email account, scanning the list of unread email subjects and senders, and then opening and reading email is all action.  And like Newton once said, objects in motion stay in motion.

If your email includes a call to action like “click to continue reading” or “click to redeem coupon now,” or “start shopping,” guess what a large number of readers are going to do?  Once you have their curiosity piqued, they’ll want to know more.

If they don’t have time right now, they’ll save, flag, folder, or star your email.  Calls-to-action will activate the impulse of readers to click now, and continues the chain of action that results in a conversion.

In contrast, consider social media.  Typically, people simply scroll through a feed- which is provided by an algorithm you have no control over- and glance at things that interest them.  There’s not the same level of click-through curiosity as with email!

This is not to say you need to put your social media campaigns to bed right now: in fact, email and social media can work hand-in-hand.  Cross-promotion is always beneficial, and most email services allow you to include links to your various outlets on the body of the email.

You can also encourage users to sign up for promotional emails via social media!

Email marketing is far from dead.  In fact, it is very much alive and thriving.  While social media is a free way for millions of people to possibly see your business, email is an inexpensive way to speak directly to the people who want to hear from you, and more importantly- want to buy from you!

What are your thoughts?

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