In journalism, there’s an admittedly off-putting adage that goes, “if it bleeds, it leads.” Interest follows the sensational, and by association the pessimistic: the marketing industry is no exception. Each time tech takes a leap forward, or a younger demographic embraces an interactive gadget, the old chestnut reappears: email marketing is dead. To hear them tell it, you’d think that Gmail is a barren wasteland of consumer disinterest, that the cool and hip simply shop via retinal scan or whatever the latest iPhone-driven feature happens to be.
Here’s the truth: it’s nonsense. Email marketing isn’t just alive and kicking; it’s also one of the most dynamic ways to reach consumers today.
Why Email Still Reigns
It’s Growing: An August 2019 study by Statista projects that the volume of sent emails will increase from the current daily level of 300 billion to a staggering 347 billion within five years. That’s a lot of growth for a communication method supposedly fading away.
It’s Habitual: A 2019 study by Radicati notes that there are some 3.9 billion email accounts in active use; a number that means there’s approximately one email account for every two people living on earth. Each day, those email users rely on their inboxes to communicate with friends and family, do business, check on items they’ve ordered, and so much more.
It’s Cheap: No company likes to linger on budget when they’re planning big ideas, but it’s a reality that every marketing campaign needs to bow to eventually. Email marketing, thankfully, has one of the highest returns on investment (ROI) of any marketing method. With no stamps, physical media, or other components required, the highest cost of implementation is simply ideation.
Finesse Equals Success
Many of the email’s naysayers are simply using it in an incorrect or outdated way. For example, an email sent to an Outlook address may appear strictly chronologically, while the same email headed to a Gmail account may be automatically filed under a “Promotions” tab. Any email address also holds the possibility of the dreaded spam classification, as well, which is an important pitfall for marketers to avoid.
Between keywords, subject lines, emojis, and actual email content, finding a path to your customer can feel a little overwhelming. That’s why major brands and proven businesses rely on agencies to craft these important, high-value pieces of marketing for them. Not only will an agency partner help tailor emails to various accounts, but they’ll also offer guidance on timing and frequency. This timing is crucial: “too many emails” is the number one complaint that consumers report when unsubscribing from email lists.
More Than a Note
Your approach to email should grow far beyond simply sending out news or notices; an opened email is a moment of attention, a private audience between you and your customer. It’s a chance to show off beautiful pictures of new products, roll a short, witty video about new services, or engage with a discount, poll, or contest. An email can be an invitation to learn more, and a reassurance that the reader is part of an “inner circle” and a cherished customer. Each email can and should have a method to connect with your brand, including links to a relevant website and social media accounts.
While social media takes up the lion’s share of the spotlight in marketing considerations, the truth is that some of the latest-and-greatest platforms have gone from headline darlings to has-beens in the span of years or even months. Social media accounts can be compromised or vanish entirely if a platform retires. Still, email accounts often remain the same throughout a user’s lifetime — a permanent, lingering connection to a warm lead. With more than 50 years of experience and integration into daily life, email isn’t going anywhere, but it can definitely help your business move ahead.