Is Email Marketing Dead?
Updated: Feb 5
Are you using email campaigns as part of your marketing strategy? If you are, you are in good company; recent surveys have suggested that anywhere between 60% and 93% of businesses spend time and money on email marketing. And while you might be questioning if email marketing is still effective, consider this: according to The Manifest, “There are more than 4 billion email accounts across the world, and businesses are more successful at reaching consumers through email than social media: 90% of emails reach the correct consumer’s inbox, but only 2% of Facebook followers see a business’s posts in their News Feeds."
SHOULD I BE USING SOCIAL MEDIA OR EMAIL?
Both! Comparing social media to email is a bit like comparing apples to oranges, as they both have their place and purpose in an overall marketing strategy. But when it comes to conversion rates (in simple terms, the percentage of visitors that “convert” - in other words, do what you want them to do) email far outperforms social media. Here are some interesting insights from 2018-2019 surveys:
59% of respondents say marketing emails influence their purchase decisions. (SaleCycle, 2018)
59% of marketers say email is their biggest source of ROI. (Emma, 2018)
More than 50% of U.S. respondents check their personal email account more than 10 times a day, and it is by far their preferred way to receive updates from brands. (Campaign Monitor, 2017)
It's estimated that the U.S. will spend over 350 million dollars on email advertising in 2019. (Statista, 2019)
58% of smartphone users start their day by checking their email. Only 12% fire up their social media first thing. (Optinmonster, 2019)
44% of users check their email for a deal from a company they know, whereas only 4% will go to Facebook. (Optinmonster, 2019 )
60% of consumers state that they have made a purchase as the result of a marketing message they received by email. (Optinmonster, 2019)
HOW DO I MAKE MY EMAIL CAMPAIGN WORK FOR ME?
You have been on the receiving end of email marketing campaigns, and you have ignored, deleted, or unsubscribed to so many of them that you may worry your own emails will meet the same demise. Asking yourself why those emails didn’t work for you will supply you with many of the answers you need. But here are some key points to consider when designing your email strategy:
I’m leading with the biggie. And while this seems intuitive, it is the number one concept most of my clients have difficulty grasping. Sending emails just to send emails is worthless if they go unopened. Ask yourself what value is your email offering? What is a problem your readers have that you can solve? Alternating your promotional emails with newsletters that deliver interesting, relevant content is more effective than a barrage of product launch and discount emails.
If you sell wellness products, offer a newsletter that gives your readers tips on healthy living. If you’re a realtor, offer a newsletter that helps your reader learn how to stage their home for selling. If you don’t know what to write about, don’t be afraid to ask your subscribers. People love to give their opinions.
Email marketing (well, all marketing) is about relationship building. Your emails should be like a reliable, trusted friend. How often you email will vary depending on your audience and your goals. According to Direct Marketing Association’s National Client Email report, 69% of users unsubscribe due to too many emails. Most marketers (35%) send two to three emails a month. 9% of marketers send 6 to 8 emails a month, and 19% send just one email a month. It’s ok to experiment and determine what works best for your business or organization, but once you’ve determined what’s worked, stick with it and be consistent.
WRITE AN INTERESTING EMAIL SUBJECT LINE
Your email has lots of competition for your reader’s attention. When it comes to increasing open rates, spending time creating the right subject line can be as valuable as the content provided. Marketing experts recommend making your subject line short - less than 40 characters - no more than 5 words. Consider a question for your subject line. Your subscriber’s instinctive desire for the answer will increase the odds the email will be opened. (Consider “Is Email Marketing Dead?" over “How to Use Email Marketing Effectively.”) And finally, take out any spammy language! You know what that means.
GET PROFESSIONAL HELP
You didn’t get into business to write email content! You have other things to do with your time directly related to the product or service you are offering. But don’t rush through it. Your professional credibility is on the line. If your message is not clear, concise, and compelling or is full of grammatical errors, your subscriber is likely to question (consciously or unconsciously) the level of quality of what you have to offer and your qualifications to offer it.
At the very least, get some extra eyes on it for proofreading before hitting send. It’s incredibly difficult to proof your own work. While it can be helpful to proof your writing on the computer then print it out and read it out loud, it’s still too easy to miss your own mistakes.
If you’re not a confident writer, find someone who can help you. There are many affordable editors and writers out there (including this author!) who are happy to help! If you’re on a really tight budget, try reaching out to your local community college for hungry English or Journalism students. Searches on Thumbtack, UpWork, and Editors Freelance Association can provide a good pool of professionals to choose from.
What it comes down to is this: email marketing is about building a relationship with your subscriber. If you have consistently offered valuable, professional content targeted toward your audience, you will have developed trust, and when the time comes that they need what you have to offer, they will choose you.
Always Write is a Constant Contact partner. We help proof, edit, or write content for your email campaigns, design newsletters, and manage mailing lists. Let's chat about how we can help you meet your marketing goals.