The email celebrated its 46th birthday last year. Sadly, it was for some a non-event since they announced death of email marketing for quite a while now. But really? Is email marketing dead? Let’s have a look at the state of email marketing…
But first here’s a reminder what email marketing is.
What is email marketing?
An email is a message that may contain text, files, images, or other attachments sent through a network to a specified individual or group of individuals. As a result, email marketing is to directly market a commercial message to people using email 1.
Dr Dave Chaffey 2 says that email marketing is a vital part of the digital marketing mix. He suggests that “It’s arguably as important as or more important than the website itself”. It is because email offers many advantages as a communication tool. It offers immediacy, targeting and accountability and is relatively cheap.
So, the advantages and disadvantages of email marketing are as follow: 3
Advantages of email marketing
- Relatively low cost of fulfillment. The physical costs of email are substantially less than direct mail.
- Direct response medium encourages immediate action. Email marketing encourages click-through to a website where the offer can be redeemed immediately.
- Faster campaign deployment. Lead times for producing creative and the whole camp lifecycle tends to be shorter than traditional media.
- Ease of personalization. It is easier and cheaper to personalize email than for physical media and also than for a website.
- Options for testing. It is relatively easy and cost effective to test different email creative and messaging.
- Integration. Through combining email marketing with other direct media that can be personalized, such as direct mail, mobile messaging or web personalization, campaign response can be increased as the message is reinforced by different media.
Disadvantages of email marketing
- Deliverability. Difficulty of getting messages delivered through different Internet service providers (ISPs), corporate firewalls and web mail systems.
- Render-ability. Difficulty of displaying the creative as intended within the in-box of different email reading systems.
- Email response decay. E-mail recipients are most responsive when they first subscribe to an e-mail. It is difficult to keep them engaged.
- Communications preferences. Recipients will have different preferences for email offers, content and frequency which affect engagement and response.
- Resource intensive. Although email offers great opportunities for targeting, personalisation and more frequent communications, additional people and technology resources are required to deliver these.
Communicating with your customers via email if you own a website is crucial. According to the Data and Marking Association, almost 50% of consumers prefer to hear weekly from companies sending promotional emails. Others say that email marketing is no longer new and exciting and that people receive too many of them.
Who is right and who is wrong?
What is the state of email marketing?
Are emails boring?
With all the hype about social media marketing, the internet of things, artificial intelligence and augmented reality, not much was mentioned about email marketing. Dan Shewan writing in WordSteam: “Many marketers have been seduced by social media advertising, perceiving it to be not only “cooler,” but also more effective than email marketing”.
Just imagine how boring an email reader must be when she receives tens of promotional emails every day that doesn’t make a difference. Shall we call it spam? If the reader deletes the mail without opening it, or she mark it as junk, then it is spam. Spam isn’t only boring, it’s intimidating and frustrating for the reader. Sending spam mail is a quick way to destroy your brand.
We need to send an email that speaks personally with the reader…
The future of email marketing
Luckily, has email marketing started to integrate the latest digital technology that offers readers better experiences. Indeed, the high-volume, low-cost nature of email makes it ripe for innovation says Chris Camps of ClickZ.
Chris mentioned the following innovations regarding emails:
- Subject lines – The subject line is arguably the most important element of a marketing email. Research found that 47% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line alone, and 60% will report an email as spam based on the subject line alone. Tools are now available that allow marketers to use a bot. The bot accesses your email marketing data and uses machine learning to generate a subject line it thinks will perform the best with your audience.
- Dynamic content – Personalized brand interactions are increasingly important for consumers. Yet it was previously difficult to personalized email at scale. However, there are now new tools that help marketers use their customer data to automatically personalize email communications.
- Automation – One of the key benefits of email is the ease with which it can be automated. Therefore, new email marketing tools can help generate better open rates, more clicks and higher engagement – all without human intervention.
It seems that email marketing has the potential to be great to personalize your marketing campaigns.
I, (and many other commentators) say: “Long lives Email Marketing”. But, as with everything in life, success may not be tasted without a lot of effort, patience and fortitude.
Have another look at email marketing…
Also read: How to Improve Your Email Marketing Campaign
A Marketing Plan helps you to communicate the right content to the right audience.
1 Wu, J., Li, K.J. and Liu, J.S. 2018. Bayesian Inference for Assessing Effects of Email Marketing Campaigns, Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, 36(2):253-266.
2 Chaffey, D. 2006. Total e-mail marketing, Routledge.
3 Chaffey, D., Ellis-Chadwick, F., Mayer, R. and Johnston, K. 2012. Internet marketing: strategy, implementation and practice, Pearson Education.