e-mail Marketing: RIP, yet?

While Social Media proliferation seems to grow with every passing day, Marketers are increasingly seeking innovative tactics to better their existing engagement rates, given that Organic growth has touched a plateau of sorts. There has been a steady growth in an ecosystem that provides platforms to Marketers to help connect with customers and consumers alike: an impetus that has become a revolution of sorts over the past decade or more.

Has E-mail lost it’s relevance in the wake of emerging social technologies? How can Marketers deploy e-mail marketing in the growing e-commerce ecosystem? What are the implications for large enterprises to harness e-mail marketing amidst struggling Click-thru Rates?

Representing a whole lot of activities that users undertake in an Internet minute, a stark observation: over 150 million emails are being sent every minute. Yes, each minute: 150 mil e-mails are getting into an Inbox every single day! Whoa!!

Another fact that will help get a perspective is this: 59% of B2B buyers and sellers prefer not to interact with a sales rep and 74% find buying from a website more convenient.

You’ve Got E-mail

It’s hard to argue that receiving email is now often met with a groan. The reason? We’re inundated with emails. The average person gets 121 a day. The human race as a whole gets 193.3 billion. Business emails account for 108.7 billion. These are big numbers.

While listening to one of the Social Media Marketing podcasts, I’d come across a discussion pertaining to the importance of E-mail in the context of Direct messaging through Content marketing on Social Media platforms. Before that, I’d been always wondering if E-mail Marketing really matters to Businesses struggling with Open rates & Bounce rates. However, that Podcast transformed my paradigm altogether with just this statement: “E-mail is a glue that binds you to the World Wide Web”.

In other words, E-mail remains the one (and only) element that stands in way of Internet Access to Internet Journey — look around, and you shall notice that every Social Media platform requires a Username/ Email Address to verify a User’s Credentials.

Email Statistics — 2016 update

Smart Insights (@SmartInsights) partnered with Email marketing platform GetResponse ( @GetResponse) to benchmark adoption of email marketing techniques. As part of this project GetResponse has now published one of the first benchmarks comparing email open and clickthrough rates by industry sector. The chart shows that email marketing is considerably more challenging in some sectors such as retail and ecommerce, marketing services and travel compared to others such as financial services and consumer sectors.

Bounce Rate

According to data from DMA 2015, for every $1 invested, email marketing generates an average return of $38. However, not all industries have been created equal. You may have noticed that some markets are more competitive. A great number of players using advanced tactics, yet observing lower than global average Open Rates and CTRs. Other industries on the other hand, seem to have plenty to catch up in terms of methods and techniques, but observe much higher than the average results.

The results for Mailchimp are more typical of smaller and mid-size businesses, rather than large brands. This 2015 email benchmark compilation from Silverpop who are now owned by IBM so clients tend to represent larger businesses — they are from 750 companies representing 3,000 brands in 40 countries. So breakdowns by EMEA, UK, US and APAC are available too. I’ve selected the breakdown by industry which are more useful to compare your performance with.

Here are the open rates with the mean showing the variation from the poorest performing sectors like publishing and tech to consumer brands and non-profits.

Furthermore:

  • 57% of marketers will increase their email marketing budget in 2016,
  • 42% of marketers don’t use segmentation in their email campaigns,
  • 4% of marketers use behavioral and survey data,
  • 33% of email marketers don’t optimize their emails.

If all these numbers aren’t sufficient to provide confidence to Marketers to repose their faith in E-mail Marketing, I am not sure what will! E-mail is one of the applications that will never go out of fashion, it will only rise in my opinion: businesses need to re-think E-mail Marketing & look at best practices from service providers across sectors: Insurance to Automobiles, Retail to Realty, Banking to B2B with emphasis on the Customer Decision journey to help receive optimized traction from efforts

E-mail Signature

1. Masthead — http://www.technobuffalo.com/2013/02/12/ios-6-1-exchange-bug-fix-detailed-by-microsoft/

2. http://www.smartinsights.com/email-marketing/email-communications-strategy/statistics-sources-for-email-marketing/

3. http://blog.getresponse.com/the-state-of-email-marketing-by-industry.html

4. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/251752

5. http://blogs.forrester.com/category/b2b_marketing_trends

6. http://www.radicati.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Email-Statistics-Report-2014-2018-Executive-Summary.pdf