Is email marketing still an effective resource of ROI? Is it still a good tool for marketers?
Emailcenter’s latest whitepaper, The Journey of Email Marketing, attempts to answers these questions with an analysis of data aggregated from billions of emails over the past four years.
Here’s what we learned after combing through the research.
1. Email Marketing Isn’t an Old Dinosaur
With the emergence of newer, flashier, and seemingly more savvy digital marketing channels, it’s easy to see why some people think email marketing is on its way out. But after digging into the research, we found that email is actually increasing in importance. You don’t have to take our word for it either—numerous sources show email to be a key part of the marketing mix.
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In fact, a recent study found email to be nearly 40X more effective in acquiring customers than Facebook or Twitter. Not only that, another study found that email marketing outperforms Google Adwords and Facebook paid advertising.
2. Users Actually Prefer Email
A survey by Marketo showed that 77% of consumers prefer to receive permission-based email marketing compared to any other type of online marketing. Surprised? Consider that email spam has fallen over the years, while spam on other online marketing channels (for example, social media) is on the rise and there is little offered in the way of filtering.
3. Email Marketing Is Cost Effective
The same study also found that email marketing generates nearly double the ROI of other channels. Each $1 spent on email marketing brought in $40.56 ROI. With CMOs experiencing increased pressure to map investments to revenue, this kind of return speaks volumes to CEOs and board members.
4. Subject Line Length Is Not the Make-or-Break Factor
The data suggests there’s no one-size-fits-all rule for email subject length. Turns out, open rates for emails with subject line lengths ranging between 2 and 9 words saw a consistent year-over-year improvement, meaning the subject length is simply not that important. To really make an impact, email marketing is now more focused on audience segmentation and relevant content.
5. Email Automation Triggered by Behavior Is a Must
With marketing automation software, behavior-based emails have created enormous potential for personalized messaging and content distribution. Once marketers identify certain valuable actions or demographic cues, they can send segments relevant messages to gently nudge the prospect to convert at the right moment. Research suggests open rates of behavior-based email campaigns can go as high as 70%. Despite this, only 1/3 of companies are using trigger-based emails. This is a great opportunity to get ahead of competitors.
6. Mobile Is the Future
Constantly connected to mobile devices, people now consume emails anytime and everywhere. Email opens on mobile have shot up from just 14.8% in 2011 to 47.4% in 2014. And other data shows that clicks on mobile devices generate an ROI of $7.14, while desktop clicks are worth just $3.26.
Prioritizing mobile optimization is a must, otherwise, you’re missing important opportunities to reach your target audience at their convenience. For example, data suggests mobile devices have made a huge difference to open rates in the morning and evening due to commuters, who previously were unable to read emails on the go.
So What Can We Take Away from This?
Email marketing continues to be an essential component of a digital marketing strategy. The data highlights this fact: Users prefer to receive information via email over other channels.
Mobile device usage is growing and will continue to do so; therefore, it’s essential that emails are responsive and optimized for smaller screens. To ignore this segment of your audience is to potentially lose half of your opportunities to reach a user.
Each audience is unique and will respond differently to emails. Marketing technology needs to be used to see what works and what doesn’t to enable marketers to eliminate ineffective expenses and push email campaigns to the next level.