A renaissance for email marketing?
Email marketing has progressively fallen out of fashion as a go-to marketing tool for the ‘hipsters’ of the marketing world. Video, animation, augmented reality and AI are fuelling more and more marques of social media which in turn has given trendy marketeers more choice for the ambitions of their trendy brands and offers.
As consumers email marketing has moved from being a novelty, to an annoyance, to feeling like harassment. It’s abuse has devalued itself.
It gets overlooked as ‘old hat’, crude and technologically redundant.
Even though we have continued to use it as part of our sales and marketing strategy, in which it has proven to be successful, I think we still regard it as ‘cheap’ or ‘run-of-the-mill’.
The current constraints on movement and contact have prompted us to view email marketing in a new light. We wanted to share our new perspective so other marketers could benefit from the value it can add.
The impact of the lockdown
Since lockdown we have had four enquiries regarding email marketing and, when asked, this prompted us to offer to do an online networking presentation on the basics of email marketing. In writing and researching the presentation we rediscovered its worth and its appropriateness for this time. Download it below:
Not only do the numbers of email users worldwide continue to grow so do the number of emails sent a day (nearing 300 billion). There is industry acceptance that email marketing offers a return on investment (some observers saying each $1 spent can result in a $42 return). We were also surprised to find industry wide averages for open rates at 17.8% and of those 14.3% click on content.
Most striking for the UK, though, is that for 2018 average click through rates were only 0.9% but by the end of 2019 this had leapt to 2.4%. Even if this is in large part due to improved data (better targeting), following compliance to GDPR, the fact remains that content is becoming more relevant to recipients – why else would we be clicking more?
How Email Marketing can help
As part of our preparation we reviewed how we and our clients were benefiting from email marketing, i.e. the role it could play in the sales and marketing process. At a glance we might view email marketing as a purely direct response medium – all about leads and sales. Yet we have ample evidence from our own experience of where it can raise and maintain awareness. We often have conversations with luke warm prospects at networking events who say they enjoy or email communications.
A more obvious benefit for email marketing is the generation of leads. Whether that be in the form of an auto-launch email enquiry, links to: web site submit forms; Eventbrite registration pages; data gathering lead magnets etc.
You might think it splitting hairs but we have seen email used to nurture leads. For instance providing a basis for phone calls and placing your brand front of mind to increase the likelihood of engagement. Moving along the sales process from there, direct sales from emails are plainly possibly in the consumer field but less obvious in business-to-business. Nevertheless for three years we have been supporting recruitment to a relatively high cost professional qualification – with email marketing the only sales support affordable.
Keeping your audience engaged
Last and core to all of these is informing and communicating – it doesn’t have to be all about leads and sales and all of the above will have some form of information and communication. What is more, email can be used to build an audiences’ knowledge, understanding and familiarity with a brand or topic – we need look no further than the plethora of Covid-19 related emails we are all receiving.
We hope you as us are no longer sub-consciously cynical about email marketing and see it playing a larger and more significant role in marketing and communications as we come to terms with our new ways of working.