Email Marketing: Still Punching Above Its Weight In The Digital Age.

Email marketing is so last year.

That’s the view shared by many people these days. They see email marketing as a sort of dinosaur: an extinct business strategy in today’s glamorous world of social media and mobile marketing. But are they right in thinking that? Is email marketing really last year’s news? Has it passed its sell-by date? Well, not if the findings of the 2014 Econsultancy survey are correct. If true, it seems that email marketing is still very much alive and kicking.

In the 2014 Econsultancy survey, marketers ranked email as the top return-on-investment channel.

It scored higher than SEO, and was considerably more popular than ingénue channels like social media and mobile. In fact 68% of Econsultancy’s respondents rated email marketing ROI ‘excellent’ or ‘good’: in comparison, only 35% of respondents rated mobile ‘excellent/good’, whilst just 32% rated social ‘excellent/good’. So the conclusion of the survey is this: whilst email might not be the most sexy and exciting channel, it is still compelling and able to punch above its weight.

So, this obviously begs the question why is email marketing still hitting the right notes with businesses? What makes this old marketing strategy so effective in today’s digital world? Well, Econsultancy believes it’s down to 5 simple reasons:

Email marketing is more versatile and more targeted than most channels.

The greatest advantage of an email database is its constitution; that is, it is made up of current, past and potential customers. Businesses can use their extensive databases to craft and customise messages for each type of customer. This customisable versatility is a quality that is not readily found in other digital technologies.

Email marketing platforms are sophisticated but also accessible.

Gone are the days of steam-powered email platforms. Today’s platforms are sophisticated pieces of kit that can generate automated emails based on user activity, and can track and analyse returned data based on user response and engagement. The beauty of email platforms is that you’d have to be Einstein to use them. They’re easy to use and far more accessible than many other digital marketing channels.

Emails can work hand-in-hand with and complement other marketing strategies.

How can this be the case? Well, businesses control the timing and the messaging, so emails are ideally placed to support and bolster other marketing initiatives. How? Well, for example, B2B websites can use email to promote sponsored events and trade shows and can also use it to promote original content. Ecommerce websites can use email to cross-sell a variety of products in real-time based on purchase behaviour.

Email marketing is cost-effective.

Although Econsultancy’s survey shows email marketing delivers the highest ROI, it is still actually one of the least-expensive marketing strategies available. It’s estimated that in spite its high return on investment, email marketing generally accounts for less than 10% of digital marketing spend. That’s definitely value for money.

Email marketing is ideal for reaching the mobile market.

How can that be the case? Well, simply because 40% of emails are viewed on a mobile device. That’s one advantage, but there’s another too: email users, like social users check their accounts man times a day. However, if there’s a difference it’s this. Most social media posts get buried in time lines or get lost in the mix, but emails stay around until users take action. That fact increases the likelihood that they will get read eventually, though there’s no guarantee that users will choose to engage with the email once they’ve read the content. So while email marketing may not be the most exciting channel, it continues to perform at a high level and should be at the heart of every digital marketing strategy.

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