Is Email Marketing Out of Style? AS IF!

116 & West

Lots of things from the 90s are finding new life lately – high-waisted denim, Converse, and mini backpacks are all the rage. That being said, things in the digital realm tend to be immune to vintage trends like this. I certainly don’t come across Walkmans, Tamagotchis, or fax print ads too often anymore. But email marketing, like the acid wash Levi jean, is still going strong in 2019.

With the rise of social media marketing, it seems like email marketing would have slipped into Nokia 5110-style obsolescence by now. However, it’s not just sticking around – it’s better than ever. In fact, 85% of marketing executives agree that email marketing performance is on the rise.¹ And the thing is, people actually want to receive promotional emails. A 2017 report from Return Path and Ascend2 revealed that 91% of customers do.

So what is keeping email marketing young? The rise of big data, e-commerce, and smartphones has kept it going in the modern business world. But since so many organizations take advantage of this relatively affordable marketing tactic, there’s a lot of strategizing involved to make sure your emails aren’t getting lost in those crowded inboxes.

Building a Successful Email Marketing Campaign

The Data

  • Doing “opt-in” email sign-ups prevents people from feeling spammed and ensures that your recipients are actually interested in what you’re sending. Luckily, there are all sorts of fun and creative ways to do this:
    • Enter and share giveaways – advertise free services or prizes in exchange for signing up with email.
    • Online forms or surveys with incentives and exclusive offers in exchange for signing up with email.
    • Landing page welcome incentives for signing up.
  • Take advantage of purchase history information. The data you’ll find here can help with several of the points to follow!

The Audience

  • Segmentation can work wonders with email marketing. To see a higher ROI, swap out those generic blanket-statement emails in favor of customer segment-specific ones. Divide your contacts up strategically based on their relationship with your brand.
    • For example VIPS, active long-time users, new customers, reactivated customers, etc.

The Subject Line

  • If you can make your subject line customized to feature the recipient customer or company’s name, you can boost open rates by up to 22.2%. ²
  • Feature incentives in the subject line. In a sea of emails, showcasing “50% Off Your Favorite Brands” or “Boost Consumer Engagement by 25%” will go miles further than a generic “Check This Out!”
  • Be selective with your words. The following words and phrases tend to result in increased email opens:
    • 24-hour giveaway
    • Back in Stock
    • Exclusive
    • Event
    • On Sale Now

The Content

  • Don’t pass on the opportunity to send welcome emails! These tend to generate more revenue than regular promotional emails.
  • Optimize your email for desktop and mobile devices. Make sure it’s appealing, balanced, and easily navigated on both.
  • CTA buttons can increase click-through rates and take your email’s visual appeal up a notch.
  • Tailor the content to the customer. This is easier when you’ve segmented your audience and have gathered significant data.
    • For example, a pet store might segment customers based on their animal and its size. A large breed dog owner would then receive tailored email content that’s different from an iguana owner. This ensures content is relevant.

The Sends

  • Consumers’ top motivations for unsubscribing are receiving too many emails and the lack of relevancy of those emails.
  • While the ideal number of emails varies depending on your organization’s size and industry, statistics show that the vast majority of customers (86%) want to receive emails at least monthly. That being said, you don’t want to send them too often – only 15% of people want to receive promotional emails on a daily basis. ³

Email Marketing: The Bottom Line

If your email marketing campaign is built on strategy – from the data to your sends — this old-school marketing tool can work wonders for your company. Just because email marketing is getting old doesn’t mean you should write it off quite yet. The 90s are still alive and well, baby!


¹ 2017 report compiled by Return Path in partnership with Ascend2.
² Adestra’s report following the analysis of 1 billion emails.
³ MarketingSherpa’s survey of over 2,000 U.S. adults.

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