Is Email Marketing Dead?

If you stay up-to-date on marketing news, you might be inclined to think that the marcomm landscape is bleak. Email marketing, SEO, social media and public relations have all been declared dead at some point in the past year.

What’s a marketer left to do?

For starters, don’t buy the hype. What’s dead is siloed marketing. What’s dead is mass marketing. What’s dead are highly specialized teams and agencies that don’t integrate with the rest of the marketing department. And dying along with them are corporate budgets for several highly specialized agencies that do only one thing well – each of which takes time-consuming management to integrate with overall marketing goals.

But each of these tactics still has a place in an integrated, goal-focused, persona-driven marketing campaign. Let’s take a look at email marketing, specifically.

  • According to The Radicati Group’s Email Statistics Report, more than 281 billion emails will be sent and received in 2018 … each day. That number is forecasted to grow to more than 333 billion by 2022.
  • The Direct Marketing Association reports that email has an average ROI of $38 for each $1 spent, and one in five companies report an ROI of over 70:1.

Clearly, there is still a big role for email in marketing strategies.

No doubt, facets of email marketing are in fact dying (or are already dead): buying email lists, data scraping, sending the exact same email to every single subscriber. GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act are putting the nails in the coffin of these poor practices. By ensuring that buyers have actively expressed interest in hearing from brands, these measures force marketers to email only active, engaged prospects. And that’s good news for the industry as a whole. If they weren’t already, marketers now must be hyper-focused on these more targeted, engaged buyers.

Instead of mass emails, these ill-conceived tactics are being replaced by smart, tailored, dynamic email marketing (and email marketers). Here’s a look at what today’s email marketing looks like:

  • Personalized – According to the same DMA study mentioned above, segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue. The more personalized marketers can make their emails, the better they perform. Gone are the days of sending the same email to everyone on your list. Instead, microsegments of buyers with similar interests and similar buying behaviors, coupled with dynamic content insertions based on an individual’s previous actions, ensure that content is highly personalized for each recipient.
  • PertinentA report from Havas Group found that 75% of consumers expect brands to contribute to our wellbeing and quality of life. How does that relate to email? It means that content should not be purely promotional. Emails should be relevant and helpful to recipients’ personal and professional lives.
  • Pointed – Today’s email content should be short and to the point, showing respect for buyers’ time and busy lifestyles. The sheer volume of emails people receive in a given day alone necessitates the need for pithy, pointed emails. Couple that volume with the fact that 68% of emails are opened on a smartphone, and marketers must ensure their emails are shorter than ever before.

Personalized, pertinent and pointed email marketing is still a very critical component of a smart lead nurturing strategy. Want to see how we do it at ARPR? Sign up for our newsletter at the top of this page to get the latest on our marketing automation services and tips and trends in marketing and PR.

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