Does Email Marketing Still Have a Place In 2018?

by Feb 19, 2018Marketing

What is email marketing and is it an effective form of marketing in 2018? We’ll be answering these questions in this post.

Email marketing is as simple as it sounds, emailing potential customers or existing customers to promote your product or service. If you’ve got an email address you’ve most likely received hundreds if not thousands of emails from companies promoting their products and services, which isn’t surprising as 82% of businesses use email marketing (Campaign Monitor). But how many of those emails have driven you to a purchase? Very few right? This is where the term “spam” comes to mind. Well that’s because email marketing is very easy to do but not so easy to get it right.

As consumers and email software, such as Gmail and Outlook, have become more aware of email marketing they’ve become wiser to it. Gmail has a promotions filter that filters all emails that it labels as promotional into its ‘Promotions’ tab. This means these promotional emails won’t make it into the recipient’s primary inbox making it much less likely that it will be seen or read. Outlook has a very similar system with its ‘Focused’ and ‘Other’ inboxes. In short, it’s hard to get your email seen by your customers and even harder to get them to open it. So how, in 2018, with modern filters against email marketing can it be a successful marketing tool? And is email marketing dead?

In short, no. Emails blasts are dead, but email marketing is very much alive. Emails blasts are spammy emails about yourself and your agenda “Low cost gym membership” or “15% off all books TODAY ONLY” you know the sort. Email marketing on the other hand is focused on the recipients and their needs, not yours. It’s about giving value and building a relationship with your email list. Offering support, guidance, motivation, inspiration and information. If this was a meeting on email marketing this is probably the part where you’d switch off. We’ve all heard or had the speech on “giving value” and “building customer relationship” but they are intangible things and because of that it’s easy to believe that marketers or marketing ‘guru’s’ use these terms to pull the wool over your eyes (and some marketers do). It’s an unimaginable thought for some paying for email marketing software subscriptions, writing content or paying marketing agency fees for a month and even longer before you see a physical return only to “build a relationship with your mailing list”. The harsh reality is that in 2018 you can’t send an email to a cold list of 1000 people tonight and expect sales tomorrow morning. But there is still money to be made through strategic email marketing.

Email marketing has evolved into a reactive process. 4 out of 5 businesses increased their leads by using automated email marketing (VB Insight). Automated marketing involves emails that are sent to customers based on their behavior on your website. For example, you may have witnessed cart abandonment emails. This is when you add an item to your basket on an online store and leave the website without purchasing. You then receive an email a few hours later with a personal offer tempting you to complete the purchase. This is a basic but effective form of automated marketing. Automated marketing allows you to deliver the content and advertise the product or service most suited to the recipients needs. For example, if a user is visiting blog posts about skiing on your travel agent site then they will be sent more information about skiing holidays and they won’t be sent information about beach holidays (until they express interest in it). 67% of Marketing Leaders use email marketing automation (Salesforce “State of Marketing” 2017) suggesting there is still a big place for email marketing in business in 2018. However, the game has changed. Email blasts are dead and overnight sales are almost nonexistent but effective email marketing provides a $44.25 return for every dollar of investment according to Digital.com.

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