Smartphone use is reinvigorating email marketing and SMEs are upping the time, energy and budgets to reach markets via their inboxes. The time to start an email campaign is now. That’s the message being broadcast in the 2016 Email Marketing Insights Study.
The rise of email marketing
According to the study, close to 72% of companies will spend longer on producing email campaigns in 2016. Nearly 87% report that a bigger share of marketing funds will be utilized too. Over 91% of those in marketing roles who were surveyed reported they would give more time to email marketing in the year to follow. With more than 23% of companies planning to send on average one email each day during 2016, frequency is on the rise too.
Email strategy is paramount
Over 33% of marketers put a great amount of importance on strategy development in achieving email marketing success. With email often one strand of a larger campaign drive, there is great stress on quality content. Creativity, consumer experience and brand projection are all vital elements of email construction. Coupons, offers and competitions engage users, whilst information that gives recipients worthwhile information and tips has value too.
How to measure success
Email marketing success is measured by how recipients behave and engage with messages in their inboxes. Email delivery, open and click-through rates measure campaigns, as do market reach and response. Another advantage of email marketing is the ease of measurability; analytics are not overly complex and enable companies and marketers to easily customize content and recipient lists.
One man’s junk…
Individuals like receiving emails as long as they are relevant. One user’s junk mail is another one’s interesting update treasure. With the average person in the US receiving over 120 emails a day, many of which contain marketing messages, the evidence is there that email marketing is alive and kicking (and not as dead as some critics would have companies believe). Bland and ‘flat’ emails are out, whilst emails that are an interesting and an integral part of a marketing strategy grab the attention and offer valued-added appeal..
Technology boosts email marketing
Critics have argued that too many direct email campaigns have saturated markets. However, that fact is that, with markets constantly connected via smartphones, response rates are still buoyant and even rising. Email blasts need to be mobile-device-friendly too, with close to 20% of marketing professionals in the above study revealing that over half of their email messages were opened on smartphones or tablets.
Email marketing advantages
There are many reasons, as well as the points above, why email has stayed the course and is now even rising in popularity amongst businesses, marketing experts and consumers.
Direct route to target market: Most people check their emails several times a day and unlike SMS, you can fit more words in an email. Smartphones have increased this connectivity to the inbox. Cost-effective campaigns: Some marketing initiatives are big-budget extravaganzas and high-profile brands keep their position by flooding marketing departments with hefty funds. However, most SMEs do not have the same spending power and cannot afford a failed and expensive marketing strategy. Email is affordable and yet can pay huge dividends in terms of inciting customer behavior; a potentially great ROI – estimated by the Direct Marketing Association to be somewhere around 4,300%.
Email leads to results: Email is an effective way to reach out to new customers and even penetrate new markets and verticals. Messages via inboxes can lead to sales generation, and newsletters and email blasts can form part of effective CRM strategy. Emails are instant and hit targets fast with great precision.
Integrates well with other marketing tools and strategies: In the fast-moving digital marketing world, email holds a pivotal position. Messages can link up many other marketing strands – letting customers know about a new post on Facebook, a reminder of a limited offer and linking to video messages. Adding on social media buttons to an email can also increase click-through rates. Email marketing does not have to be a stand-alone tool, but can be utilized to build on and update campaigns.
SMEs who have abandoned email campaigns in search of rising digital platforms and shiny new technologies, may want to revise their strategies. Email is not the poorer cousin of 2016 marketing tech tools but a valiant warrior that gallops onwards toward its target market successfully armed with many effective tools.