With all the new avenues of marketing available to people these days as well as the rise in marketing via social media, it is a reasonable question to ask; “Is email marketing a thing of the past?”

We are all familiar with the nightmare of waking up one morning, checking your inbox and finding that it’s full with over a thousand emails all of which you didn’t want to receive. This spam is choking the life out of email as a tool in general and it is easy to see that the fact that more people are moving away from email in favour of social media and other forms of communication is proof that email marketing might be dying. The truth however, as always, is somewhat less black and white.

 

There’s a place for social interactions and there is a place for work

In general people seem to like to separate their lives into two categories, social and work. Those two categories are how they divide their time and resources and people don’t particularly like it when something from one column mixes with something from the other. It is the reason why people don’t like receiving work calls or marketing calls at home and the reason why people are uncomfortable receiving social calls at work.

This same divide can be found with social media and emails. Social media has had a lot of success with marketing over the last five years or so but no more than any new form of marketing. From what we have found from research into this area as well as our own forays into social media marketing, people don’t like to see ads and other forms of marketing in places where they’re trying to be social. They are unwanted distractions and the large majority of the ads that are successful are for business that promote leisure activities and products. People who want to market business or work related products and services in social media aren’t going to see much return on their investment.

 

Get it right

If you don’t know what you’re doing in any area you aren’t going to see positive results and email marketing is no different. We send out tens of thousands of emails every month and by analysing the results and constantly trying to improve our emails we keep seeing a rise in the success of our email campaigns. It stands to reason that if you can do it right then you will get a positive response.

Below are a few things people don’t take into account when they plan and also measure the success of their email campaigns:

  • How helpful is your message?
    If you’re sending out emails that your customers don’t find useful or helpful then you fall into the spam category. It’s easy to fall into the mindset that sending an email once a week to remind your customers that you are there is good for business but if you’re not rewarding them for opening their email every week then you are going to get a huge amount of unsubscribes.
  • Don’t spam users with too many emails
    Make sure that you’re not drowning your customers in unwanted emails. Sometimes a little goes a long way so moderate the number of emails you send out to save becoming the cause of your customer’s groans every time they see your company email address in their inbox.
  • Understand your mobile audience
    More than 60 percent of the emails we send out every month are viewed on a mobile device and from what we can see the rest of the market is in much the same position. If you’re email doesn’t look as good or is hard to read on a phone or tablet then thats a huge portion of your customer base to alienate.
  • Uniqueness matters
    People like to see something new. Don’t send them the same thing again and again because your customers aren’t stupid and no matter how you dress it up they will still get  bored of it. Come up with unique content that will genuinely inspire interest in your business.
  • Offers still matter
    People are still looking to get some ‘bang for their buck’ so don’t think that people are off put by offers they receive by email. People are more wary of email offers since most spam is always offering the impossible but we have found that if you offer the right thing then people will still listen. Also content doesn’t have to be limited to offers like price cuts and buy one get one free, it can be anything from new about your company, product or service that you want to promote.
  • Design matters
    Don’t think that one design fits all when it comes to emails. People learn to recognise patterns and designs, so if they get a bad experience in one of your emails then they will think of it every time they see the same design. Tailor your design to the individual content of your email and therefore make your design work for you not against you.

 

So, is email marketing dying?

From what we can see the answer to that question is no. We still see good results from our email campaigns but if we don’t put in the work then we don’t get the results.

Just remember to evaluate your email as a potential customer and think, “Is this something I would want to receive? Is this useful to me? Does it look like spam?” Those questions as well as a little work will prove to you that email marketing is still very much alive and a viable choice for your business.