Some see it as a dying art, and others swear by it. But does email marketing have a future in 2022?
Beginning in 1978 as an effective means of direct marketing, email marketing gained immediate traction and was considered one of the most effective channels of the marketing mix, most notably due to its ability to reach the masses in one single click. However, with many marketers denouncing the importance of email marketing for today’s modern world, could the end really be near?
Why Do People Think Email Marketing Is Dying?
One popular reason for the supposed death of email marketing arose as social media grew exponentially. Social media sites such as Facebook have since reached over 1 billion active users and continue to grow. Social media's ability to reach an uncapped audience in comparison to email marketing, which only allows companies to reach their mailing list, has been listed as a huge disadvantage for email marketing. On top of the organic reach of social media, companies can also use paid promotions to ensure their ads appear on people's social media feeds despite any potential hurdle of an algorithm.
Though on the surface, it appears that social media has put the nails in the coffin for email marketing, email marketing stats remain unmatched with up to 95% of consumers checking their emails every day and millennials preferring email communication when receiving marketing materials. Furthermore, emails serve as a means to social media with all sites requiring an email address to set up an account; as long as emails remain an important fixture of people's everyday lives, email marketing uses cannot be ignored.
Data protection laws have also been deemed a reason for the death of email marketing. As shown in the 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal, data can be used for more than just research studies and targeted ads. Companies can use data to manipulate users and potentially even influence election outcomes. The Cambridge Analytica scandal led to a crackdown on data collection and privacy laws (GDPR); the tighter restrictions led people to predict email marketing's inevitable downfall.
Data collection laws now require clear consent from the user for consent on the use of customer data, an opt-in system for emailing customers, and a method through which consumers can ask their personal information to be revoked. Though this may have initially been viewed as an obstacle to successful email marketing, limiting mailing lists to consumers who specifically opt-in to receiving your emails improves the quality of your mailing list. After all, conversion is more likely where a consumer on their own accord opts-in to receiving emails, as a consumer would only sign up if they're genuinely interested in your brand.
Is It Still Useful?
Email marketing's uses remain extensive and cannot be denied when discussing successful marketing methods. With email marketing's return on investment (ROI) rates reaching 122%, it is difficult to accept the phrase 'email marketing is dead' as a statement of fact.
Instead, It may be more accurate to claim dated email marketing methods are dead. For example, sending mass amounts of impersonal emails. Instead, company's should use personalization to increase their open rate as consumers are more inclined to open emails with personalized subject lines.
Something as small as including their name in the email can make a huge difference, which in turn increases the potential for engagement and conversion. Other changes should be made such as complying with GDPR and ensuring emails are mobile-friendly as technology advances have changed the way we interact with communications.
Are you interested in creating the perfect social media or email campaign? TANGA Digital can create a bespoke strategy that best suits your budget, product, and desired outcome.