For the last few years, many people have been trying to write off email as less effective than other media. There’s no doubt email has faced its share of challenges, from spammers to competition from social media. But email marketing trends show this method of communication remains an effective tool for promoting your brand and engaging consumers.
Mapp’s 2016 Consumer Views of Email Marketing study found that 52.1 percent of consumers say that marketing and advertising emails influence their purchase decisions by reminding them to shop, while 46.7% say they purchase more often after receiving marketing emails and 21.2% spend more as a result of email marketing. More than 98 percent of consumers (aged 18-64) check the email address where they receive marketing emails at least one to three times per day; 28 percent say they check email between four and 10 times a day; and a third (32.9 percent) indicate they are checking email actively throughout the day.
The following trends are ones business owners should keep on their radar.
Email Still Performs
According to the GetResponse Email Marketing & Beyond: Global Industry Benchmarks 2017 study, the average email open rate across industries is 22%, and the average click-through rate hovers just below 4%. The industries with the highest open rates and click-through rates include legal services, nonprofits, health care, publishing, and arts and entertainment.
Email Drives Cross-Channel
Email may hold the key to engaging customers across different media as marketers move to a more holistic view of their consumers. In many cases, email serves as the consumer’s point of entry to other marketing channels. Though checking email on laptops and PCs is nearly universal, 91 percent of those surveyed (ages 18-24) and 83 percent of 25-34-year-olds, say they check email on smartphones, according to the Mapp study. Overall, 72 percent of respondents indicated they checked their emails on smartphones, suggesting it is important for marketers to optimize messaging for both desktop and mobile devices.
Cross-channel marketing may still be a work-in-progress, but email marketers are the ones who have the skills to lead, according to a study from Forrester Consulting commissioned by Experian Marketing Services. As the study notes, “Email is the veteran among digital channels, having established presence and experienced growing pains long before its peers. Sophisticated marketers have above average integration between email and other digital channels.”
Responsive Design Takes Over
The Mapp study indicates that millenials have a mobile-first mindset and the general population is not far behind. The growth of mobile has presented email marketers with one of their biggest challenges: a message crafted to look engaging in a desktop inbox doesn’t always translate to the smaller screen of a smartphone or tablet. The answer: responsive design, a format that allows marketers to build an email once and have it stay functional across all screens.
Email Delivers the Headlines
In the scattered world of social media, receiving headlines in an email can be grounding and bring some order to an increasingly unstructured news stream. Email newsletters are also on par with general and industry news sites as the top way executives keep up with news in their industry. It is crucial for marketers to cater to what their subscribers want and how they want it by targeting the messages and optimizing for mobile.