Email marketing is a unique part of Internet marketing. It’s an incredible medium that lets you stay in contact with your customer base and encourage repeat customers day after day, and it pays dividends.
It’s also one of the only forms of direct outreach that people actually want. Practically nobody likes junk mail, and nobody likes spam. But people love email marketing. Whether you’re sending offers, tips, secrets, or anything else, as long as it’s helpful, your recipients will enjoy it.
But those are just general statements — what are the actual stats on email marketing’s success?
John Caldwell on email marketing
It always seems like some marketing blog is talking about “the death of email marketing” or “why email marketing isn’t what it was.”
But really, email marketing hasn’t showed any signs of slowing down — and for good reason.
Basic stats on email marketing
First, email marketing is still around because of its fantastic ROI. For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you statistically earn $44.25 back.
With that kind of ROI, it’d take some kind of sweeping change throughout the world to change how well email marketing works. Email would most likely have to disappear, and that’s probably not going to happen any time soon.
In other words, this stat alone means email marketing is alive and well. It’ll continue to be a key part of Internet marketing for years to come.
But email marketing isn’t just about ROI — it’s also critical for lead generation.
So if you’re not the kind of company that can earn money directly from emails — like a B2B agency — you can still grow your company with email marketing.
In fact, you can grow it much more quickly than other marketing strategies.
That’s because you earn 50% more leads for 33% less investment when you compare email to other marketing strategies.
With a deal like that, why would email marketing ever die out?
Samuel Hulick on email marketing
We’ve all been on the road at some point. And unless you’ve only been in states where billboards are illegal (Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, and Vermont), a billboard has caught your attention.
You might’ve been driving at the time it happened, too, which means it was a distraction — maybe even dangerous!
Billboards might be decent advertising tools sometimes, but they’re disruptive.
Road signs, however, are the best invention since actual roads. Without them, navigation would be much more difficult.
Email marketing works the same way.
All of your recipients gave you their email addresses, which means they want to hear from you just like they want to know what exit is coming up next on Rt. 66. You’re directing them to how they can become a customer.
You’re not distracting them from their goals, which is what a billboard would do. That kind of unwelcome distraction would be spam.
And when you work with email marketing, you should never spam.
The only people who hear from you are the people who told you that they want to hear more. In that way, you’re not spamming your recipients — you’re responding to their request to learn more.
Just like a road sign is a response to a driver’s desire to know where they’re going.
What does email marketing do?
Pretty much everything.
More specifically, email marketing is frequently used for four purposes:
People who sign up for this level of email marketing probably know very little about your company, and they may be completely new to your industry.
Acquisition is the process of turning new signups into leads. That means sending helpful information to your recipients that tell them more about who you are and what you do.
Conversion is the point where you turn a recipient into a paying customer. That usually means sending people opportunities to buy something or begin a contract.
Conversion is the ultimate goal of all email marketing. While it may not be 100% — and no process is — it’s still incredibly effective.
Retention is the process of keeping your current customers engaged so they can become repeat customers or stay partnered with you. You can use a variety of different materials to retain customers and encourage repeat purchases, depending on your industry.
But how can you be sure that your email is actually reaching recipients?
First of all, 91% of all consumers admit to checking email on their phone at least once per day. That means at the very least, 91% of all your recipients will at least see the subject line of your email.
Next, 37.5% of all desktop users spend at least 15 seconds of reading an email. That may not sound like a lot, but that’s plenty of time to at least skim over new emails in your inbox. It’s even enough to read a few — like yours!
But how do these stats help if you’re a B2B? After all, you’re targeting people who work at businesses during the workday.
Even then, you’re still in luck. Managers and decision-makers at businesses are notoriously attached to their inboxes, and 35% of them even check their work email from mobile devices.
Finally, 34% of all mobile users spend at least 15 seconds reading email. Again, that may not sound like much, but 15 seconds is a long time for a mobile user.
Perry Marshall on email marketing
Still, this quote is important to email because it describes exactly how email marketing works.
The content on your website does most of the heavy lifting when you’re getting new customers. That’s why it’s so important that you encourage visitors to sign up for email marketing on every page.
The more someone learns about your business, the more you can be sure they’re qualified traffic.
With that in mind, email marketing is the ice water of information in the desert of inexperience.
People who sign up for your email initiatives crave more information, just like they would with ice water. When you supply that information evenly over time, you convince them to become (or remain) customers.
In other words, you’re supplying a service that people want.
What about the audience for email marketing?
A whopping 95% of email marketing recipients say they like the information that they get. That’s a huge majority, and it’s one of the biggest reasons why email marketing works.
Then, whenever you send them emails, they’re much more likely to open your messages since you’ve shown that you can help them.
In addition, 84% of email users between 18-34 use some form of an email preview function. That could be anything from the first line of a message to the whole message itself in a preview pane.
- The subject line
- The first of body text
These are the make-or-break areas of your email, and they’re usually the hardest parts to do well.
A good subject line (and opening line) can make the difference between a new customer and the trash bin.
Next, 58% of adults check their email first thing in the morning. So before they get out of bed, pick out their clothes, or eat breakfast, most adults look at their email.
It could also be your worst time.
Plan your emails accordingly. And keep in mind that someone might only check their email at the start of the day.
Unfortunately, you can’t control when people look at their inbox. The best you can do is time your emails to when most of your recipients want them, based on your open and click-through data.
Last, it’s essential that every email you create displays correctly for your recipients. 71.2% of recipients immediately delete emails that don’t display properly.
In fact, only one out of every four recipients will even look at your message in the first place. Everyone else will simply delete it.
The lesson is clear — make sure your emails display correctly.
Mike Stelzner on email marketing
His quote about social sharing buttons can apply to virtually any part of Internet marketing. Unless you’re explicitly trying to keep users on a certain page or document, you should pretty much always include social buttons on your content.
And that includes email.
Social buttons on email let recipients follow you with a single click or send out pre-written messages that you create.
They’re also eye-catching, engaging, and tempting to click in general. And at the very least, they add an extra splash of color to your messages along with some recognizable logos.
So it’s true that social buttons empower your readers. But they also empower your emails by associating your business with recognized brands.
With so much power coming from a handful of shapes and colors, social buttons are a no-brainer for email marketing.
Email marketing and social media synergy
When you compare email marketing to social media, you can’t say that you should use one but not the other. They’re both essential to strong Internet marketing plans, and they’re both valuable to businesses throughout the world.
Still, email marketing converts customers 40x better than Facebook and Twitter. So if you tested the same exact audience with email marketing and social media marketing, you’d get 40x better results with email than social media.
Social buttons increase clicks by 158% in email marketing messages. That’s two and a half times more than what you’d typically get.
But that’s actually not a good idea.
80% of social network users have received unsolicited emails, and unsolicited marketing emails are essentially spam.
The most important reason for this is your bottom line.
If you’re a company that operates off of leads, you can use email marketing to get customers that spend about 17% more than your typical customer.
John Hayes on email marketing
You need a hook.
That hook could be a lot of different things when it comes to email marketing. It could be a call to action, a link to a conversion page, or information about how you can help your recipients.
But you need to have something if you want to get results. Otherwise, you’re just adding flakes to the fish tank.
Formatting your email marketing messages
Right now, one of the biggest trends in email marketing is marketing automation. It’s basically a digital conveyor belt that sends pre-written emails to certain recipients based on their behavior.
But why go through all the trouble of setting something up like that?
Marketing automation works exceptionally well. In fact, it has the potential to increase conversions by as much as 50%.
On top of that, personalized calls to action can increase conversions by another 42%. So if you take all of these stats together, you could potentially earn twice as many customers that spend twice as much money from automating your email marketing processes.
The two biggest factors in open rates are who send the email and your email’s subject line.
So far, with all of the stats on this infographic, you can potentially double the number of customers you have and how much they spend just by using email.
Who wouldn’t want that for their business?
But before we conclude, we have to talk about an important topic — the future of email marketing.
Jordie van Rijn on email marketing
As far as we can tell, it’s here to stay.
The only real way email marketing will ever be replaced is if someone creates a better way of digital, non-urgent, non-invasive communication.
And right now, that probably won’t be for years.
But every couple of months, it seems like someone new is talking about the death of email marketing or why email marketing won’t work once something new happens in the marketing community.
So far, everyone’s been wrong. Email marketing is still around today, and it’s still earning tons of customers and revenue for companies around the world.
So what’s the future of email marketing?
Email marketing. The game isn’t changing any time soon.
But, with that said, the rules of the game might change. And there’s one small trend on the horizon that could be a big deal over the next decade.
The future of email marketing
Based on trends and surveys of email marketing users, we can take a few guesses at the future of email marketing.
First, 89% of marketers say email marketing is their primary lead generation channel.
On top of that, personalization yields 26% more opens than generic email. That tells us that personalization will probably be used more over the coming years — or, at least, it should be.
Triggered emails also have a 70.5% higher open rate than regular emails. And, on the whole, companies using marketing automation earn 53% more conversions in general than companies that don’t.
And it’ll definitely pay off.
But what about that one trend that’s on the horizon?
That’s SMS marketing (also called text message marketing). In general, email subscribers under the age of 25 appear to prefer text messages to emails.
First, this doesn’t mean email marketing will stop working. It will probably continue to work, and it may even get better as email subscribers under 25 get older.
Second, this is an opportunity for your company to diversify your marketing strategy and contact your subscribers directly on their phones.
The messages have to be shorter, you can’t use big images, and you’ll probably only have space for one link. But SMS marketing could increase your revenue even more once you use it with email marketing.
Last, the rise of SMS marketing doesn’t spell the death of email marketing. They’re two separate forms of promotion that appeal to fundamentally different audiences.
Emails can be longer and include more information. They also have a bigger design element that could require templating to perfect. In other words, emails are more complex.
SMS marketing requires shorter messages that include almost exclusively text, unless you want to send an MMS. You also have emojis and texting shorthand on your side, and that could make a big difference in your marketing success, depending on your customer demographic. Basically, SMS marketing is much simpler and less formal.
So which one will work better for your business in the future? The best way to find out is to test them both.
Who knows — you might find another way to double your revenue!
Learn more about email marketing
If you’re looking to start an email marketing campaign for your company, check out our guide to effective email marketing!
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