The Significance of Email Marketing

A hand on a computer mouse with email icons flying in the background.
Email marketing allows businesses to reach a large group of customers. Source: Direct Marketing News.

Email marketing is a cost-effective solution to businesses seeking to reach a large number of customers. It allows companies to not only communicate ideas but also helps to gather important data that could translate into sales and relationships with future prospects. IBM recently conducted a study on email marketing metrics to analyze email marketing trends from over 3,000 brands across the globe. The study analyzed types of email marketing messages and other various metrics such as click-through rates (the number of users that click on an email). Based on the study, the more consumers that are satisfied with email messaging and its value proposition, the more likely the consumers will engage and purchase.

Consumer engagement is key to email marketing, as the more a consumer is engaged in the message, the more likely a sale will occur. Consumers, after opening an email want to see “perfect moments” from brands; consumers expect the most relevant deals on items or services, at the right time, on the right devices. In order to obtain the “perfect moment” for a marketer, a marketer must use all the customer information and data to provide the right product and time to send an email.

The travel industry relies heavily on email marketing. Currently, the travel industry has one of the highest open rates (the number of consumers who open or view an email) with more than 56 percent in opens, about 10 times more than other industries. Other strong industries include hospitals, healthcare and biotech, and insurance, which all reported open rates greater than 50 percent. The retail and e-commerce industry has an open rate of 33.8 percent. Brand marketers who used consumer’s previous actions, such as previous purchases or recent web searches, had more success in the open rate of emails at 72 percent. Below is a chart depicting the open rate by industry.

A chart delineating open rate by industry including the mean, median, top quartile, and bottom quartile.
Unique open rate by industry. Source: Marketing Land.

Because of the significance and importance of email marketing, several companies have been created to optimize email and e-commerce marketing. Mailchimp, an email marketing service provider, recently launched a pro package with advanced email marketing tools for businesses. Mailchimp Pro offers email marketers and business owners features such as comparative reports, delivery insight, and priority support, all which can be used to make email marketing more effective.

According to an article featured on Direct Marketing News, the reasons behind success or failure in email marketing tactics are clear. Travel brands are successful because they offer strong visuals and discounts to consumers in each email and readers have higher engagement. However, email marketers in retail are less engaging to readers as they often use batch-and-blast methods of email marketing, which lack the personalization consumers now often seek. Personalization is one of the key aspects in email marketing as it helps to build a relationship with consumers.

From a marketing management perspective, here are some questions to consider:

  • Find some other strategies email marketers can use to induce consumers to open emails.
  • Brainstorm other ways in which companies can create more effective email marketing tactics.
  • Do you think email marketing is an effective strategy for all companies?