Is Email Marketing dead?

The digital marketing world is a tricky one. Trends come and go, software becomes outdated, tips and tricks no longer work as well as they used to, search engine and social media algorithms change all the time…it can be a real minefield!

There is one component of marketing that has never seemed to fade out – email marketing. One of the oldest tricks in the book, email marketing is still ever present in marketing strategies. If you’ve worked with a marketing agency or have an in-house marketing team, there’s no doubt email marketing has come up in conversation.

The first ever email was sent in 1971, with the first marketing email campaign being sent out in 1978 by a man called Gary Thurek. He sent this to 400 recipients, which resulted in a staggering $13 million worth of sales!

Fast forward 43 years, how effective is email marketing in 2021? Should you bother with it? Is it dead yet?

Email marketing is very much NOT dead, and YES you should use it!

Why use email marketing?

With over 3.9 billion email users worldwide, email marketing is still very much alive, and arguably thriving. This figure is set to reach 4.3 billion users by 2023, so it definitely isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Furthermore, in 2020, there were around 306 billion e-mails sent and received everyday worldwide. This figure is set to rise to 376 billion by 2025.

Mobile devices haven’t single handily kept email alive, but they have played a big part in allowing it to flourish as it allows everyone to open their emails on the go, giving them the convenience of a text message. About 43% of email opens are on mobile, with 39% on webmail and only 18% on desktop email clients.

Useful tools

The easy access to email marketing tools has allowed in-house marketing teams and agencies alike to make email marketing a mainstream tool. Programmes like Mailchimp have dominated the market for years. Founded in 2001 by Ben Chestnut and Dan Kurzis, they wanted to give small business owners the technology for them to grow without having to spend as much as the big competitors.

With simple drag & drop email creation, free plans available and a built-in customer relation management (CRM) system, Mailchimp is easy to pick up and can really take your business to the next level, just as the founders aimed to! Mailchimp now prides itself on being an all-in-one marketing platform, including social media scheduling and website building.

With other platforms also available like Constant Contact and ConverKit with free plans, there are plenty of opportunities for you to try email marketing out at literally no cost.

Email marketing and ROI

Email marketing also delivers a very strong return on investment (ROI). A study from 2019 saw that for every $1 companies were spending on email marketing, they were making $42 back. Although there are many benefits to email marketing, if your goal is purely financial, then this statistic speaks volumes.

Email marketing also still leads the way for customer acquisition and retention. 81% of SMEs use email marketing as the primary channel for customer acquisition, with 80% using it for customer retention. 9 in 10 marketers use email marketing to distribute content organically, which is no surprise considering it has such a high ROI. This makes it the third most popular distribution channel, sitting behind social media and blog posts.

If your business has an e-commerce website, here’s one for you; according to a study by Omnisend, sending three abandoned cart emails results in 69% more orders than just a single email. Some may find them irritating, but there is no doubt that they work.

So, email is still one of the most popular marketing tools, it is very easy to get started on a free plan, it has a great ROI and is easy to access on multiple devices. Email is dead? We don’t think so.

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