Just a few years ago, some industry experts were predicting the demise of traditional email marketing in favor of newer channels like social media. Fortunately, we’re delighted to say reports of email marketing’s imminent death are not only greatly exaggerated, they’ve been proven wrong. In fact, through the end of 2014 and looking forward to 2015, email effectiveness has never been stronger.
But, don’t just take our word for it. Below, we’ve compiled some data on the state of modern email marketing. Use this information to solidify your own email strategies and secure a bigger earmark for email in your 2015 marketing budget.
Despite chatter that email was going the way of the dodo, email was everywhere this year. In fact GigaOM found 86 percent of digital marketers regularly engaged in email marketing in Q2 of 2014. Similarly, a report by Salesforce discovered 68 percent of marketers felt email was core to their business and 49 percent of marketers had send volumes in excess of 500,000 emails.
Email marketing was nothing short of a digital marketing workhorse, according to recent reports and data. 58 percent of marketers planned to increase their email marketing spend in 2014. Additionally, email topped all other channels for customer acquisition, with digital marketers attributing 23 percent of sales to email in 2014, up from 18 percent in 2013. Digital marketers ranked email as being the most effective of all digital tactics for building awareness, acquisition, retention and conversion.
Interestingly, email accounted for a whopping 62 percent of purchases made on smartphones, thanks in large part to well-executed mobile strategies. Email also points the user directly to relevant products, eliminating the need to search a website while viewing on a small screen.
Contrary to popular predictions, email continued to outperform social media this year. There were nearly 3.25 times more email accounts than social media accounts in 2014. Email delivered 40 percent more new customers for marketers than Facebook or Twitter while 52 percent of marketers struggled to prove ROI for social media marketing.
Looking into our crystal ball (and paying close attention to the stories data tells us), we expect email marketing to remain one of the most dynamic powerhouses in marketing into 2015 and well beyond. We also expect the ubiquitous smartphone will continue requiring marketers to make cross-channel optimization a priority.
The emphasis on sending helpful content via careful email list segmentation and smart targeting – as opposed to hard-selling emails sent to an entire list – will continue to grow. Micro-targeting will likely become the buzzword for 2015, as the increasing sophistication of data allows marketers to develop one-to-one communication strategies that follow a customer through the entire buying lifecycle.
Time will tell what results 2015 will bring us. Undoubtedly some will be expected, and some will be a complete surprise. What predictions do you foresee for email marketing in the coming year?
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