In 1996, hotmail launched the first web-based email service. Fast forward 16 years and the latest figures from radicati.com suggest 100 trillion e-mails are sent every year (that’s 14 zeros in case you were wondering!) In such a mature medium it would be easy to think that email marketing is on the decline but I’ve never been one for assumptions. Data suggests that through constant innovation, email marketing should still be a key consideration for any savvy digital marketer.
I may be disagreeing with Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder of Facebook who says “Young people no longer use email”, but Affiliate Window’s latest stats suggest that E-mail remarketers (more commonly known as basket abandonment solutions) are the second fastest growing promotional type. They're only just behind Virtual Incentives that top the tables having harnessed the true power of social media to deliver tangible ROI. That’s not to say that Mark is wrong, I certainly appreciate that younger people are more inclined to communicate with each other through text messaging or other instantaneous means, but email engagement is actually on the up in the advertising world:
Promotional Type YoY growth (2011 vs 2012 YTD)
Changing consumer behaviour means mobile devices account for 10 to 45% of all email opens. Considering the emergence of wifi on most transportation methods, marketers find themselves with previously time poor customers who are now open to promotional approaches whilst on the move. This is further demonstrated by the recent Affiliate Window Mobile Infographic which states that 7% of online transactions come from mobile devices.
It’s one thing to know that email marketing is the future (or at least a part of it) but it’s another thing entirely to understand how you can really take advantage.
Jonathan Weeks of Ve Interactive advises businesses, “to marry the new found convenience with data led intelligence by adopting a basket abandonment solution that can also be personalised for mobile devices.”
To suggest that email marketing’s future is completely reliant on retargeting would be far off the mark. It’s no surprise that some of the biggest publishers utilise email as an integrated part of their customer offering and the development of personalised messaging based on your shopping profile will continue to deliver great results.
The likes of cashback and loyalty sites go one step further; as you use these sites, they create a recommendation engine that delivers intelligent suggestions of new products and services that you will be interested in. The proof of this concept is clearly demonstrated as TopCashBack reports: “the open rate of our personalised shopper alerts exceeds the open rate of our weekly newsletter.” It’s common sense that an email detailing promotions specifically suggested for you will result in greater engagement.
Coupled with last year’s Edialog, “The future of mobile messaging”, it becomes clear that email marketing continues to offer great marketing potential. The study showed that users reading email messages on mobile devices were keen to hear about special offers and promos/vouchers.
It’s hard to argue that email marketing isn’t going to play a prominent part in future advertising. User engagement figures combined with Affiliate Window’s statistics give a strong indication that not only does it have a place, it could well be time for a resurgence!