Email Marketing Stays Strong

Patti RennerA little over a year ago, many direct marketers were quietly concerned that email was on its way out. “The bloom was off the rose” as one described it. Between increasingly negative consumer attitudes, overloaded inboxes and the fact that younger consumers seem to prefer SMS, apps and social messaging, it seemed a legitimate conclusion. And I’m happy report that the sky is not falling, and email remains the workhorse of today’s direct digital marketing.
In fact, email marketing is stronger than ever.

Recent research from Forrester shows that consumer’s negative behaviors toward email have actually declined. Fewer people are unsubscribing from email promotions. Plus, consumers are deleting fewer messages without reading than they did before, and are forwarding and sharing emails more than ever.

I think it’s interesting to look at the correlation between this “email revival” and the the increase in the use of mobile devices (often used as a portal to the inbox). Mobile devices make it easier (and more fun) to engage via email, so I have a feeling that’s making an impact on consumer behavior regarding email marketing, though I’ll have to dig into more research to confirm my hunch.

Speaking of research, about a week ago Forrester released an updated version of its beginners-level report on email marketing FAQs Even as the information was basic, it did offer some good reminders of what still works – even in the most advanced campaigns.

Forrester’s recommendations mirrored what the Lunch Pail has said all along – the best email campaigns are those that are most relevant. That means your email marketing messages should be less pitch and more personal. I like to think of it as having a conversation with the people you’re sending to. Share with them information that means something to them in context – messages they could find helpful or interesting. Include tips or experiences provided by other customers (useful advice, how-tos, comments, etc.) Engage people with a higher level of authenticity of your brand.

According to Forrester: “Marketers build relevant email conversations by tailoring email content to customer preferences, matching offers to customer motivations, and sequencing emails to build off of each other and help drive customers toward purchase.”

As we cover the spectrum of direct digital marketing technologies and techniques here at the Lunch Pail, good old email remains the workhorse of the direct digital marketing landscape. Stay tuned to the Lunch Pail for more insight on taking your email campaigns to the next level.

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