Is 2016 the year email marketing finally dies?

There have been rumors that email marketing is dead or at least dying for quite some time now.  What do you think?  Is it worth investing time and energy into email marketing, or will the oldest digital marketing tactic follow the Yellow Pages to near extinction?

My prediction is email is not going anywhere.  It’s neither dead nor dying.

In fact, as you’ll see later in this article, sales from email marketing are actually on the rise over the past few years!  Despite all the flashy new online marketing tools, apps, and social media sites, the often underrated and “boring” tactic of email marketing is still one of the best ways to generate sales in your business.

So let’s talk about why email marketing is not dead.  Below are 3 good reasons why you should be using email marketing in your business if you’re not already…


#1: Build a Strong 1-on-1 Relationship

When I hear about the death of email marketing, it’s usually followed by an explanation about how everyone is now using social media instead of email.  I’ll admit, social media is a big deal.  But is it really going to replace email?  I don’t think so.

This is the same story we heard when email first burst on to the scene and threatened to replace physical mail.  Sure, email replaced a lot of letters and postcards, but direct mail marketing is by no means dead.  I don’t know about you, but I still love to open up my mailbox and see a letter addressed to me.  It makes me feel special and I usually open it up right away.  It doesn’t even matter if it’s from a friend or a business.  I still get that flicker of excitement.

The same is true with email.  All this talk about social media overtaking email misses the point.  Social media websites are places to be, well, social.  But email is where you can focus on building a strong 1-on-1 relationship with your prospects and customers.  That’s a key distinction to remember as you’re working on your marketing this year.


#2: Your Customers Prefer Email

Something very interesting has happened over the past 7 years.  Since 2008, personal communication via email has declined 21%.  Meanwhile, personal communication via social media and text messaging has increased 10% and 20%, respectively.  Wait a minute! Didn’t I just get done explaining how social media is not going to replace email?

Yes, bear with me…

What’s interesting here is that according to research by ExactTarget consumers’ preference for commercial email messages versus other communication (like social media or text messages) has increased 5% since 2008! The key difference is that some people are moving their social communication over to social media and text, but they still use email to “do business.”  In other words, your customers want you to send emails, not tweets or texts.


#3: Growing Source of Sales

Finally, the graph below may shock you.  This one comes from research by Custora of 72 million customers on 86 different retail stores between 2009 – 2013.  As you can see sales from email marketing quadrupled since 2009!


Hard to argue that email marketing is dying with growth like that, but you might still be wondering what has happened in the past 2 years…

Well let’s look at some more recent research by Custora from Black Friday this past November 2015.  The data from over 200 online retailers, 500 million anonymized shoppers, and $100B in e-commerce revenue, showed that email marketing was the biggest marketing channel driving a whopping 25% of all sales!

That means email marketing drove more sales than SEO, advertising, and social media.

As I hope you can now clearly see, email marketing is still a very powerful tool to not only drive sales, but also build a stronger relationship with your prospects and customers.

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