Is Email Marketing Dead?
The question was raised by an attendee at our "Killer Websites and E-Marketing" workshop last week; (with thanks to SCORE and American National University for their cooperation and support).
I understand why the question was raised: Given the spam and malware issues surrounding email it's tempting to write it off as irrelevant. But that would be a mistake. Consider four salient points:
1) The percentage of spam to legitimate email is in long-term decline, from 91% in 2008 down to just over 50% 2016. And with improved spam filtering, spam is much less of a burden. (We cut spam to our inboxes at Precept by about 99% when we changed email providers; contact me if you want details.)
2) While malware (especially ransomware) continues to be a threat, regular software updates and employee training have gone a long way toward mitigating those risks for business.
3) The average knowledge worker now spends six hours a day working with email. And among business executives it's nearly two and a half hours a day spent on email and text. (In my experience, meetings take up most of the difference.)
4) For context, we (the partners at Precept) started email marketing in 1996 when we launched FurnitureFind.com; (our first online venture). Now, 21 years later, working with clients in a dozen different industries we can confirm that well-crafted, well-targeted email campaigns continues to deliver outsize results.
Then, as now, great marketing (email and otherwise) always starts with one key question...
What do your email recipients care about? Periodic updates? Discount offers? Helpful information? Whatever the case, your email needs to be clearly, immediately relevant to your readers' needs and expectations.
Include a clear call-to-action and the results can be immediate, measurable and highly effective. While we can point to a dozen or so other best practices, it's not that complicated: Put yourself in your customer's place and act accordingly.
For more info on effective email as well as SEO, SEM, PR and social media, contact me to request a free copy of our 80 slide deck on "Killer Websites and E-Marketing"; happy to share the PDF.