Email is Still the Marketer's Most Direct Line to Consumers

Email is constantly the subject of criticism, doubt and ridicule since social networking sites started redefining “personal communication”. Five years ago, predictions and expert opinion started cropping up about the impending demise of email. Lo and behold, email is still alive and very much kicking.  The 20 Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2013 Project states that email will most likely stick around for longer than what many might have anticipated.

Here are some reasons for its success:

Email is still the most intimate communication system in the cloud

Through the talk about social networking sites being the most personal form of digital communication, it is still marred with many problems and controversies. For one, privacy remains an issue. There are still so many holes and unanswered questions as to who can see what we post and what can we really do to limit the people who can see the things we post.

It remains to be the most reliable cloud

There is that security and convenience of security that whatever you sent or received is simultaneously saved to all the email addresses it was sent to and the to the email of the person so who sent it. at any given time, the file may be accessed from any of those sources.

Fast and easy

Accessing gmail, yahoo and other email services has always been easier than accessing other cloud services, corruption almost never happens and it most people have never experienced a downtime in their email since they opened an account.

It has become an accepted formal communication channel

Gone are the days when agreements will have to be made in person or documents need to be signed. Emails are now an acceptable, and at time preferred, medium of communication.

It is also these reasons that make email an important digital marketing tool and even more important is the understanding that even while email is guaranteed to stay, it is also changing. People’s behaviour towards and use of their email has evolved. Marketers need to understand that while it offers the most direct line to customers in the cloud, it also requires a whole lot of personalization.

Below are some of the most important email statistics and how it can affect marketing campaigns.

The Price

Before we dive deep into email behaviour, let us understand first the possible price that awaits marketers who will manage to rise above the clutter:

  • Email campaigns that are image blocking safe are more than 9 percent
  • People spend 138 percent more on products marketed through email
  • More than 44 percent of those who subscribed to email offers ad updates made a purchase
  • More than 35 percent of professionals check their email on their mobile device

People aren’t completely averse towards email marketing but the key lies in two things. First, you need to convince them that you are worth a direct line to them. You need to convince them to subscribe and once you are in, you need to send them something relevant and attractive.

It’s more complicated than it sounds of course. The temptation to send too much too soon is omnipresent especially if you know your prospective customer is a click away. To guide you on what to say and how to say it, read below.

The Stigma

The Subscriber button is also often interpreted by marketers as a licence to freely contact their subscribers anytime they want. It is not.

  • 21 percent of those in a list will report an email as a spam even when they know it is not and 2.43 percent will base it solely on the name indicated on the “FROM” line while 3.6 percent will base it on what’s written on the subject
  • 59 percent of those who will subscribe will never click nor open your email
  • There are 4.4 percent less subscribers who clicked on a link they got through an email 2nd quarter of last year, that is a 6 percent drop the previous quarter
  • Those who actually open an email is down to 25.6 percent 2nd quarter of last year from 26.2 percent from the previous year
  • Surprisingly, even those that triggered an email (clicked something for an email to be sent to them) are still rare. It is only 2.6 percent of the total email marketing efforts but when they do trigger an email, they are most likely to open it. A total of 95.2 percent opens an email they triggered
  • The good news is that almost half of those who will subscribe will continue to click on the email
  • Of all industries, apparel products subscribers are most engaged with 30 percent of all subscribers opening the email regularly. At second place is media at 34 percent, travel at 31 percent and general retail at 30 percent
  • The opposite are the industries with the most inactive subscribers with pharmaceuticals leading the pack at 52 percent

It’s easy to focus on the how many subscribers will end up being inactive but you need to focus on the other end. There are still more than 50 percent who will end up engaging with your brand, no other marketing tool is able to consistently achieve such a response. Email subscribers are solid leads, it is just a matter of knowing how to convince them to spend their money.

Based solely on the industries that are able to keep their subscribers active, the primary intention is to get good deals or exclusive offers. If there is anything to pick up from the apparel industry it is their continuous effort to come up with relevant promotions and provide their customers with “trendy” products.

People subscribe to updates and newsletter with the intention of buying a product or a service, it’s just a matter of finding the right offer. In fact, even B2B marketers attest that they are able to convert 40 percent of their subscribers to customers with the right offer.

Even better is the 51 percent that will remain an active subscriber once they make an initial purchase.

Email Subject Line Stats

Adestra’s research determined that a lot depends on the subject line. Three words trigger high click through rate, “money,” “revenue,” and “profit” for B2 B and “sale” for consumer items. Words like “discount”, “free”, “half price” and “save” all got below 6.5 percent click through rate.

Surprisingly, “news”, “update”, “breaking” and other related term are better received than discount-related items.  Those with £, € or $ symbols perform even better.

It also seems that the shorter the subject, the better with 30 or fewer characters getting opened a lot but it’s those with 10 characters or less that get opened 58 percent of the time especially those with two words only.

Email Behavior

This is probably the most important numbers to consider. Chadwick Martin Bailey and Blue Kangaroo Suvey revealed some interesting facts.

More than 64 percent claims they open an email based solely on the subject and 45 percent don’t open emails simply because they are getting too many of it but there is 40 percent who claims they actually enjoy getting marketing emails from their favorite brands that contain special deals and they don’t mind getting it weekly.

In fact, one in five people spend more than an hour per week looking through marketing emails and six in ten spend half an hour or less while 8 of 10 direct these subscriptions to their primary or personal email . Only 8 percent of all respondents stated that they have a separate email for marketing deals. Most of these subscriptions turn into actions with seven or 10 people claiming they actually use coupons that are sent to them through email.

You truly can’t get any more personal than that. Most marketers probably don’t even realize the value that many subscribers put in the marketing email they send out. Haphazard offers written in the most amateur of ways with no image optimization effort usually end up being ignored. When 58 percent of those who subscribe express direct intention to purchase products or services if they get a good deal, there is hardly any excuse why a marketer would fail to convert them.

However, if they start getting “too many emails” from a certain source, they are most likely to unsubscribe.

Technical Issues

Perhaps, technical issues are just as critical as the marketing offers. For one, there is an issue of devices. Approximately 38 percent of emails are now accessed via mobile phones and all email services block images.  About 20 percent of men open their email through their mobile and only 10 percent of women access their email through their mobile device.

About 50 percent of marketers don’t even know that subscriber open their email through their mobile devices and more than 60 percent don’t even know how to optimize their email for image blocking. Almost 40 percent have absolutely no email strategy. The even bigger problem is more than 60 percent that didn’t optimize their landing pages for mobile.

To make it worse, there is the issue of IPs. When an email list has 10 or more unknown users, only 44 percent of their email will be delivered by ISPs.

That problem has been allegedly solved by Emercury. Through a new technology that filters a list even before delivery, the list becomes 100 percent “good” even before delivery.

The problem, however, is the lack of knowledge on the part of the marketer. A marketing campaign’s center is the Unique Selling Proposition or the special offer but if technical considerations are not met, all efforts come to naught.


Most emails campaigns nowadays are afterthought or an extra effort. Most campaigns default to facebook or other social networking site. Tactical promotions are almost always hinged on Likes or retweets. They rely of recommendations or shares of friends or hashtags.

Through social media is undeniably an effective marketing channel if done right, you can’t get any more personal than an email. It remains the most direct link of a business to their customers in the cloud.

The key, however, is in understanding exactly what you customers are looking for when they subscribe to your list and the limit of your brand’s welcome.


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