Alive & Kicking: New Data Confirms Email Marketing is Not Dead

February 10, 2015

For those of you living under a rock, our friends at the Salesforce Marketing Cloud released their annual State of Marketing report last month where they surveyed thousands of marketers (5,000 to be exact). All the questions asked dealt with uncovering top marketing priorities for this year, and the report includes a large section on email marketing, which — in case you were wondering — is still very much relevant.

For the majority of marketers, email remains an integral touchpoint along the customer journey — 73% agree that email marketing is core to their business. In fact, comparing this year’s survey to last year’s, the importance of email actually rose — 60% of marketers said that email is a critical enabler or products and services in 2015 compared to 42% of marketers in 2014.

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There are many factors contributing to the increase in acknowledgement and success in email. The increase in the quality of content production and the continued optimization of marketing automation could be two big ones. However, I believe it’s the increased popularity of smartphones that ultimately points to the overwhelming increase in the value of email marketing. The smartphone offers consumers a constant inbox in the consumer/customer’s pocket. We used to be connected at home and at work. Now we are connected everywhere.

The Power of Mobility

According to the survey, one-third of marketers said their subscribers read emails on mobile devices at least 50% of the time. Fifty-nine percent of marketers plan on increasing their email marketing budgets in 2015, hoping to give subscribers more email content and a better experience on their mobile devices.

The State of Marketing survey respondents confirmed this mobile email trend — Salesforce has tracked substantial growth from last year to this year in the number of subscribers who read emails on mobile devices. This year, 33% of marketers said their emails are read on a mobile device at least 50% of the time; last year, it was 24%.

Campaigns Build Value

Marketers were also asked to share which email campaigns they use and how effective they find these campaigns. Newsletters are used most often; however, they rank lower for overall effectiveness. Conversely, mobile opt-in campaigns are rated the most effective, but are not widely used.

This chart shows the importance of the continued piloting and investment in campaigns relating to reengagement, win-back, browse retargeting, post-purchase, and the welcome series. One takeaway from this year’s report is that while it is important to build out the common newsletter, truly effective email marketing is more about personalized content.

What can we learn from over 5,000 global marketers? For starters, email is not dead. The continued investment in email marketing continues to be an extremely important contributor to the success of any marketing campaign.

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Image by William Murphy (altered to add email text and icon)