Current Email Marketing Methods Don’t Work

Email has been a highly effective way of targeting and engaging customers for years – and it is still the backbone of most digital targeting strategies. However, despite email’s maturity, most marketers are not leveraging the channel to its fullest potential. The result? 9 out of 10 marketing emails aren’t even opened, let alone converting to sales.

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Today, there are two prevailing story lines about email marketing that seem contradictory:

Email has the best ROI of any digital marketing channel.

  • Email marketing has an ROI of 4,300%

Email marketing is dead.

  • Email ROI has Declined 30% in Recent Years

In fact, both stories are true. 84% of Americans check their email every day; for 65% it’s the first thing they do in the morning. And 71% say email is their preferred channel to receive marketing communications.

Yet we all have experience with the flip side of this email-centric culture: email overload. As individuals get more and more email, they are archiving, deleting and unsubscribing to manage their Inboxes. And the ISPs who serve them are getting pickier about what to deliver.

As a result, commercial marketing email has seen a 30% drop in ROI in the past 5 years — and in some industries, 20% list churn each year is the norm. Growing is extraordinarily difficult in this environment, where “high growth” is required just to maintain the list. Which means that although email marketing is far from dead, these trends, should they continue, could quickly see email marketing on life support. Working harder and harder just to maintain list sizes, while seeing diminishing returns across the board is one way to guarantee the value of email as a marketing channel being questioned.

So how can modern marketers overcome email overload? The answer is to deliver highly relevant messages to just the right person, at just the right time. The smart way to move forward is with personalization, which is more targeted, supported by automation.

Our soon to be released e-book, will provide an in-depth look at how brands can implement these new tactics: “Generate Higher Returns: Segment, Personalize & Automate Your Marketing Campaigns.”

Personalized. In a study of 650 multi-channel marketing campaigns, personalized campaigns consistently and overwhelmingly beat out static campaigns in generating high response rates. So not surprisingly, personalized emails generate up to 6 times higher revenue per email than do non-personalized emails. Why? Seventy-five percent of customers today say they want brands to personalize messaging and offers — are even willing to give up a degree of privacy to enable it. Yet 70% of brands still aren’t personalizing emails to subscribers.

Targeted. Email segmentation based on demographics and interests led to a 244% increase in email opens 161% increase in click through, and a 330% increase in revenue per mailing.

Automated. While SMBs often don’t have the resources to implement full-scale marketing automation, some degree of triggering marketing communications based on customer-behavior online pays off.  B2c marketers who take advantage of automation – which includes everything from cart abandonment programs to birthday emails – have seen conversion rates as high as 50%. Companies using marketing automation see 53% higher conversion rates than non-users, and an annualized revenue growth rate 3.1% higher than non-users. 78% of successful marketers cite marketing automation systems as most responsible for improving revenue contribution.

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Multichannel. It’s an old saying that it takes 7 touches to make a sale. Customers are clicking and searching with over half of their decision making already done. They have normally already done their homework, which more often than not means asking their friends and family – as social proof is an increasingly essential part of making a purchase. You might think they are early in the process, but in reality many customers are already at a much closer touch point in the sales cycle. Which makes highly targeted relevant content – especially through email – even more useful, if you want to convert an interest into a purchase.

Struggling with your marketing campaigns? Investigate the ways others are tackling similar challenges and attend an online demonstration here or read more about how others are doing it. is a social behavior platform for modern marketing teams.We help brands and organizations predict how customers and supporters will behave – even what they might do or buy – from social data. It has been used by over 100 companies and organizations to improve thousands of email marketing and social media campaigns.

Jeanette Russell
About Jeanette Russell

Passionate to engage stakeholders to solve technical and political issues through transformational initiatives. My deep understanding of technology, partnerships, marketing, advocacy, fundraising, nonprofits, startups and self-directed nature is my brand. I’ve created extensive partner networks, coalitions, spearheaded innovative campaigns and significantly increased revenue/funding for purpose driven ventures.

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