Trendier marketers have begun to de-emphasize email marketing, blaming "email fatigue" and the rise of alternatives such as messaging and social media. Email's weakening hold on consumers -- especially Millennials -- is often blamed for the challenges of email-centric services like Groupon and Constant Contact.
While it is important to develop programs for the next wave of messaging and social media, email has -- if anything -- become even more effective. Trendy or not, email marketing remains the backbone of customer engagement.
Email management companies such as Mail Chimp, Constant Contact and Fishbowl are actively helping SMBs not only manage their lists, but also produce content that is more relevant for recipients, rather than sending out generic “batch and blast” or “spray and pray” campaigns.
Mobile optimization is also key for successful email efforts. These days, more than 50% of emails are read on a mobile device. Mobile is ideal for emails that take into account location, user segmentation, and especially, offers.
Embedding offers into email, in particular, boost their effectiveness and are a great carrot to incentivize customers to establish relationships. Non-offer “Welcome to the Website” type – emails typically sees a conversion rate of 1.5% to 2%, offer driven email, according to Privy, an email promotions manager. A good email offer – “join our list and get x % off -- will see dramatically higher results, boosting conversion rates to the 5% to 15% range.
Email becomes even more impactful when it seamlessly integrates with other channels. In terms of marketing strategy, email now anchors a deeper customer relationship via extensions such as social media (Facebook ad management), events management, search, loyalty and other services. The interplay with all of these represent email’s next generation.