Why Email Marketing is Still Effective for Brands

Email Marketing

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As someone who always wants the latest news from retailers, I am on the email lists of almost all of my favorite brands: apparel, make-up, food, bookstore etc. You may think I’m crazy, but I am definitely not alone on this. Based on Compete survey results, 46.2% of people receive more than 10 emails from retailers in a typical week and 19.9% of them receive more than 30 emails (Tweet Stat!).

Emails per Week Consumers Receive

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With the growth of social media and other modern marketing techniques, there are some people that have claimed email marketing is dying. However, according to Compete, email marketing is, in fact, still booming. Although social media is taking over the traditional way of marketing, email is still a very effective means of communication between brands and their customers. According to Compete PRO, email is the second most popular incoming traffic source for most shopping sites after search engines. In addition, 40.6% of people choose email as a tool when they shop, compared to only 27.3% for social networking sites.

Is email marketing dying?

Most people, especially online shoppers, use emails on a daily basis. According to Compete PRO, the total unique visitors (UVs) for major email sites such as Gmail, Yahoo!, and AOL was above 162 million in the month of June. Since consumers have to subscribe to a company’s emails in order to receive them, the information is often taken more seriously. Retailers use social media to attract consumers with simple, funny, short messages, but email allows for more personal content. Sometimes it is hard to draw attention from consumers with just 140 characters. In contrast, it is easy to tell a story or promote a new product in an email with photos, animations or even videos. Although social media involves more interactions, email inboxes provide a more intimate and private environment. Based on a Compete survey, 94.6% of people would visit a retail site immediately after reading an email from the retailer.

Will the new Gmail inbox affect retailers?

Gmail recently changed the look of its inbox by adding different tabs that automatically sort emails received based on content. In hearing this news, many marketers became worried that their promotional emails will be lost in the promotion tab of the highly popular email client. Fortunately, according to MailChimp, data showed a negligible change in open rates and I honestly see this as a good change – for both Gmail and retailers. The new category tabs allow consumers to easily glance at all of the promotional emails that they are subscribed to in one place, hopefully creating a more pleasant experience all around. Although it is still too early to say how these tabs will affect promotional emails in the long run, it is still a change that brands should acknowledge and adjust to.

What kind of emails are effective?

A lot of smart brands now send out personalized emails. Based on short questionnaires or customers’ purchase histories, retailers use different content to different targeted consumers. Consumers are more likely to open an email like this, especially when they see their favorite products or a topic they are really interested in. This is especially the case for loyalty members, who can receive exclusive offers, early access codes or free gifts.

Mobile email on the rise.

Everything is going mobile these days. Being able to check email on my phone is definitely an important reason why I love mobile so much. When waiting in line or commuting, reading retailer emails is one of my favorite ways to kill time. In fact, according to recent findings, more email is read on mobile than on a computer. Optimizing email for mobile is now something that brands should be focusing on in order to provide the best experience for their customers.

Retailers nowadays should feel lucky for the variety of ways they could choose to promote their brands and products; however, it is easy to get lost too. In order to make the best use of each tool, retailers need to keep up on the latest strategies and know their customers well. To learn more about consumer email habits, download Compete’s free report, The State of Email!

About He Tang:
He is the summer Marketing Intern at Compete. She is currently a rising senior of Mount Holyoke College, double majoring in Psychology and Statistics. She is passionate about digital marketing and data analysis. Connect with her on Google+ or LinkedIn.