Not long ago, marketers considered email marketing to be as over as Calvin Harris is of Taylor Swift. In this social-media rich landscape, people believed that no one read emails anymore. People are glued to their smartphones, even taking them to bed with them and they want their information quick and painless. Spam filters and anti-spam legislation also seemed to be one of the biggest knives in the back of email marketing proponents.
But, studies indicate that email is still a very important form of marketing to your customers and in fact, the numbers say that marketers should actually increase their email marketing budgets and not lay this form of promotion to bed. It might be easy to forget, but people also use their smartphones for checking emails, not just for social media and Pokemon Go. In fact, studies have found that the most popular activity on a smartphone is checking email, even before playing games, web browsing and checking Facebook.
Many marketers are increasing their email marketing budgets
Selligent & StrongView’s 2016 Marketing Trends Survey found that 56% of marketers plan to increase their email budgets for this year. Other studies show even higher numbers. This shows us that there is some confidence in the importance of email as a marketing strategy, although if they were smart, other businesses would follow suit. The survey also found that email will be the majority of firms’ top investment going forward, followed by social media. You read that right: social media will not be the most important investment in most agencies marketing strategies.
What will the focus be?
Engagement was also cited in this survey as a top focus when determining the budget. And while the budget will focus mainly on the email aspect, integration of email with social media was high on most lists. Andre Lejeune, CEO of Selligent says that “Email marketing is an established and profitable channel that will be seeing increased investment in 2016 as marketers continue to rely on it as a vital part of their omnichannel strategies.”
Why is email marketing so great?
Email marketing is increasingly being seen as a gateway to your other channels. While all channels are important, no other one is operates like email does. Connecting users on Facebook won’t necessarily get them to follow you on Twitter and vice versa. But, through your email campaigns, readers have access to all of your social media accounts, presuming that you are adding social buttons to your emails. This is probably the reason why many marketers are focusing on integration for 2016. Through your email campaigns, you can draw people to your blog by offering just tiny pieces of the content, you can invite them to access social-only deals and you can ask them to engage their followers by retweeting your content.
Why increase the budget?
A really important piece of the puzzle when it comes to email marketing is that it is very simple to measure your results. If you do increase your budget, you can see the results in real-time with measurement of open rates and click-throughs.
Jayson DeMers, in an article written for Forbes, says that people are demanding more from the brands they love. They no longer want simple promotions or lists of what’s new on your site. In order to give them more, you need to increase your budget. He says you can “Serve them well with better designs, more appealing copy, and better offers—free giveaways, discounts, and special deals are all winners, but they take an upfront investment to be successful.” Essentially, you need to spend more to get more.
Why not increase the mobile budget?
Many who increased their mobile advertising budgets found disappointing results in years past. While the budgets are still increasing, they won’t meet email marketing’s budget for the next few years. This is because marketers have found that their efforts have performed poorly, they had difficulty tracking the return on investment and there are some estimates that say many of the clicks are actually accidental. Ooops.
Email continues to fight to stay in the top spot when it comes to marketing and the numbers show that it will be there for quite some time yet.