Email marketing is the most widely deployed marketing channel according to new research from the Relevancy Group, but email marketers can still optimize their performance with better data-driven segmentation.
Two-thirds of 500 marketing executives polled by the research firm said their company utilizes email marketing, followed distantly by the 42% of marketers that leverage organic Facebook marketing to grow their business.
Some 40% of marketers deployed online display ads, 39% used printed direct marketing material, while 37% of respondents incorporated online video into their marketing initiatives. A little under one-third of marketers polled leveraged mobile strategies, such as SMS or mobile applications.
“Email marketing continues to dominate, in part because of its ease-of-deployment, productivity and cost-effective track record,” writes David Daniels, CEO and founder at the Relevancy Group. “Email marketing is the workhorse of the industry, but this dominance also underscores marketers’ need to use relevant targeting to cut through the competitive clutter.”
Fewer than half of marketers utilize data to segment their email marketing outreach, per the report, suggesting the majority of marketers still send the same email to their entire subscriber list. Just 35% of marketers used demographic data to segment email campaigns, while 31% of respondents incorporated geographic data into their outreach.
“Successful email marketers will focus on the customer experience and deliver relevant messages through the use of historical data, such as click behavior or customer spending, or will utilize moment marketing through real-time data including location, weather or other event-based data,” writes Daniels.
Pros and Cons
Email marketing, if done correctly, is a great way to reach new audiences and potential customers online. But like any marketing campaign, understanding the pros and cons of email marketing can mean the difference between successful and failed campaigns.
Brand awareness – Consistent email marketing helps consumers remember who your brand is. This can result in consumers sharing your material if they think it’s good, which further promotes your brand, and it helps them recall your brand when they are ready to make a buying decision.
Easily share information – It allows you to share content that demonstrates your knowledge and expertise in your specific industry or field, but it also gives you the opportunity to promote or announce a new product, service or limited-time special offer.
Open, targeted dialogue – Email marketing creates the opportunity to build conversations around topics consumers are interested in. Because opt in/out services are available in email campaigns, people who are genuinely interested in your products can receive your emails, and you’re able to build targeted campaigns around this group.
Fast and cheap to produce – Email marketing campaigns don’t require as many hours and dollars of design and printing services that direct mail campaigns need since a variety of free and low-cost email marketing sites are out there.
Difficult getting attention – It’s very much possible that your marketing email may never be opened by consumers. Bulk email programs are unpredictable because a marketing email can be seen as unimportant and deleted or caught in the spam folder and never seen by consumers.
Bad reputation – Unsolicited emails can leave a bad taste in a consumer’s mouth and make a person consider your company less than reputable. If anyone on your list hasn’t opted in or if an unsubscribe request isn’t taken care of immediately, your company’s image can be tarnished.
Relevance – Sending relevant information to a large group of people is difficult to accomplish. Consumers want quality information that is pertinent to them. If there isn’t a clear and appropriate call to action for your target group, they’ll move on to the next email.
Requires time and thought – From the body content and call to action to the subject line that gets people to click on the email, creating quality email content consumers are interested in can be time consuming.
So there you have it. Like any marketing campaign, there are pros and cons to email marketing that should be considered before planning an advertising strategy around it. But if you do it right, email marketing can be very effective.
This article was originally published by Fortress Consulting Group.