Email Marketing Is Nearly 40 Years Old. How Can We Keep It Thriving?

Email Marketing Is Nearly 40 Years Old. How Can We Keep It Thriving?

As most brands have adopted email as a major communication hub, consumers have started to get hundreds of brand emails per day both from brands they’ve subscribed to and from those they’re never interacted with. As consumers do more online, they’re turning to brands to provide information. According to new research from Yes Lifecycle Marketing, as of the first quarter of 2017, new email subscribers make up 6 percent of a marketer’s database, registering a 30 percent increase over the last three years. To make the most of consumers’ digital hub, smart marketers should consider these best practices: Offer unique content. Along with timing, it’s also important to get the frequency of email campaigns right. Trigger engagement. This past quarter, Yes Lifecycle Marketing found that triggered email campaigns generated almost five times the click rate, almost double the open rate and almost triple the CTO rate of business as usual campaigns. Because triggered messages are timely, relevant, informed and actionable, their use is appropriate for almost any type of email marketing program. With each trigger not implemented, marketers are missing a huge opportunity to drive engagement and conversions. By balancing offer emails with lifecycle messages and value-added communications, an offer is perceived as a treat that maximizes purchase opportunities.

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Email Marketing Is Nearly 40 Years Old. How Can We Keep It Thriving?

The first marketing email was sent nearly 40 years ago by a marketer named Gary Thuerk from Digital Equipment Corporation. Thuerk sent an email promoting his company to roughly 400 people with an ARPANET address. While this first marketing email generated a huge spike in sales, it also led to what later became known as spam — unsolicited, unwanted messages sent en masse.

Today, there is a major distinction between deliberate, carefully crafted communications from a brand and haphazardly sent spam emails. This distinction is the result of saturation. As most brands have adopted email as a major communication hub, consumers have started to get hundreds of brand emails per day both from brands they’ve subscribed to and from those they’re never interacted with. This development has prompted marketers to become savvier in the way they use the email channel to communicate with consumers. As such, email has become a central “hub” for all things digital, making it more useful and important than ever. Just think: When was the last time you purchased something online (and even in-store!) without providing an email address?

As consumers do more online, they’re turning to brands to provide information. That’s one reason the number of new email subscribers (those who have subscribed within 90 days) is at an all-time high. According to new research from Yes Lifecycle Marketing, as of the first quarter of 2017, new email subscribers make up 6 percent of a marketer’s database, registering a 30 percent increase over the last three years.

At the same time however, click-to-open (CTO) rates have been on a steady decline, indicating that while marketers are effectively enticing consumers to subscribe to and open their messages, they still struggle to drive engagement beyond the open.

Email marketing is certainly alive and well, but there’s work to be done. To make the most of consumers’ digital hub, smart marketers should consider these best practices:

Offer unique content.

Enticing subject lines are the foundation of effective email campaigns, but marketers need to do…

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