Is there a problem with email?
Many would say yes, but I’d challenge that. Having spoken recently with a few executive level marketers, I learned that, like me, they still rely heavily on email in their marketing mix. However, also like me, they are hearing a lot of buzz about email not being reliable as a channel, and maybe we secretly think that, too. But, we all wonder, what has replaced it? I recently attended the Connect CMO Summit in Chicago and had an opportunity to try and find out.
After walking the exhibit hall and being scheduled to meet with nearly 10 vendors, many would have you believe that email is the lowest-performing channel, especially those who are promoting a product or service other than email marketing. Most of the companies at the CMO Summit were focused on chat, push notifications, content management, and web performance services, with a bit of video, promo items, and email sprinkled in. If you believed everything you heard in the vendor hall, you’d walk away thinking you needed a whole new channel mix and a new marketing tech stack on top!
So, was this just the difference between B2B and B2C marketing or was it as simple as a sales ploy…or, like most situations in life, does the truth lie somewhere in the middle? Enter the breakout sessions.
That was an entirely different conversation. After listening to multiple presentations over the course of two days, I thought to myself—maybe email isn’t dead for any marketer. Sure, campaign performance on any channel can fluctuate. But, is one dip the channel’s problem or could it be caused by something else? Based on first-hand experience, at MDR, I know that our customers’ email performance rates have held steady, and some have even gone up, since 2015.
From my perspective, email marketing has changed, but it is certainly not a channel of the past. The “spray and pray” method of email marketing is obsolete, but isn’t that the same for all channels? And truthfully, isn’t that what quality marketing is all about? With all the data and analytics tools available, there is no need to kiss it up to the sky and hope for the best. Rather, we can use these tools to be more predictive of our best audience and the best message. And, note that many of the presenters from respectable companies like, General Motors, Opensense, Coupa and Survey Monkey, said the same thing.
Optimize Your Email Efforts
Having a multi-channel strategy is necessary, but it doesn’t replace email. MDR believes that email is the best channel to deliver your brand’s most important messages since you can personalize to the exact audience about what specifically matters to them. And, like digital ads, you can serve the email when they are online and most likely to engage. How? This infographic will tell you the top days and times when educators are opening emails.
Most education marketers still consider email a crucial part of their marketing mix. Our clients have told us how well it does work, claiming it’s one of the most important acquisition channels for new users, and is successful at the top of the funnel for lead generation.
It’s more cost effective than most other forms of one-to-one communication, can be turned around quickly, and offers near-immediate response times. Your email strategy may have to work harder and smarter to continue to have dollars allocated to it. But for those who make the investment to do email right, the rewards will be there for the taking.
Revisit some of your previous emails and consider how you can get more out of them. Here are some exclusive tools that could enhance the results of what you already do.