With an estimated 80% of marketing emails opened by consumers, email marketing is a strategy that's hard to ignore. However, its ubiquity makes it tough to do correctly. There are many factors that you have to pay attention to: how many of your leads are opening your emails, where they're opening them, how they engage with the email once it's opened, etc. Watch today's Daily Brown Bag to learn some insightful statistics on email marketing and how you can do it correctly to build trust with your audience and have an impact your bottom line.


Hello, and welcome to our video where we’re going to be pondering the question of whether email marketing still matters. I’m Chad Hill and I have Adam Stetzer with me.

Good morning, Chad. Email marketing, a fun topic for this morning, and I know people often think they get so many emails, too many emails. When is this technology going to evolve? Let’s open with a few email marketing statistics from here in 2013 to set the stage. There are a staggering 3.6 billion email accounts worldwide. That’s a very, very large number. Interestingly, we have seen in the last few years the trend shifting a bit. Email usage and volume has actually declined since 2008, and one of the main reasons for that is that text messaging has increased. We’ve also seen a big increase in social media.

So I think that some of the email traffic that used to be used for personal communication has migrated to texting and to Twitter and to Facebook. What’s interesting is that if you dive into those numbers, you still see for email marketing, and as far as where small business email marketing is concerned, email is still a very active channel. Here’s one other survey result for you to open this conversation. Forty-five percent of folks still prefer email as their preferred channel for getting notified, 36% percent would say text messaging, and 13% say social media. So I think the opener is that email marketing is still alive and well, but you have to do it right.

Right, and I think we’re continuing to have to get through the clutter of email. One of the other stats that we found was that over 60% of people make that decision to open an email or not based on the subject line. Though more and more you have to fight to get through the clutter of the inbox, as you said this is a preferred channel for consumers to receive communications, especially from businesses. In fact, another stat we found was that 80% of consumers said that they are open to receiving emails from businesses. I don’t know the stats on text messaging and other platforms, but that’s still a very high permissions channel to be sending your communications through.

Right, and here’s another stat for you. As many as 44% of consumers made a purchasing decision in the last year that was prompted by an email that they got. So, this still seems like it works, but I think that what you’re talking about, Chad, is right on. Trust is at a premium here, and getting people to opt in and say “I want emails from you” is really key, and I think that decision is probably made early in the process. If you can establish trust and get opted in so that someone wants to receive emails from you, these stats imply that you’ll have very good conversion and open rates or whatever your target is. So, I think the days of buying a bad email marketing list are probably out. People will guard their email pretty heavily because of these volumes. But if you make it past that first cut, it seems like you have an awesome opportunity to continue a dialogue and ultimately prompt some sort of conversion or marketing action.

Exactly, and I think one of the really important stats here is the trend that more people are opening their emails on mobile devices. So, if you’re still stuck in the email marketing where you’re sending out an email that doesn’t work well on a mobile device, the likelihood of you reaching that customer when they’re out checking their email on their mobile device is a lot lower. So the trends that we saw are that basically 75% of people say that they are highly likely to delete an email if they can’t read it from their mobile device. Again, email is a great place to be. It’s a very viable channel to notify your customers, but you also have to understand what kinds of devices they’re reading email on, since it’s changed quite dramatically since 2008 and the earlier numbers, Adam, that you quoted.

I think the other way that it’s changed, Chad, is that email marketing was once seen as a way to capture new leads and bring people into your sales funnel. I think that, more and more, people are viewing it as something to do after there’s been a micro-conversion, and then nurture them along. This makes sense with these stats.

You’ve already convinced them in that they’ve been to your website or responded to your ad. Chad, it reminds me of a conversation about using pay-per-click remarketing or retargeting for people who have already come and expressed an interest, and now you want to have another shot at them. You didn’t convert them the first time, but you know they’re interested, so they’re a self-selecting group, and those are the people you want a shot at. I think email marketing has evolved more and more toward that angle. “You’ve been to my website and I’ve got you interested in something, a whitepaper, a video, an infographic, but you weren’t quite ready to sign up, or join on, or spend money. But, now I can more softly market to you with content, bring you back, and ultimately, after earning that trust, take some time and get that conversion.” These are some of our thoughts; we certainly want to hear yours. Please subscribe to our channel and also share your success stories with email marketing.