Email marketing is still going strong! Mailjet, an email service provider, recently launched a survey to see if there are any international differences when it comes to email marketing. The survey included marketers in the U.S., Germany, and France. In this Daily Brown Bag, you’ll learn about email personalization, how email will continue to be a vital component of marketing, and the two top factors that attributed to higher open rates. You’ll also learn about social media and tips on how to improve your email marketing.

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Hello, and welcome to the Daily Brown Bag. Today we’re going to be covering some recently released email statistics. I’m Chad Hill, and I’m joined by Adam Stetzer.

Hey, good morning, Chad. Welcome to the Brown Bag. We’re talking about our recent survey, covering marketers in the U.S., Germany, and France. Chad, this reminds us that email is still a vital part of your overall marketing strategy. I know we cover this all of the time. We talk about internally, we talk about it with our SEO reseller community in our four o’clock training, and it just seems like we gotta repeat these stats over and over again because they’re pretty strong.

Today, we’re looking at a survey conducted by Mailjet -- that’s an email service provider. They looked at 300 marketers from large-sized and mid-sized companies in this survey pool... so a pretty good sample. A hundred from the U.S., one hundred from France, and one hundred from Germany, trying to see if there are any international differences here. Each company surveyed sends about a half a million emails each month (that’s over 500,000 emails a month), so these are folks who are way into email marketing at a fairly large scale. These findings maybe will surprise you. For us, Chad, they probably won’t because we cover these stats so much. Email is an important part of marketing. It bears repeating: Email is still very important.

Email is an Important Part of Marketing

Seventy-three percent of marketers in the U.S. say email is “very” or “extremely important” to their overall marketing. Marketers in France were similar at 70% saying “very” or “extremely important,” and, in Germany, they’re at 61%. ....So all in the ballpark around 70% saying it is very or extremely important to their marketing. Again, Chad, it’s really interesting to talk about when we know how many of our small businesses just struggle to have a good capture for email list building. They struggle to have a good nurture, and they certainly struggle to look at these statistics and understand.

Email Marketing Will Continue to Be a Vital

Small business may think that won’t be vital in the future -- that email is declining. The stats don’t support that. They show that email is going to continue to be a vital part of marketing. Sixty-seven percent of U.S. marketers said the importance of email will either increase or at least stay the same for the next five years. Germany and France coming in at 83% and 81%... so even more optimistic that email marketing will either at least stay the same, but possibly grow in importance. I think the discussion here, Chad, is this is a challenge. We know the spam filters are gaining sophistication each and every day. We gotta figure out how to get people to open these emails, and I think it comes down to strategies and tailoring those messages so people actually open those emails. What can people do?

Adam, it is interesting here. Once again, we’re looking at these stats that continue to support that email marketing is so important.

Top 2 Factors for a Higher Open Rate

The two most important things that came out of this survey, in terms of getting an improved email open rate:

  1. Personalization (basically using past preferences or information that was provided by the user) and

  2. Maintaining a good, current email list. This is something a lot of people could spend a bit more time on and probably get some improved results.

    Email Personalization

    In looking at these three different markets, Germany definitely has the leg up on personalization. About 30% of German email marketers are using past information -- preferences, purchasing behavior -- to inform the emails that are going out… whereas only 17% of U.S. marketers and 13% of French marketers are using personalization.

    Primary Concerns: Blacklisting & Ending Up in the Spam Folder

    Marketers in all three countries listed blacklisting and ending up in the spam folder as a primary concern.

    • Eighty percent are concerned about spam; eight in 10 are familiar with the spam laws.

    • Only about 58% have reviewed those in the last six months.

    Depending on your market, it’s probably good to go in and refresh your understanding of them. I think, if anything, Adam, what we’ve seen is that people tend to categorize something as spam, when maybe, it’s not legally spam. Anyone thinks spam is just any unsolicited email that comes in; spam actually has a much more specific definition.

    A/B Testing and Social Media

    Americans are definitely ahead on A/B testing and social media.

    About 93% U.S. marketers are using A/B testing, which is sending two different tests out to different parts of your email list (segmenting them) and then looking at the response rate or open rates and seeing how that performs.

    Eighty percent of marketers in France are doing it, 77% in Germany. Again, one of the other really interesting things here was that U.S. markets tend to be working in conjunction between social media and email -- so hooking social media to their email marketing campaigns. About 90% of U.S. marketers are using social media as a part of marketing whereas, in E.U., it’s around 78% .

    Email Marketing Takeaways & Tips

    Some best practices of email marketing:

    1. Remember that every customer is probably not looking for the same thing. We see in Germany that personalization is really important. Personalization can take a lot of forms. It can be just as simple as thinking about who’s subscribed to the list and what they’re interested in -- all the way down to using very precise technology to include different custom images based on what previous purchases might have been. Really, don’t overcomplicate personalization. You can start simple.

    2. Don’t blast the same message to your entire list. Try to Tailor things and personalize.

    3. In terms of list, check your lists and edit/update them.

    4. Pay attention to analytics. There’s a lot of great filters with off-the-shelf email marketing providers, as well as, the email marketing service we offer to go in and look at how long ago did someone actually open an email. Maybe starting to scrub out some people who have never opened emails or have specific campaigns to maybe try to get specific people who haven’t opened in a while to pop back in and re-engage with your email.

    Those are just a couple ideas. Again, email marketing is really important; these are really critical stats we’re reviewing today, Adam.

    Yeah, it’s really interesting, Chad. Because we know from surveying our reseller community, it isn’t at the top of mind for them. They want to sell SEO and websites. We’ve seen that in the data; we’ve covered that data a few weeks ago. Yet, these statistics are just relentless, Chad. I feel like they’re chasing us -- every month we’re covering this. It seems like there is a little bit of a disconnect. Maybe it’s because it’s not a sexy product. Maybe it’s because it’s more difficult and hard to measure and takes more integration with the client. We would just urge you, if you’re not doing email marketing for your small business client or for yourself, to utilize these email tips in your marketing strategy. These data, well, they’re never wrong. You need to listen to them and realize you’re missing out an opportunity of some money on the table. If you’re finding that too challenging, push your provider or come see us at our four o’clock training. We’d be happy to talk about it.

    That’s our Brown Bag for today. We really appreciate you joining us, and, of course, we’d love to see you tomorrow. We ask you to hit the subscribe button, and we’ll see you again soon.