Even as new ways for marketers to reach their audiences continue to emerge and gain popularity, email marketing remains one of the most effective online strategies for growing your business.
In fact, recent research from leading industry firms finds that:
- There are 2.5 billion email users worldwide.
- Seventy-two percent of U.S. adults online send or receive emails via smartphone at least weekly.
- Email is the preferred channel for receiving commercial messages for 68 percent of consumers.
- Eighty-one percent of online shoppers in the U.S. are more likely to make both online and in-store purchases due to emails based on previous shopping preferences and behaviors.
- Nineteen percent of consumers — about 1 in 5 — read every email newsletter they receive, just to see if there’s an offer in them.
This is great news for small business, since email marketing is among the most affordable and accessible methods. But like all things digital and marketing, the specifics of effective, successful email marketing evolve over time.
What Will Successful Email Marketing Look Like This Year?
Here are some of the most critical areas marketers need to focus on to put out results-driven successful email marketing campaigns today.
More Marketing Automation
Automated marketing campaigns are rapidly gaining traction as more marketers discover the efficiency and time-saving benefits of automation. In fact, according to a recent study from The Lenskold Group, 78 percent of successful marketers say that marketing automation directly increases their revenue.
Today’s automated marketing software and platforms are more sophisticated than ever. They allow marketers to easily segment and personalize campaigns, track and analyze results, implement changes quickly based on post-campaign analytics, and much more.
The ability to personalize using automation is key — studies have shown that email personalization boosts click-through rates by up to 20 percent.
Segmentation Becomes the Key
Speaking of personalization, this year the race to capture and keep email marketing audiences will intensify as consumers demand a more meaningful approach to marketing.
Segmentation will be a top priority for email marketers looking to up their game and improve the success of their campaigns.
Big data and advanced analytics allow for more carefully targeted groups, based on factors that are meaningful and relevant to your business and your audience. Whether you segment based on gender, age group, location, online behavior and purchase history, or a combination of factors, precise email targeting delivers an increased ROI with higher open rates, more click-throughs, and greater revenue.
Mobile is a Must
Email marketers can no longer afford to ignore the influence of mobile on consumer spending habits. According to statistics collected by emailmonday:
- Mobile email opens have increased more than 180 percent in the past 3 years.
- By the end of 2014, more than half (53 percent) of all email was being opened on a mobile device.
- Sixty-one percent of consumers now read at least some of their emails on mobile devices.
- Sixty-eight percent of email opens for Gmail and Yahoo accounts occur on mobile devices.
- Thirty percent of consumers now read email exclusively on mobile devices.
This year, responsive design and mobile marketing will be vital to a successful email marketing strategy. Your messages must be clear and readable across all platforms and operating systems, or your emails are likely to end up deleted unread.
Responsive design, however, encourages the actions you want — in fact, a study from Litmus and MailChimp found that the first link in a responsively designed email read on mobile devices has a 30 percent higher click-through rate than non-responsive designs.
Email Marketing is Still the Future
Effective digital marketing methods may come and go, but email marketing remains one of the most consistent and effective. As a whole, email marketing has shown a steady 7 percent year-on-year growth, with no sign of vanishing over the horizon.
Having a solid, engaged mailing list and an intelligent email marketing strategy can be the best step your small business can take this year and beyond.