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The Revolution is in Your Inbox: Why Email Marketing Still Matters

Junk mail, spam, advertisements, a reason to open an anonymous Gmail account … we all know the dark side of email marketing. But would you believe that despite its reputation, 77 percent of people, regardless of age, still overwhelmingly prefer to receive marketing and messages via email instead of via phone, text or even social media?

It’s true, according to the ExactTarget 2012 Channel Preference Survey. Email marketing isn’t shiny and new like social media, but it should still be a central piece of your interactive marketing communications strategy.

Just about every business uses email as a communications tool — it’s inexpensive, it’s timely and it’s easily measurable. And think for a moment about your own email accounts: You likely have a business account and at least one personal account (probably more than one). In fact, Microsoft’s Hotmail, Yahoo mail and Gmail together have more than one billion users. Those numbers simply do not add up to a death knell for email marketing.

It’s Alive! Email Marketing Numbers

  • 30 percent: The percentage of consumers reporting that half (or more) of the marketing emails they receive are of interest to them, according to the Direct Marketing Association.
  • 85 percent: The percentage of Internet users around the world using email for communication, according to an Ipsos Global Public Affairs poll.
  • 36 percent: The percentage of all email opens on a mobile device, according to a Knotice Email Opens report.

What do the numbers tell us? Email hasn’t been replaced by social media. In fact, email and social media work together in many ways and both should be utilized to make business communications successful. Email marketing has even been adapted to meet the needs of mobile users to increase its reach and effectiveness.

How to Make Sure All Eyes Are on Your Email Campaigns

  • Make sure your campaigns are consistently branded across the board to reflect your brand identity.
  • Make your email communications so good and so specifically focused on their unique needs and interests that people won’t want to opt out.
  • But make it easy to opt out for those who choose to do so. If someone opts out, ask why. Then use the feedback to improve on future email campaigns.
  • Be real and authentic to let people know they’re communicating with a person.
  • Integrate social channels into your email marketing. And take every opportunity (social media, website, etc.) to ask people to subscribe to email updates. People don’t mind receiving email from you when they’ve subscribed.
  • No heavy sales! Email marketing is best used to inform and educate. If an email contains interesting, valuable content, people are more likely to respond to it.
  • Make your emails responsive. If a user can’t see or respond to your email marketing using a mobile device, you’re ignoring a significant percentage of your audience.
  • Segment your customers, test different campaigns and pay attention to the data. Find out what works and for whom.

Email marketing isn’t dead — it’s a cost-effective, measurable and accessible way to build your business, but you have to do it right. Ask Olive & Company how you can get timely results quickly and create an engaging and valuable content outlet with an email marketing campaign.

Picture of Lynne Morioka
Lynne Morioka
With a background in journalism and public relations and 15 years of experience encompassing writing, editing, communications, PR, and social media, Lynne's passion is writing. She helps brands find their voice, so they can effectively express who they are and inspire action.