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Is Email marketing still worth it?

Yes. Email marketing has been declared illegal, dead or dying many times over the years, with banner adds, web / Google Ads, legislation and search engines all about to kill it off. Yet, as the graph illustrates, email is continuing to grow. Around 300 billion emails are delivered each day in 2020 and a steady percentage are marketing related.

Part of the growth in email traffic is due to more users. As of 2020, around 4 billion email accounts exist. A further trend to watch for is the growth in the use of smartphones to access email. Both Android and Apple phones boast highly useable and convenient email clients. Globally, nearly 50% of all email opening happens on a smartphone.

Marketwise has been working in the marketing and email marketing sector for over 20 years. We specialise in science mailing lists, but our experience and knowledge gained, applies across industry sectors.

Billions of emails sent each day

Emails sent per day

What is the ROI on Email Marketing?

According to a large survey from The Direct Marketing Association, publicly available here as a pdf, the answer is an average of $42 for every $1 spent.  Obviously an average hides extremes, with some campaigns returning upwards of $90 to every $1 spent and some returning lower.

In summary, the answer to the question “Is email marketing worth it?” is yes, but it depends. With over 300 billion emails a day, it takes care and patience to stand out in a crowded inbox.

In this section, we discuss all aspects of email marketing, common mistakes and pitfalls, the impact of privacy legislation and what works. First lets cover inbound versus outbound marketing, a topic that often divides opinions.

Which is better, Inbound marketing or Outbound marketing?

First let’s define the terms inbound and outbound marketing. Inbound marketing relies on your customers finding you and your products or services. Today, this is mostly via a search engine, which is why companies spend so much time on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).  Outbound marketing is when you proactively search for your customers and approach them directly. This could use email, messaging, physical post, telephone calls and so on.

So which is better? As with most things, the answer is – it depends.  If your product is a commodity, that everyone knows about, inbound will work well (iPhone anyone?). If your brand is the market leader and has huge recognition, again, your customers will find you (did you find Netflix or did they approach you?).  But let’s dig a little deeper. If you have a well known brand, but you are now doing something new – what then? Do you hope your customers notice? Perhaps your existing customers will, but how about new customers?

We firmly believe that inbound and outbound marketing are complimentary.

In summary, it’s a false choice to decide to choose one over the other.  Outbound marketing is especially good when you want to promote a new or refreshed product or service that your target customers would not even know to search for. A good outbound marketing strategy can help create awareness for inbound leads to flow. Conversely a good inbound / SEO strategy will help increase the success of a targeted outbound campaign.

Inbound and outbound marketing are two halves of a successful marketing strategy.

The following pages give further advice on running a successful email marketing campaign. If you have any questions, please get in touch.