Why Email Needs to be a Part of Your Marketing Mix

By Sue Brady

email with skitch

Email is like that old loyal friend that keeps on doing right by you. It might not be as sexy as other online marketing tools, but it’s just as important. Why? Because your qualified prospects and customers read them, they are inexpensive to send, and they generate business.

Email gets a bad rap and is frequently miss-categorized as spam. After all, 78% of emails are spam. But the truth is, email is a highly targetable medium and it brings in results. According to Experian, “Email continues to reign as one of the most profitable channels for marketers, and one of the leading paths to purchase.”

The chart below from HubSpot shows that email leads are the 3rd highest in the mix that convert to sales.

Hubspot Lead to Sales Conv Rates

Email doesn’t have to be a stand-alone medium. I’ve seen examples where combining email with direct mail has lifted response rates by as much as 20%! And cost per lead from email vs other channels tends to be lower because of the lower cost, compared to other media types.

Email open rates do vary by industry. And you should test elements of your emails like ‘subject line’ and the ‘from’ address to improve those rates. Figure out what will drive your highest open rates and response and that will vary depending on your campaign goals.

email open rates by industry (2)

As you develop your email programs to nurture your leads, you’ll see response improve. Hubspot conducted a study that showed that emails that were a part of a lead nurturing program generated 4-10 times the response rates when compared to stand-alone email. And, they generated an 8% click-thru rate, compared to 3% from stand-alone emails.

Mobile considerations are important. Over 50% of email opens happen solely on a mobile device (source: Litmus.com). Tweet that stat! What’s really interesting about that is that well over half of marketers surveyed do not design mobile specific emails. According to Kissmetrics, 89% of consumers say they will delete an email if they open it on their phone and it doesn’t look right. (A similar study by Constant Contact put the number at 75% of consumers who will delete an email that doesn’t render properly – still high!) Use a single column format, ‘light-weight’ pictures and larger type with buttons big enough to avoid fat fingering. Keep it simple.

Related to ‘light-weight,’ load times matter too. These are website statistics but give you a general idea of what you’re facing: 40% of desktop users will abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load, and 19% of mobile users will wait less than 5 seconds (source: Kissmetrics).

These email benchmarks by yesmail can help you understand the level of metrics you should be achieving with your emails and can help guide you as you optimize your campaign.

email-benchmarks-source-yesmail Interactive Email Compass 3Q13In summary, don’t forget about email when you develop your marketing programs. Know your goals, design your program with those in mind, track results and test,test,test.

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