There’s a lot of money to be made in email marketing.
That’s why, despite the explosive growth of global social media platform and messaging app use over the past decade, almost every major brand in the world still has an email marketing program.
More than 40 years have now passed since the advent of email, and the internet’s original communication channel remains the first thing most internet users check each and every day. Email has also emerged as consumers’ preferred channel for permission-based promotional messages, beating out all other digital channels in industry survey after industry survey for the better part of a decade.
And yet, every year a bunch of “experts” sound the death knell of email. As a result, some brands remain hesitant to invest the resources necessary to make the most of good old email marketing.
In 2006, RSS was going to kill email. In 2009, it was Facebook. In 2014, Snapchat. And 2018, voice was going to spell the end. And yet – email marketing remains, and in fact is stronger than ever.
The Digital Marketing Landscape Is Shifting
Things are changing quickly in the digital marketing realm.
The world’s biggest social media platforms find themselves embroiled in user data privacy scandals, and advertising costs are on the rise. The ecommerce platforms that brands have come to rely on to bring their products to the digital market are pulling the rug out from under them. The digital middlemen of the internet are slowly grinding the crucial relationships between brands and their consumers into oblivion.
Note that the above paragraph all focuses on huge, walled gardens, which can make or break normal companies. Whether it’s Facebook with social, Amazon with marketplace, and Google with search – you are beholden to a third party’s profit seeking.
But not with email. Email remains platform agnostic. No one owns it.
All the email addresses you hold in your CRM database are contactable, at a very low cost. You’re not dependent on paying per click to get traffic to your website. You don’t have to guess what’s true amongst the million unverified statistics you’re shown. And the direct sales you make are pure margin, with no middle-men taking a bite.
That’s why the Wall Street Journal recognizes email marketing as the "hot new channel for reaching your customers.”
Building a Better Email Mousetrap with AI
Competition for user attention in the email inbox is just as fierce as it is anywhere in the marketing game. With click-through and ROI numbers that consistently outperform those of most other digital marketing channels, brands across the world are taking notice. The world’s inboxes are becoming more crowded by the day.
Gaining an email marketing edge to cut through the noise and engage consumers remains the goal—and brands who are embracing artificial intelligence are at the forefront.
(UK travel giant Virgin Holidays recently announced that it had increased email marketing revenues by “several million pounds” through implementation of our AI email optimization tool Phrasee into its email marketing strategy.)
And Virgin Holidays isn’t alone. The artificial intelligence email marketing revolution is now in full swing, and brands like eBay and Domino’s are already cashing in.
Science, it seems, may hold the key to helping brands maximize the value of their customer relationships through the email marketing channel.
A Worthwhile Investment
Sure, social media marketing offers customer acquisition and audience reach numbers that few email marketing strategies can match (there’s a science to that too!), but it’s in customer retention and customer lifetime value that a brand’s customer acquisition investment really starts to pay off.
Research has shown that it costs five times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to retain an existing one. Not only that, but existing customers are 50% more likely to try a brand’s new products and spend an average of 31% more than newly acquired customers do. With numbers like that, it’s easy to understand why customer retention is so crucial to long-term marketing success.
And, with consumers overwhelmingly identifying email as their preferred channel for receiving communication from brands, optimizing email’s massive customer retention and CLV potential should be a key marketing priority for every brand in 2019.
If your brand isn’t investing in improving its email marketing program through proven, scientific methods like AI optimization, what are you waiting for?
Parry Malm is the CEO of Phrasee, AI that writes better subject lines, Facebook ads and push messages than humans.