Email, as a business practice, has matured. No longer do marketers "batch and blast;" they understand the value the medium has in relationship building and generating conversions - increasingly leveraging technologies, tactics and techniques to make it work.
Social, SEO and digital advertising still manage to capture the majority of 'Net professionals' attention, but the evidence is clear - you should send more (and better) email. In its State of Search Marketing Report, Econsultancy and SEMPO revealed that 66 percent of marketers rate email's ability to deliver a return on investment (ROI) as "excellent" or "good," while only 41 percent feel the same way about social media marketing. What's more, Marketing Sherpa found that companies sending more than 100,000 emails per month see a 94 percent return on investment. Even more impressive, companies sending less than 100,000 emails per month see a 139 percent return. Whatever the volume of messages sent, know in your digital heart that email works.
The email channel/medium has remained an essential component of an online presence because it is effective, so it's time enterprises start taking what is delivered to their audiences more seriously. One of the main reasons that digital marketers tend to look down their virtual noses at more sophisticated email strategies is the concern related to overstepping their boundaries in relation to personalization (e.g. the "creepy" factor). A survey conducted by Harris Interactive, however, found that people actually like emails based on their previous shopping behaviors and preferences. In fact, 81 percent of U.S. digital shoppers said they were at least somewhat likely to make additional purchases, either online or in a store, as a result of these targeted emails.
Today's digital marketers have a variety of solutions to consider for use in their own enterprise. While many will turn to traditional email service providers including Constant Contact (#1) or MailChimp (#2), others will opt for inbound marketing, CRM and sales software solutions such as HubSpot (#4) or ExactTarget (#5), a Salesforce company, with powerful email solutions that serve as a core part of its offerings. Whatever role email plays within your organization let this month's Website Magazine Top 50 serve as an introduction to the vendors shaping the digital future.
Digital Tricks of the Email Trade
YesMail's Q1 Benchmarks (released in mid-May 2014) revealed that even though there is a 21 percent positive difference in click-to-open rates for emails with a responsive design, only 1 percent of marketers surveyed send responsive emails exclusively. Learn more digital tricks of the email trade in Website Magazine's Email Experience channel at wsm.co/EmailExperience.