Email Marketing on the Rise

Cost-Effectiveness and Retention are Big Factors

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New research suggests that email marketing in the US will reach $2 billion by 2014. This isn’t exactly in line with research from JupiterRearch earlier this year, which suggested $2.1 billion in 2012, but it’s looking good for the industry nonetheless. What are your thoughts on the future of email marketing? Give us your take.

This new research comes from Forrester Research, who says that falling CPMs (cost per thousands), higher ROI (return on investment) and growing consumer use of social email accounts will all contribute to the use of email by direct marketing professionals. The firm says that in five years consumers will opt-in to receive over 9,000 email marketing messages annually.

Forrester’s research cites the following as key growth areas for shaping the future of email marketing:

- Retention email — email that recipients have blessed with their permission — will continue to replace paper communications and will make up the largest share of marketing messages. Retention emails will account for more than a one-third of all marketing messages in consumers’ inboxes by 2014, representing increased competition for marketers.

– While the bulk of the market will continue to deploy email marketing on a self-service basis, the growing complexity associated with data integration and new tactics to increase relevancy will drive healthy growth in use of email service providers.

– Spending on opt-in ad-sponsored or ad-supported newsletters will double over the next five years as traditional print publishers face falling circulation and ad revenue.

iEntry, Inc. which is the parent of WebProNews, has been a leading source of B2B email marketing for ten years.

Susan Coppersmith"iEntry Network clients continue to see great results today. It only makes sense for more dollars to be spent on email since agencies and companies are seeing the value of building rapport with their target audience," says Susan Coppersmith, Director of Sales at iEntry, Inc. "Companies that have the most success within our B2B network opt for more complex email campaigns, which include follow up sponsorships, banners and dedicated email. They understand that they need to invest in their target if they want their target to invest in them."

"Keeping in front of decision makers on a regular basis with information, benefits and features of a product or service is vital in making sales and taking market share," she adds.  "As for Social Media and email they are a natural fit. After all email was the first form of Social Media."

David Daniels of ForresterSocial media has brought an interesting new element into the world of email marketing. This element brings with it both opportunities and challenges. "The use of email in social networks will be one of the biggest challenges for direct marketers," says Forrester Research Vice President and Principal Analyst David Daniels. "Over the next five years, marketers must bridge the gap between social and traditional inboxes with social sharing tools."

In an interview for SmallBusinessNewz a few months ago, I discussed the relationship between social media and email marketing with Steve Adams, the VP of Marketing for email marketing firm Campaigner.
Steve Adams of Campaigner

"As social media becomes more integrated into the lives of consumers, you will see email marketing services building more types of features and functionality into their offerings, enhancing users’ interactivity and social experiences," Adams said. "It’s likely that you will see the integration of email with other social media communications on the rise – giving subscribers the option to receive email marketing promotions via RSS, updates from Twitter or to their actual email inbox.  Many businesses have already been integrating video and podcasts into their email marketing campaigns. It’s an exciting time for small businesses and marketers to reach out to their audiences with a mix of online tools and services at a very low cost."

There is no denying that social media-specific marketing has been talked up relentlessly over the past year or two, and it sometimes seems that the emergence of the new strategies that come with it have overshadowed the more established channels like email marketing, but email marketing is clearly still a bread-winner.

"Although social media marketing is becoming more and more popular, recent studies are finding that people still like and want to receive emails," explained Adams. "For example a study by Epsilon and ROI Research entitled ‘Beyond the Click: The Indirect Value of Email’ found that 84 percent of recipients liked receiving email from companies with whom they’ve subscribed to their e-newsletters. Another stat to note is from an Aberdeen report which states that email marketing is ranked the number one recessionary marketing tool. Although there are other marketing techniques gaining popularity, email marketing is here to stay, especially for small businesses." (emphasis added)

In April, Ball State University, the Email Marketer’s Club, and ExactTarget shared results of another study, which found that only 13% of email marketers were integrating social media into their campaigns, though 46% of them intended to do so this year. This is just a testament to how the need for complimentary campaigns among different channels exists to those looking to reach the largest amount of potential customers, and highlights the evolution of online marketing in general.

If you want another testament to how effective an email marketing campaign can be, look at this Hitwise data showing how Circuitcity.com jumped following a big campaign:

Circuit City graph

Email Marketing Tips

I’ve discussed these tips in a previous article, but they still hold true, and you can consider all of the above information to be context for the application of them.

- Track your campaigns. A recent study from eROI showed that 18% of email marketers in the US were not tracking their campaigns. Things that should be tracked include delivery rate, open rate, click-through rate, unsubscribe rate, and conversion rate. More on this here.

Not Tracking Campaigns - eROI

- Consider spam filters. Spam filters are a hurdle all email marketers have to clear, and this even includes legitimate ones. Just because you are a legitimate email marketer, this does not mean you will make it through the filters your audience and their service providers have set up. For some specific tips on dealing with this, refer to my SBN article from last year.

Pay special attention to subject lines and from lines. These things are critical to your open rate. A clear and familiar from line is important simply for the trust factor. People want to know who they are getting mail from before they open it. The subject line is where it gets a little trickier. You have to create subject lines that make people care enough to open it. More on subject lines.

Provide quality content. Keep your content interesting and relevant to your audience. Think about why they would have signed up to receive messages from you in the first place.

Consider the timing of messages. Timing can be a factor in a successful campaign. Not only marketing based on events or holidays, but also the time of day. If you are targeting an audience in the UK, for example, but you are sending from the US, you need to take time zones into consideration, and depending on who you are hoping to reach, try to get your messages sent at the right time of day. Are you hoping to catch people at the office? Get your messages out early. Are you hoping to get them after work? Maybe later is fine.

What are your thoughts on permission based email marketing and its future? Will social media sites like Facebook and Twitter impact email marketing? Discuss in the comments below...

Email Marketing on the Rise
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  • Rich Ord

    Email is still for most people the first place they check after logging on the Internet. For people using the Internet for business, email remains their primary way of communicating with customers. I see email as continuing to be a great way to market directly to your potential customers.

    Rich Ord
    CEO, iEntry, Inc.
    Publisher of WebProNews

    • http://www.controldatainc.com Mark

      Sure e-mail is the first people check. The first thing I do is delete anything that starts with “Goodday” or “Greetings” these are my typical daily spam from nigeria saying I won 800,000$ cash. I think E-mail has been bombed with so much marketing that people pretty much ignore most of it. I know Im almost afraid to give out my e-mail address to some places.

  • http://spidermarket.wordpress.com Top Keywords That Converts

    The money is always in the list. The list is your emails of your interested customers, other wise known as your warm leads. There is a small percentage that those will continual to buy from your product or service. From blue widgets to a vinyl window.

    • Chris Crum

      Yes…the list is a great asset. I wrote about this here.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShyJuXZRQFU dreamyworld

    Yes ,Email marketing has become a weapon on Internet and people are taking full advantage of this. Many people are extending their business on the basis of email marketing and increasing their revenue .It has brought a revolutionary change in current situation of declining economies.

  • http://serambiblogs.blogspot.com Guest

    i think much email marketing like indetified like spammer email …

  • http://www.Twitter.com/matthewsboc Matthew Hunt

    Social and emailing will all become one, once Google releases Google Wave. It will be a game changer once everything is all easily accessible from one browser or tool.

  • http://sta.rtup.biz/profile/RudyHiebert R. Hiebert

    Similar to junk mail, this type of marketing is destined for “File 13″. On the other hand, astute companies are doing to tweak it so that it will not. Couple things: give information the consumer can use, ie. coupons, incentives & rebates and don’t make promises that can’t be kept. That means integrity of the product has to be second to none.

    • Chris Crum

      Certainly coupons and incentives/rebates can be included in email marketing, and to dismiss email marketing as a whole as “junk mail” is just something I can’t agree with, especially considering that when done right, users opt-in to receive it. There is certainly plenty of “junk” email marketing out there, but there is also a great deal of relevant and useful to the consumer email marketing as well. In fact, I just acted on an email marketing message today to buy my Dad a Father’s Day gift.

  • http://www.asharpimediainc.com Rich

    I would have to agree and disagree with this article. I agree that the potential for that outcome is likely, BUT there is one factor that these studies are not adding into the equation. Which in turn affects all of those in the internet marketing industry. I am talking about toolbars and the PPV networks. Those of use who run legitimate companies and follow the rules are getting traffic stolen by these networks and the software they develop and unethically install onto peoples computers. It has been a problem for many years now and it will only get worse. In my opinion if nothing is done about it, the entire Internet Marketing Industry will collapse just like the housing market did recently.

  • http://www.latterkursus.dk/latterkursus.htm Latterkursus

    I too believ that email will become bigger and bigger – especially now that Google is launching Wave. It’s a whole new way of emailing and integrating communication in all our web presences.

    Also we do need to have more endorsed traffic, so we can eventually rid ourselves of spam. Email is a good way of making sure we only receive the messages WE want.

  • http://officialsafetyandsecurity.com Official Safety and Security

    I’ve done a bit of research and found that email marketing doesn’t really work well for my safety and security web site products so I haven’t pursued this avenue of marketing. However, based on this information I can definitely see why I’m getting so much junk email!

  • http://www.wealthyaffiliateincomes.com jitendra k bharai


    Does email marketing really work? It may become a billion dollar industry but frankly i am not so sure about its effectiveness.

    I know some analysts may argue that a very well written email can really pull in sales, but for how long.Your email marketing campaign will soon reach a plateau or saturation point and what then.Do you continue to stick with something that is no longer pulling in sales?

    I really wonder!


  • http://queengems.ecrater.com Sunnyshine

    The e-mail marketing can work if you send the e-mail to the right people who really want to know about your new item or promotion. However, e-mail marketing is the mass advertisement on TV or Radio. It’s hard to specify your audience and realize what they really want to know.

    Anyway, it’s better to have an action and test until you get the satisfied result.

  • http://www.cluey.com.au Copywriter

    If you can find a way to dodge the spam filter and write a subject line that might just get that email opened … another story entirely … email marketing is a great way of converting warm leads and staying front of mind with potential customers.

    It also features some of the most sophisticated methods for segmenting markets and measuring results.

    No wonder it’s on the rise!

  • http://www.crearecommunications.co.uk Adam

    I think it’s the volume of emails that is the most important factor. I’ve found this with WPN emails. As soon as they become too constant and repetitive, I don’t want to read them and often dismiss them. If I get an email perhaps once a month or so with new information – that’s when I pay attention.

  • http://www.gtwcmt.co.uk/ GTWCMT

    I dont think that the Emailing clients with spam promotions and buying lists are any good for business. We (gtwcmt) run our own web servers and have spam protection that is manually updated to get rid of the promotional spam emails.
    companies are buying email addresses that have not been opted into from ‘companies’ that trawl the internet looking for email addresses. This leads to a lot of unwanted emails being used with out permission.

    More to the point our websites have a anti spam policy that tells companies ot to steal our details and send us any sales emails at all, at a cost of

  • http://www.thisworks.co.uk/ Thisworks.co.uk

    We are a web design/graphic design business with approx 200 clients.
    We use Constant Contact email marketing, and it never fails to bring in a few enquiries each time we send out a campaign.

    Although we focus on one main topic/promotion/concept for each email (with maybe one extra sub promotion) it is amazing how many enquiries we get that are unrelated to the email itself…..it just seems that people are reminded of our services at a time when they are thinking of doing a type of marketing for which we can help.

    The moral of the story therefore…..staying in touch is EVERYTHING to ensure your clients continue to use your services and dont get tempted to stray.

    HTML email design is one of our services by the way!
    Forgive the plug…but if you don’t ask, you don’t get….as the old adage goes.

    Chris Stephens
    Thisworks Advertising & Marketing Services.

    • Rich Pinocchio

      …what one would naturally expect in respect to email marketing (and/or many other forms of advertising or even- just basic human communication of any generic kind…)- and in measuring its success… which is the idea that an email BLAST… or ‘email marketing campaign’ can be quite successful in the case, which is more often than not (I would dare to posit for the sake of argument and in hopes to make the scientific crowd shimmy in their seats!) do no more than to briefly select YOUR lovely email and nanoseconds later… *CLLLLLICK!* —-> DELETE BUTTON!

      This subject of bass ackwards marketing prowess is very much parallel with what our fine associate Mr. Stephens nudges smack-dab in the belly button. He asserts in effect that it’s not so much saying-

      ‘Hi, how are you today- it’s us again! Your pals at ABC printing! Guess what- we our offering you BLAH BLAH- BLAAAAAH and because we love you and your firm- we’re running a special and will be BLAHHHH ALLLLLLBBBAA BLAHHHHHING BLAAAAH FOR BLAAAH BLAHHH LESS THAN OUR BLAAAH BLAHHH NORMAL COST..’ BLAH.’

      -as it is saying in all un-technicality- nothing at all in the body of the email- or maybe- ‘Hey- you really need to take a shower! Very Zest, Your Friends Who Think You Stink at Odoriffic Scientific Custodial Supply -or- Go Away -or even—->

      (and it’s not reccomended but I assert, project, postulate and a whole bunch more soothsay-esque descriptors that in at least a few cases- business could be had…by demanding customers DON’T ENGAGE IN BUSINESS WITH YOU- and to prove so- it would be unmistakenably crafted text as to be even slightly confused with anything other than that- if you catch my drift!)

      <—- ‘We, as a company have held a meeting- in which the topic was to discuss, in lucid detail, exactly how much we dislike you… for real. Your are ugly. Your money shan’t see the lining of our pockets…etc, etc (proceed with list of undeniably hurtful personal attacks including those involving a
      favorite pet your target has- that is dependent on how well your info gathering process collects data!

      This, of course, we’d never want any potential client to see. But… as Stephens demonstrates through his experience with his campaign…

      ‘….it is amazing how many enquiries we get that are unrelated to the email itself…..it just seems that people are reminded of our services at a time when they are thinking of doing a type of marketing for which we can….’

      ’nuff said. So, you could sneak in, HYPOTHETICALLY, a ‘Yo Momma’ joke list in place of your true message- but- in today’s uber- hyper, grindstone to Stone Henge- oh- those- guys- again- cool- still- in- biz- despite- economy- need- to call- em- gotta- get- more- business- cards- I’ll- get- a- deal- they -always -send -coupon -codes -I -have -so -many -of -their -mails -saved – dump -this -one -cleanup box- IT -tells -me… *DELETE*…. SUCCESS!!! (For you and your printing company and good ol’ email marketing.’

      Got it? ‘Hey… Mary..’

      ‘Yes, Mr. Page?’

      ‘Can you please remind me on Monday to order more business cards- for the 5 new hires please.’

      ‘Yes, nooo problem’

      ‘Oh- mark down the company ‘Mountain Side Printing’ as the vendor we’ll go with, okay?’

      ‘Oh- Mountainside- I know them- they always send the emails with the promo codes right?’

      ‘Yes, you got it Mary’

      ‘Yeah, the send them alot- I’ve never actually opened one but I think I know their pitch by heart- and I see them advertised everywhere.’

      ‘That’s them…make sure to print out the next one they send for me so we have the newest promo code…’

      NOTE- Now… we LOVE Mr. Page… and his little dog too!!!’


  • Guest

    Frangly Email should be organized to avoid duplication.
    all spammers must do so legally on an international basis
    A spam message should always come from a company domain and never from an ISP domain
    In fact I propose we start a special domain extension

    like .biz only for unsolicited or opt-in emailing maybe:
    .adcom – for ad comminucations and specials
    .charity – for charity
    All emails in any of these that post large sums of money in body or attachements should have the originating email server owners fined and be stripped. I get way too many nut job emails about poor Dr. Nubberlangle in S. Africa or Iraq who needs me to sign for his million dollar bank account. Non of these emails should get past the first smtp server they come in contact with

    .promotion domain
    could be validated by the government it originates so it is a real promotion that really saves money
    .sweapstakes domain again can have each email domain validated as real officially audited sweapstakes or else ICAN can close down those sites

    We need better validation measures in place SPF TXT records for every emailing domain to prevent forgeries

    I believe Comercial email could work much better
    Many times I want to see what new products are being offered. If only we could remove the univerity, mortgage emails with no real content. If I don’t get the whole deal up front its useless and a waste of time.

    Like I said. subjects: New Product – Name of product

    Ultimately I would like to see a database of promotions
    so I do not get the same useless promotion over and over again

    Just some constructive thoughts.

    Email marketing is the poor unknown companies fighting to get noticed but frankly they go about it in the wrong way when they flood my email box with worthless promotions.
    Its just stupid especially when they pull tactics like
    embeding my email address in the from header which miss filters it
    It only makes want to immediately delete it

  • http://www.signature.eu.com/ Smarter Online Marketing Kent

    Thanks again Chris for another lively post. I know email marketing gets knocked sometimes, but I think thats down to poor targeting or poorly designed HTML emails. And that leads me on to my biggest bugbear – coding HTML email to make it compatible with webmail accounts and desktop programs. If you can crack this, it’s still cheaper than pay-per-click.

  • GameXChange

    We’ve been using some email marketing software called MPZ Mail for a while now. We pay about

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