Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Email Marketing Enigma


So there I was reading Email Marketing Benchmarks 2016: Relevancy, Frequency, Deliverability and Mobility, the latest edition from eMarketer. Had my omnipresent cup of coffee within arm’s length. I’d say I got about halfway through the report when I realized that the current state of email marketing is a puzzling or inexplicable occurrence or situation, AKA an enigma.

One on hand open rates for emails sent in 1Q 2016 were the highest (33.3%)  they’ve been over the previous eight quarters. Conversely, the non-bounce rates were the lowest they’ve been in two years, implying, as the report states, ” fewer emails were finding their way to recipients on average.” So deliverability issues are at play.

Then there is the matter of mobile.

Ah mobile. Surely by now you know of our collective human penchant to “be mobile” – literally and figuratively.

Perhaps nothing illustrates the email enigma better than this chart below.


As you can see on the left side over nearly 70% of emails opened during 4Q 2015 were opened on a mobile device. Should not surprise a living soul. If anything, I would have bet that number would have been higher.

Now on the other side, we have conversions and lookey at what we have here: Conversions are higher on desktop than they are on mobile? What in the name of Martin Cooper is going on here? For those of you not familiar with Marty, as his friends call him – he is regarded by many as being the inventor of the mobile cellular phone.

So how could conversions be higher on a desktop with so many people on their mobile devices?

Well perhaps this may help explain it.

Or maybe this one, too.


Do you see a trend here, kids? People are unsubscribing which in turn obviously affects conversion because far too many emails are not “mobile-ized” if you will. Yes it is great to see the percentage of marketers utilizing responsive design increase YOY but this is 2016 boys and girls – and this year is almost over.

My point is the percentages re: responsive design and mobile-aware design should be higher – much higher. These are not new concepts and Lord knows we’ve been told for the past X number of years that this (insert year here) is the year of mobile. In other words, mobile ain’t a new concept, either.

The Mobile Email Content Enigma

Way back in 2014 I penned The Nine Letter Word Every Marketer Needs To Remember At All Times. Instead of me telling you what that word is, here’s one chart to ponder.


Do you know the 9-letter word yet? Well consider that 36% of US Internet users said emails they receive from brands are never useful.

Know now?

The 9-letter word is r-e-l-e-v-a-n-c-e.

It is pathetic to think that 4 in 10 stated that emails they receive have no benefit, are not useful AKA completely irrelevant to them. You have to almost try to be that out of touch with your audience. Stop and think about the emails you are sending out this very day to your customers and prospects.

Are they at all relevant to them? Or are they merely yet another blind blast of sales garbage?

Paging Inigo Montoya

Shame on you if you don’t know Mr. Montoya. But if you know me chances are it’s a pop culture reference – and it is. In the film The Princess Bride, and quite honestly if you’ve never seen this movie I don’t want to know you, Montoya famously bellows “You told me to go back to the beginning.”

While I won’t get into the context of why he says this – would take too long, let’s go back to the beginning of this very post, specifically a puzzling or inexplicable occurrence or situation AKA an enigma.

What better word to use to describe email marketing as we currently know it?

Save for the fact that open rates are the highest they’ve been in a few years, you’ve just consumed a lot of bad news when it comes to email marketing.

The good news, which only adds to the stigma of the enigma that is email marketing, is that email marketing delivers a very high ROI…


…while costing very little to do so.



So you tell me, why is email marketing so puzzling and inexplicable?


http://conta.cc/1nUbaWJ



Source: http://www.forbes.com
Source: “Email Marketing Benchmarks 2016: Relevancy, Frequency, Deliverability and Mobility” – eMarketer
Photo Credit: Getty Images

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