Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Despite being one of the oldest channels in the digital marketing and advertising playbook, it seems many brands are still finding ways to improve their email game. A new report from Forrester Research made it apparent that companies are not only finding new ways to make email an important part of their engagement efforts, but they are also continually refining existing tactics and strategies.
The Forrester report looked at consumer attitudes to email marketing and advertising and, overall, it seems brands are doing better with their campaigns. Respondents’ feedback all pointed to greater satisfaction with these messages and fewer major annoyances, Marketing Charts noted.
For example, in 2010, as many as 59 percent of respondents said they deleted email advertising without reading it. That figure dropped down to 42 percent this year, a huge improvement for brands relying on email. Additionally, in 2012, 41 percent of survey takers said email ads do not offer anything that interests them, and now that number has declined to 38 percent. In fact, the percentage of respondents admitting email is a great way of finding out about new products and services has actually risen from 17 percent in 2010 to 24 percent this year.
Overall, the fact that advertising and the marketing industry have managed to improve on their engagement is a huge step forward considering all the recent changes to email. Major updates to popular email service providers, such as Gmail’s new tabbed layout, the greater prominence of unsubscribe buttons in many inboxes as well as the rise of mobile devices as a leading email channel, have all added new wrinkles that advertisers have had to contend with.
“The rules for how to best message your users are changing,” Forrester analyst David Truog noted. “Now your customers check their email, text messages, and social media posts in parallel. Even trickier: People tap their inboxes from devices with different form factors – such as PCs, smartphones or tablets. And they expect communications from you to fit their needs regardless of format or device. Do you deliver? Few brands actually do.”
Capitalizing on improving customer sentiment with email advertising
For brands looking to engage prospects using digital media, it should be woefully apparent that email needs to comprise at least one part of campaigns – although realistically, companies should be looking at it as the backbone of their initiatives.
Opting not to use email – or using it incorrectly – is like trying to put a puzzle together without some of the most crucial pieces. Can you ignore the missing pieces and still get the gist of the picture? Sure, but no one likes a puzzle with gaps. Email advertising can help complete that part of the puzzle.
Because email has been around for ages – longer that those young whippersnappers Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and numerous other new media channels – people tend to think highly of email. It has been ingrained in the way we communicate over the Web, whether it is for personal reasons or business purposes.
In fact, one report from Pew Internet found that as many as 92 percent of people send or read email – that is a significant audience and has cemented email as the most popular online activity (alongside conducting a search through a portal such as Google). As brands look to move forward, they absolutely need to consider email’s role in their campaigns and leverage email advertising if it makes sense.