Does Email Marketing Still Work in 2019?
Do you remember the first email you ever received? Remember how exciting it was, and that you read it completely before hitting reply?
Today, if you wake up to less than 50 new emails in your inbox, it’s a relief! How did email become so overwhelming in our lives?
And is it still an effective way to connect and communicate with your friends, coworkers, and customers?
The Brief History of Email
Officially the first email was sent in 1977 and contained the famous keyboard mash ‘QUERTYIOP’ as the test text.
Depending on when you started going online, you probably began using email between 1996 and 2000.
The first commercially successful email service was Hotmail that was founded in 1995, and sold to Microsoft in 1997 for $400 Million. It was the world’s first web-based free email service.
In 2004, Google announced it’s own webmail service Gmail, which offered users a whopping 1 Gigabyte of free space per user.
Between 1998 and 2018 the number of email users grew from 77 million email users to approximately 1.8 billion. Some studies say this number may be higher at close to 2.6 billion email users worldwide in 2019.
Today, almost 25 years after email first started to become part of our lives, most people have an average of 2-3 email accounts between work and home. Many have a second account just for spam and marketing emails.
Does Email Still Matter for Business in 2019?
With all this growth of email in both business and personal lives, many people have a feeling of email fatigue. Nobody is excited to check emails, it’s just become a reality of modern life. And with the rise of collaboration tools such as Slack, it may be that email marketing will someday eventually become less relevant. In fact, Inc Magazine predicts by 2020 email will become obsolete.
However, the reality is that many people still depend upon email for their everyday interactions: sending messages, sharing files and links, and getting order confirmations for sales.
Email is often the first step in connecting with people once they have moved beyond the inquiry stage. Prospects will email for more information or to book a time to speak with a business.
The one-to-one element of email is still important to consider if your business is customer-centric. If you can’t speak directly to people (ie. as in a retail environment). Another important aspect of email is that it is private and can be encrypted. While you can send direct tweets and DM via Facebook or Instagram, the ability to send an email privately creates a level of personal interaction that feels different.
Is Email Marketing Still Working in 2019?
When social media innovators like Gary Vaynerchuck still use email in 2019, you know that it still works.
Gary sends out weekly (sometimes more than once a week) email updates to his subscribers detailing his latest content and offers. Cleverly named the Hustler’s Digest, it is a great way for his users to receive a quick overview of everything he has been doing that week.
As Gary explains in his article Email Marketing is Not Dead: “There is also massive benefit to email that not everyone realizes. Email is your own list and you control it. There is no organic drop. You’re in control of the creative. It is its own channel that you control without being at the mercy of all these other platforms.”
If that isn’t enough evidence as to why email is still an effective marketing channel, consider these incredible email statistics from Allen Finn:
- Hubspot discovered that 86% of business professionals prefer using email to communicate for business purposes.
- 59% of companies that do B2B marketing claim email is still their most effective channel for revenue generation.
- Emarketers research has shown that 80% of retail professionals use email marketing as their strongest driver of customer retention.
- 73% of millennials feel that is email is still the best approach for business communication.
The ability to present yourself professionally and consistently to a targeted audience is hugely valuable.
It may not be the coolest new technology, but email marketing is still extremely relevant when communicating with a person who wants to be connected to you.
If you value the connection with your clients and prospects, then treat emails as important. They can influence the buying decision dramatically and build trust over time.