Does Email Marketing Still Work in 2021?
Do you remember the first email you ever received? Remember how exciting it was, and how you read it completely before hitting reply?
Today in 2021, the less emails you find in your inbox, the better. And with tools like slack, text messages, and zoom meeting taking over in the past few years, do we even need email as much as we once did?
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 over 4 billion email users worldwide as of 2020.
Today, over 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.
How Popular is Email Marketing in 2021?
Amazingly, despite being over 44 years old, email is still an exceedingly popular form of business and personal communication today. Most people will use text messaging, social media, and other forms of contact in conjunction with email to manage their business and marketing tasks.
In 2021, over 87% of marketers still use email as part of their distribution channels. Only social media is more popular as a marketing tool than email, and the numbers are very close.
In the day-to-day operations of a business, 70% of professionals use an email client to share content related to their company or industry.
Another huge trend that has changed is that fewer people use desktop computers to open and reply to emails in 2021. Today. nearly 42% of all email opens happen on mobile apps.
Does Email Still Matter for Business in 2021?
With all this growth of email in both business and personal lives, many people have a feeling of email fatigue.
Nobody is especially excited to check their 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 predicted by 2020 email will become obsolete. Clearly that estimate was a little premature, but maybe the trend will change in the next ten years.
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.
Does Email Marketing Still Work in 2021?
When social media innovators like Gary Vaynerchuck still use email in 2021, 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 Gary Veekly, 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 latest 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.
As you can see, email is not going anywhere anytime soon. It is still a useful viable marketing and business tool that is extremely popular in most businesses and marketing campaigns.