If you've been listening to discussions among marketers, one of the hottest we've seen is about the supposed death of the email as a marketing tool. Many believe it to be a fact: email is slowly being replaced by instant messages and tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams. What's the truth about it?
In our opinion, whoever claims that is completely wrong. Email is not only alive, but it is also among the best tools to reach prospects and customers - and over 183 billion emails are sent each day and the world has more email accounts than persons! It doesn't show that email is dying, but that never been so used before. Which may be a good or bad sign, depending on how you look at it, and you may need to adapt to it soon.
Email is dying because there are too many?
The first thing that you have to understand is that those 183 billion emails represent exponential growth if compared with what was going on 10 years ago. We live in a world of the cluttered inbox and, because of smartphones, reading on the go. That means that you have to change your strategy: it can't be one more in the inbox - it has to be memorable and stand out. Your subscriber has to love it, remember it, get anxious to read the next one.
What determines success nowadays is opens, CTRs, and conversions - not how many emails you send at the same time. Quality has won the war against quantity, and you should try to adapt to it. Emails are by far the best ROI you can get, over 44x - or 4.400% - in the industry average, and if it's not working for you, maybe it's your strategy that is wrong.
This channel is not just a lead generation source but provides a perfect opportunity to lead nurturing - you know, one email after the other. If you do it in the right way, you will see your conversions get better every time and then, which will be proof enough that emails are not dying at all.
Just try to avoid the dumb strategy, with short and useless emails, that will get you the SPAM treatment - you don't want ever to fall into that folder. SPAM has indeed grown multifold in these years because this exponential growth in email numbers, but email marketing is far from dying, being still the first choice for a digital marketer.
Why then is it not working?
If you have good content and still think that email is dying, you're doing something wrong. If it's not working for you, time to ask yourself a few questions:
Is your email mobile optimized?
Is your email stands good on the spam score?
Is your email targetted to the right customer?
Do you have an updated and validated email list?
Is your content excellent?
Those questions may help you find where you're failing; they represent the main mistakes that people do. Many marketers don't even look to essential things like spam score and email list validation - hence, their email channel doesn't work as before after some time, and they blame on people changing habits.
Sometimes the fault is not on your emails, but your lead magnets: are they attracting the right person? Not having the correct customer reading and subscribing to your emails is very problematic. That's why you should nurture all your subscribers and get rid of those that don't show any will to read - by not opening your emails, for example. An updated and validated list is maybe the greatest email channel hack there is.
Your marketing team may only work if you think of it as a whole, not on small pieces. You have to think about it from the moment your customer-to-be gets into contact with you for the first time, all his nurturing (learning about your business and how you can help him) and then the moment he closes a deal, buys a product or sign up for something. If those pieces do not talk between them, then your whole will be broken and you will blame your email. Silly mistake!
It's not dying, and it's growing
One thing that you should consider is that you should not be looking to "new alternatives", such as WhatsApp, as the salvation of your business. What you should be doing instead is to try to maximize the effect of your email marketing channel - after all, it's the best channel. Let's see how good it is:
88% of B2B marketers say email is the most effective lead generation tactic and cold emails work!
Marketers consistently ranked email as the single-most-effective tactic for awareness, acquisition, conversion, and retention
42% of businesses say email is one of their most effective lead generation channels
68% of marketers say that email marketing is core to their business
These statistics show that not only email is not dying, but it's growing, getting more important than before. Being the most important channel at all. Try to bring people that understand that channel to help you, and help you avoid the most common traps there are. Try to have the best tools available to raise your ROI and effectiveness (such as The Checker). Study and don't give up.
Many companies did, mostly because they've seen their emails fall into spam territory. When that happens, saving it may prove too difficult and too costly. So you have to avoid it when you can. If you don't give up and work towards the best practices, you will soon see the good results.
Changes taking place!
But that does not mean that email does not face its challenges. It does. Many politicians have been trying to regulate the internet in the last years, given the many changes that have been happening and been threatening the world as we know it (just think on the effects of companies like Cambridge Analytica on elections all over the planet). The European Union is among those, with the General Data Protection Regulation, maybe the most complete regulation in this field.
Your email is part of your data, of course. And sadly, it's available on the internet so anyone can send SPAM to you. Tolerances will be lowered because of that and we will see changes on the field because of that. "GDPR is now slowly but surely entering the stage, so I believe we can expect even better, more relevant emails from companies who we chose to subscribe for", says Anna Lebedeva, head of growth marketing at SEMRush. "As many experts say, although at first, it will be difficult to adjust and so many marketing strategies will have to be rebuilt almost entirely, GDPR will affect the industry only for the better - for more relevance, higher quality, and brighter creativity", completes.
Never has good content been so important. That's what keeps you from being understood as crap and being discarded. If before you could write just a little and stuff your emails with pictures and call-to-actions, it will be more and more unlikely in the future. There will be a race for good content and you should be spearheading that now, so you don't suffer tomorrow.
Also, it's paramount that you: get your subscribers yourself (never buy anyone else's list) and respect their desires. Buying lists is very ineffective, as these people will not know you, will probably not interact and engage with you and may even flag you as spam. That will do more damage to your sender reputation than it will help your bottom line. It may be a desperate measure, but one that comes with massive dangers and small upside.
And what do I mean by respecting their desires? If they opt-out, then you should immediately stop sending content to them. Not doing so will be a one-way trip to the SPAM folder, where you never may want to be. Your subscribers (and ex-subscribers) are your bosses, they are the most influential persons to evaluate how you do as a marketer.
Never stop learning
If email marketing is constantly changing, then what you really need is to keep on working on yourself, learning more and more and understanding where it's headed. We have to embrace lifelong learning as a need these days and put in the center of our professional lifes, or we will be obsolete. 10 years ago, could you imagine everything that happened in the marketing world?
Email is not dying, but it's evolving. New tools are there every day, solving problems that you had before. Try them, adapt. Make courses, study cases, subscribe to whoever does email marketing well done (and copy what's right about them). Just don't stop trying new things, don't stop learning.
Validation is salvation?
One of the new things that you may try, if you didn't before, is email validation. If you think your email is dying, you might want to try to resurrect it. And how do you do that? With our tool, The Checker, that will surely help you make your email more efficient in the long ruin.
The idea behind it is to identify which emails are invalid before you send your campaign, therefore acting before you get flagged by your ISPs and ESPs - which may permanently damage your reputation. It cleans up your email list, improving deliverability, and making sure that those people that may get your email exists. Oh, and there are many invalid emails to catch: 20% of all emails are invalid after a year, and double that if you work only with corporate emails.
That means that overtime you will have tons of invalid emails even if you do everything right - good content, optimized, everything. You need to check emails once in awhile.
You could check email validations one by one, and you would catch many mistakes - imagine how many people write @hmail instead of @gmail. That would take forever, and you would get only maybe 2% or 3% of all invalid emails. The Checker can do it in a few seconds or minutes, even if your list has millions of entries, using technology to ensure that these emails are valid. And we have a 99,9% precision rate - we will catch these invalid emails, believe us.
Our technology predicts which email will have a hard bounce or not, therefore, knowing if it's safe to send or not. Periodically cleaning your email list will guarantee that you do not fall into any blacklist. The tool can search for syntaxes errors, validate MX records and work towards anti-greylisting (a step between a good reputation and being blacklisted) and deletes any email that is doubled on your list.
With our API - available for the primary email marketing tools, like Hubspot, Mailchimp, RD Station, and many others -, you can validate your emails in real-time as soon as you capture them on your site. You can also submit an entire list at once, using CSV, TXT, XLS or XLSX, guaranteeing that your full list gets processed and checked in just a few minutes (about ten faster than most email validations tools). So the next time you send a campaign, it will be sent only to valid emails.
We are committed to helping you on that journey, and that's why we were chosen as the best email validation tool in places like Capterra and Trustpilot - amassing a significant number of clients that are among the biggest companies in the world, such as Netflix and WeWork. In other words, trust us to make your list more trustable. It's our mission. Try our tool for free on this link, and remember that we have customer support 24/7 to listen to you and help you succeed!