Some 3.7 billion people—about half the world’s population—use email. While the headlines in 2017 concentrated on the big messaging services, in the background email quietly remained consumers’ preferred communication channel at work, as well as the way they want to hear from brands.
In 2018, marketers who have overlooked email should consider giving it another look. Here’s why:
1. Millennials are big email users: The stereotype of Millennials holds that they are too involved with texting to engage with emails. However, research shows that they are more likely than any other age group to check their email on a regular basis. In fact, they check email from just about anywhere—on vacation, watching TV, or in bed, to name a few.
2. Email is a conduit for first-party data: Great for outreach, email is also useful for another key reason: to build up first-party data. Email is a key cornerstone of a robust consumer database, indicating both implicit and explicit preference and aiding in various modeling activities.
3. Personalization is making email more effective: It make sense that an email tailored to an individual’s needs will outperform one that’s generic. Multiple data points support this assumption. A 2017 survey of 350 digital marketers by the Relevancy Group, for example, found that marketers who use deep personalization in their email boost their campaign revenues by an average of over 17%. Such personalization might include the celebration of a subscriber’s one-year anniversary or recommendations based on recent browsing habits on the brand’s site.
Personalization also includes tailoring the time an email is sent at the individual level, rather than one blast, to maximize open rates. For instance, one consumer may generally open email at 10 a.m. on Friday while another consumer more often opens email on Sunday at 8 p.m.
4. Visual tools are expanding email options: Today, email can go beyond text and static images. More engaging multimedia options, such as animated GIFs, embedded video, and slide shows, can expand the marketer’s creative repertoire. Kinetic-coding techniques that bypass hard-coding and enable such interactivity make this easier to achieve.