What Is The Future Of Email Marketing?

Email Marketing

Image by ‘Christopher S. Penn’

Does email marketing even have a future? With every new social media phenomenon opening up new marketing channels, the doubters say no, email marketing is on its way out.

Only it isn’t. If anything, it’s on the rise! Despite all the popular new kids on the marketing block, email continues to more than hold its own.

Why? Because it works, that’s why. It’s more cost-effective, that’s another why. And there is a number of other whys that point to a positive future for email marketing.

Customers Prefer Email Marketing

Perhaps the strongest case for email marketing, however, is that it is far and away the consumer’s preferred method for receiving marketing messages. According to the 2012 Channel Preference Survey, 77% of online consumers would rather get permission-based marketing messages via email over any other marketing channel. How did they feel about Facebook? Only 4% of respondents would prefer to receive marketing messages there. Twitter? 1%.

So while people are happy to like and follow brands through the social media networks, right now that’s not how or where they want to be marketed to.

Email Is BIG!!!

As big as Facebook and Twitter are getting, email is still bigger. A lot bigger. Worldwide, there are three times as many email accounts as all of the Facebook and Twitter accounts combined.

It’s also predicted that email accounts will continue to grow in the coming years, as will email traffic. So, more people on email, sending more emails – it doesn’t exactly sound like a death knell for email marketing, does it?

Email Marketing Is Getting BIGGER!!!

The increase of social media and mobile usage has seen email marketing grow at a phenomenal rate in recent years. The years to come will see even bigger growth as more businesses take up online marketing.

The use of email marketing is growing because it works. It can be far more cost-effective than other marketing channels, and deliver a very impressive, measurable return on investment that social media is still unable to accurately demonstrate. That’s why 63% of marketers plan on increasing their spending on email marketing in the coming year.

Facing The Future

Of course, this isn’t to say that email marketing is a guaranteed success and you can just reap the rewards of its growth without changing the way you use it. Because to get the best from email marketing in the future – the very near future – you will need to ensure you’re moving with the times:

Optimise Your Email Campaigns For Mobile Users

More and more people are reading emails on their smartphones and other mobile devices. That means it’s vitally important that your emails can be easily opened on these platforms, and that they still look good too. Luckily, there is already a move in email marketing software towards innovative solutions for mobile optimisation.

Integrate Your Email Marketing With Social Media Marketing

You no longer have to depend on just your website and email marketing to get your news out, so why would you? Social media can extend the reach of your messages, quickly and easily. Utilize social media marketing by adding share buttons, forward to a friend or any other direct to social icon to your emails – it enables the people that like your content to be able to share it with their networks. It’s ideal for list building too.

Don’t Forget The Kids

If you’re aiming at the youth market, bear in mind that their natural marketing habitat is more social media and mobile than email. They’re more willing to be marketed to through these channels than their older counterparts.

The doubters can doubt, but the figures and consumer mindset point to a very bright future for email marketing.

What’s your views?  Do you think email marketing has a future?  Let us know by leaving a comment below!

About Shannon Forbush

Shannon is a freelance creative director and copywriter in the UK with over 15 years marketing experience. She is writing here on behalf of email marketing company Little Green Plane, an industry leader and provider of award-winning software, campaigns and services.

  • As long as there is the Internet – email marketing will always be around.

    However, its the concept and how to do it properly that counts.

    Nice post.

    • Very true John. There is definitely a right and wrong way to go about email marketing. It will always be around whilst people are using it correctly.

  • Clair Trebes

    Great post …. Just need to mirror the comments from John below – providing its done well email marketing will always reign supreme …. Social Media’s main purpose is to get people on that email list and i think thats something people often forget / get confused with!


    • Hi Clair!

      Yes, I think you’re right and the two actually work well when used together, though people sometimes forget.

      Social media is a great way to get your message/brand out there and encourage people to sign-up, whereas the email newsletter gets to communicate directly to the individual.

  • Andi Leeman

    Great post, another point is with the huge changes to places like Facebook it is foolish to consider having these places as your money making marketing homes. At least with email there is no change, get people on your list then send them good emails like John and Clair both state. People forget, email is a form of social networking, one of the first and still the biggest but without all of the constraints and issues you get with a third party platform.

    • That’s a good point Andi. Social media does have a tendancy to change (especially Facebook), so to rely on them to bring in consistent customers/readers could be risky.

      Email marketing works for the simple fact that people want to get updates when they sign up. Email is just as popular as ever (arguably more popular) and is effective when done properly.