Email Marketing: Still the Giant of Digital Marketing (2021)

Updated 10/21

Numerous digital technologies and online marketing channels are available to today’s marketers, however email marketing is still considered the giant of digital marketing. In fact, email continues to increase in popularity as consumers flock to digital channels in response to the pandemic and younger generations favoring their smartphones to communicate with their peers, social networks, and favorite brands.

Marketers are not shying away from this highly effective channel. In fact, according to a study by Acend2, almost three-quarters (74%) of survey respondents said they plan to increase the volume of emails they send significantly (36%) or moderately (38%) in the year ahead.

Email Send Volume

The Power of Email Marketing

Online channels boomed as a result of the pandemic lock-down and email marketing is one of the smartest, most effective ways to reach a massive percentage of your key demographic. Check out some of these great stats on the power of email.

  1. The average ROI for email marketing is $42 (or 4200%) for every $1 spent on email marketing.
  2. 18% of companies with an email marketing campaign achieved an ROI greater than $70 per $1 invested.
  3. The email marketing stats for the UK see an open rate of 16.4% compared to 17.6% in the US.
  4. Email is 40 times more effective at customer acquisition than Facebook and Twitter combined.
  5. Email conversion rates are around 17% higher than social media.
  6. Shoppers open around 40% of abandoned cart emails.
  7. Emails sent within one hour of cart abandonment boost conversion rates by 6.33%.

Integrate Email Across Channels

It’s no longer enough to send one-off campaigns. Each customer touchpoint must be a seamless link to increase engagement along the customer journey. Consumers quickly skip around from channel to channel on their journey to purchase.  Regardless of where they choose to interact with your brand, they are channel-agnostic, meaning they expect the exact same experience wherever they are engaging with you.  As quickly as consumers move from device to device or channel to channel, each channel must also be integrated just as quickly to provide a consistent customer view at all times.

Email Integration

Email should be used throughout the customer’s path to purchase – before, during, and after the purchase.  Customer journey mapping is a powerful way to determine which mix of channels your customers are using and when email should be used to further enhance the customer experience. Mapping the journey considers each engagement point your customers are using, developing an understanding of each stage, and discovering an awareness of any obstacles along the way.


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Email Marketing

By implementing customer journey mapping strategies, marketers can understand which message strategies to use at different stages. When using email, promotional, broadcast type of emails play an important role but email is also an important channel to encourage engagement at crucial points. For example, triggered shopping cart abandonment messages produce the highest ROI for ecommerce brands. Data by Soundest reports that the average revenue per promotional email is $0.02, birthday emails result in $0.07, welcome emails $0.18 and abandoned cart emails $5.64.

Email Revenue 2016

A sophisticated marketing automation platform can collect and unify data in real-time and then deploy a triggered email based on the customer’s profile and behavioral data.  For example, in the case of an abandoned shopping cart email, an email can be deployed based on items browsed, items placed in a shopping cart, demographics, and other real-time insights.

According to the research by Ascend2, welcome or thank you emails were reported to be the most engaging for nearly half (49%) of those surveyed. This was followed by survey/feedback types of email campaigns at 46%.

Millennials Preferred Way to Communicate with Brands is Through Email

Email marketing is also a key way to target the millennial generation. Although email is not seen as their preferred mode of communication with their peers and social networks, when it comes to communicating with brands, email takes the top spot. According to a survey from Adobe, 58 percent of millennials say that email is their preferred way to be contacted by a brand.

In another report by Adestra, these numbers were even higher with nearly 68 percent of teens and 73 percent of those aged 19-34 saying they prefer communications from businesses to come via email.

Millennial Email Marketing

According to the report, “Younger consumers sign up for brand emails, primarily for promotions and product information. Forty-seven percent of teens sign up just because they love the brand. Those emails tend to generate more consumer trend than the Facebook posts, both from the brands and their actual friends.”

Millennial Email Strategy

In fact, email influences the purchase decisions of 50.7% of millennial customers.

The Case for Email Personalization

In 2021, an expected 320 billion emails will be sent each day. 72% of consumers will only respond to personalized marketing messages. So if you aren’t using personalization wherever possible, you should be.

Email personalization reduces unsubscribe rates and has a major impact on boosting revenue. A report by Silverpop found that 50% of consumers unsubscribe from an email list due to irrelevant emails. This impact of unsubscribes adds up to a loss of 60% in future lifetime value (LTV) (AgilOne). However, when emails are personalized, the average click-through rate is 2.5 times higher with an average increase of 5.7 in revenue.

Marketers who realize the full impact personalization can bring to the table are now experimenting with numerous data points to add value to their emails.  Research by VentureBeat shows that marketers can use data such as location, transaction history, demographics, open time, social profiles, and more in their personalization techniques.

Email Personalization Data

Ultimately, email marketing is a channel that produces results.  However, the channel is rapidly evolving and sophisticated marketers need to use data and technology in more sophisticated ways to engage consumers with highly personalized messaging to drive conversions.


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