Getting to know your customers is critical when building trust. With so many ways to attract and retain consumers, it’s essential to find the best method for you. Email is traditionally seen as the preferred way to communicate, but what about all those myths of email marketing? Can you count on email to reach your customers?
We’ll answer these questions by discussing the myths surrounding email marketing. Plus, we’ll address why these myths exist and why they’re incorrect.
What are some popular myths of email marketing?
- Email marketing is dead
- People no longer want to share data online
- GDPR has ruined email marketing
- No one checks their email anymore
- Other marketing methods have replaced email
- Emails must be sent at a specific time
- Churn is bad
- Millennials don’t use email
Email marketing is dead
There’s no question social media has become a dominant media source. Because of this, many opt to grow customer relationships via Facebook or Instagram. But even with social media’s popularity, email marketing is far from dead.
On the contrary, email marketing is still a more successful way to reach customers. In fact, 80% of retail professionals indicate email marketing is better at retaining customers than social media. This is great news for marketers, since customer retention is both lucrative and cost-effective for businesses.
Email marketing’s superior ROI also indicates the success of email marketing, because marketers can invest a small amount of resources into email and still see a big return.
People no longer want to share data
Even with email marketing’s successful nature, data collection is a major concern for the public. Data breaches are not unfamiliar to most internet users, especially now. The information shared in the last several years, whether on social media, credit reporting agencies, or third-party affiliates, has compromised thousands of people online.
You may recall John Oliver’s HBO segment in which he urged people to freeze their credit reports after hackers targeted credit reporting agencies. Or you may be thinking of a slightly fresher story—Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal—the breach that allowed users’ information to be collected, analyzed, and used politically.
To provide a little perspective into how this is affecting the public, a recent study found almost half of U.S. consumers now lack confidence in Facebook’s ability to keep their information secure. And nearly 40% distrust social media companies in general. With this information in mind, it’s no wonder marketers are feeling discouraged about the public’s willingness to share data.
But email is resilient.
While social media fails to win public confidence, email luckily appears to be holding strong. In fact, over half of U.S. adults feel confident in email providers’ ability to protect their data.
Even as data breaches negatively affect the public’s opinion, email continues to remain steady. This also means email is seen as a safe alternative to other online resources, despite a changing online climate.
GDPR ruined email marketing
When it comes to data breaches, part of the concern is the mystery behind data collection. Just what information are companies collecting? And how much?
How GDPR affects data collection
This is where GDPR comes in. GDPR is the EU’s most recent set of regulations regarding data collection. In short, companies must comply with a set of rules demanding data transparency.
Users now have more control of their personal data, meaning they can learn about the data collected and have it removed from websites.
But users are still willing to share data.
GDPR naturally scared email marketers, since personalized and segmented campaigns largely rely on data collection to be successful. Many marketers believed GDPR would ruin email marketing as we know it.
But just because people can withhold their data doesn’t mean they will. In fact, 75% of consumers are willing to share personal data, as long as they’re sharing with a brand they trust.
Many consumers know sharing data can reward them with discounts and promotions. As long your email campaign is building a sense of trust with your customer base, chances are they will continue to share their data with you.
No one checks their email anymore
When it comes to myths of email marketing, this one comes up again and again. After all, the email marketing world is relatively saturated. Why would customers look at your email over the hundreds of others they receive in a week?
We’re all guilty of ignoring emails from time to time. Promotions or petitions may sit in our inboxes, unread. When we don’t read these emails, open rates and CTRs are affected, often leading to one conclusion: No one reads emails anymore.
But people are reading daily.
The former conclusion simply isn’t true. In fact, 89% of Americans check their email daily, meaning people are seeing your emails, even if they’re not necessarily opening them or clicking through. If you’re experiencing poor metrics, consider your personalization and segmentation strategies.
Are you catering to individual groups of customers, or are you merely sending the same email to everyone? A lack of customization can negatively impact your rates.
Consider improving the personalization factor of your campaign by collecting data, such as high-spending customers, consumer interests, and buyer demographics.
Other marketing methods have replaced email
We discussed some of the issues with social media marketing earlier. But what about other forms of marketing? How can you be sure email marketing is superior?
Advertisements can certainly seem like a preferable solution to email marketing, especially since you can pay for an advertisement to go virtually anywhere, and there’s no guarantee your email will be opened.
But people are opting into email lists.
Still, there’s something to be said for the opt-in nature of email. Ads can be distracting and annoying, especially since they pop up in unexpected places. Reading an email, on the other hand, is voluntary.
Plus, 50% of consumers actually prefer to communicate with brands via email, whereas over 90% of online ads go unnoticed. This means customers are more likely looking for your emails and scrolling past ads.
Send emails at a specific time
You may have heard about the importance of email send times. This is another popular myth among the myths of email marketing. According to this idea, you have to send an email at a particular time to get reads.
But data is superior.
The truth is, no magic formula will entice readers into opening your emails. Sending at email at 9am on a Monday isn’t inherently better than sending at 2pm on a Tuesday. Rather than trying to adhere to a perfect send time, let data dictate your emails.
Distribute a survey to learn about customer preferences. Test different email send times. Take stock of your numbers. Do people seem to read your emails more frequently in the mornings or during the afternoon slump? Do varying time zone affect this data? Collect, analyze, and let the results guide your next steps.
Churn is bad
Churn happens when your subscribers opt out of your list or become inactive. Because of this, many people assume churn is always a bad sign, especially since retention is so important.
But churn can be an opportunity.
While no one wants a high churn rate, it’s important to recognize churn as an opportunity. If someone opts out of your email list, for instance, it could be because you’re sending that person too many irrelevant emails.
If your subscribers are becoming inactive, it could be a personalization issue. For instance, someone who purchases an item once a year doesn’t want daily promotional emails. Instead, they need to receive emails on a schedule that fits their purchasing habits.
Millennials don’t use email
There’s no doubt millennials are seen as a generation that’s shaking things up. Many industries have changed as millennials have entered the workforce, but email is not one of them. In fact, email is one of the few constants that continues to be popular among all ages.
But millennials are using email more than you might think.
In fact, 73% of millennials identify email as their preferred resource for communicating with businesses, which is especially interesting, since millennials are largely seen as the social media generation. However, Americans are actually less likely to use social media as they get older.
It’s also important to consider just how often younger generations are interacting with email. On average, millennials spend five or more hours in their inboxes a day. This means millennials are not only using email, but it’s a huge part of the way they communicate.
Now you’re not just familiar with popular myths of email marketing, but you also know why they’re myths. By reading recent studies, you can often debunk myths before they have the chance to affect your marketing negatively.
And even though there are other marketing methods out there, email marketing seems to perform the best statistically—better than paid advertisements or even social media. So, even though email may not be as trendy as other platforms, it’s proven to be relevant and successful when executed well.
Still, we have to remember no broad generalization applies to every marketer. This is why collecting data continues to be extremely important. By observing analytics for your subscribers and their behaviors, you can learn what works for your email list and what doesn’t. So, now that you have the tools to disprove email myths, what myth will you debunk next?