I know I’ve felt it coming on for quite a while now but a report from DM News on June 27th http://bit.ly/junPy3 offers some pretty sobering metrics on open rates, overall email deliverability as well as unsubscribe rates.
The suggestions on how to rectify the problems are solid if not unspectacular (not that they could be spectacular). But underlying it all is the long and slow decline of email marketing in general. The primary reason given is competition in the inbox which if you are anything like me makes total sense since I receive well over one hundred emails per day (closer to 200+). And I don’t receive all that much spam!
I wonder what email marketing will look like in two years. It won’t have disappeared and I am not suggesting it ever will. Yet it concerns me that there has been little innovation in this channel over the twenty years or so (a guess) email marketing has been employed.
Most marketers are aware that acquiring customers via email marketing has never been more difficult and is in large part futile. Retention and existing customer engagement emails continue to be effective but the overall curve is definitively on the downside.
I’m not going to offer any primer on best practices for sending emails to better engage customers. They exist in many places and there are no shortcut tricks to creating email marketing that works every time (despite what some people will tell you). I do know how I feel about email marketing that works for me personally. I am ok with three or four communications a month, offers for things that I actually might want to buy or learn more about. That’s about it. Are you different?
What really is of interest to me is in predicting the direction subscription marketing messages will go – i.e. emails you have opted in to receive. Where will Facebook be in the mix? Will Google be a player in leveraging search queries into relevant direct messages and offers? How about location based marketing services like Foursquare? It’s no secret that email has replaced traditional postal mail for a substantial amount of business communication. Personal communication (i.e. the art of letter writing) has also migrated toward email to some degree but also to SMS texting, FB messaging and web based messaging like IM and even Skype messaging and calling.
How many email messages do you receive? How many email accounts do you have? Have you set up an email account like a Gmail account (I did this) to use when you sign up for various things so that marketing messages all end up in one place – not your work email?