2,586 billion users can’t be wrong

As ever-shinier new social media channels emerge, it’s easy to forget the effectiveness of email marketing. Alison Krog rounds up some startling statistics your business can’t afford to ignore

Email. Dodo. Dead as…? Well just hold that thought and resist checking your inbox for a moment to consider the latest findings. Email has certainly suffered some recent bad press – as the home and health wrecker that’s a ‘toxic source of stress’ (British Psychological Society and the Future Work Centre, 2016). And common sense rather than yet another study should tell us that answering work emails after hours is bad for family life and your emotional wellbeing (Lehigh University, 2016).

But delivered when it is welcome, with compelling, relevant content that offers genuine value, email marketing is more powerful now than it has ever been. The Direct Marketing Association reports that email has an average ROI of £38 for each £1 spent (DMA National Client Email Report 2015). That’s a significant increase over the £24.93 reported in 2013, with over a third of companies producing £51 for every £1 spent.

Email marketing proves a staggering 40 times more effective than Facebook or Twitter (McKinsey and Company, ‘Why marketers should keep sending you emails, 2014). And if you are concerned that your carefully crafted digital missives face are heading for instant deletion, unread, take heart from the team at Forrester Research (North American Technographics Survey, 2014), who found that in 2014 consumers deleted fewer promo emails without looking – down 24.4% relative to 2010. Moreover, should an email be sufficiently interesting, consumers are more likely than ever to click through – with 65% choosing to do so. That’s significantly up on 2014, when this number was just 48% of the total (DMA Insight: Consumer email tracking study, 2016).

At Haymarket Network, the experience of our People Management team attests to the importance of regular email communication. PM’s email newsletter database recently passed 190,000 subscribers (vs c. 135,000 CIPD members/print magazine subscribers) and at the end of 2016, 57% of traffic to the CIPD website was attributable to email.

"Our readers come to us for trusted news, analysis and perspectives they can't get elsewhere,” explains Cathryn Newbery, People Management magazine’s multichannel editor. “We always see a traffic spike when we're able to break down complex legal changes, whether that's HRMC's changes to salary sacrifice schemes or rulings on holiday payments. But it's important that we reflect the 'lighter' side of HR, too; Pokemon Go and an unprofessional marriage proposal also piqued our audience's interest in 2016." 

So how can you make every e-message count? Follow our top 6 tips:

1. Make it responsive

2. Give frequency options

3. Get your timing right

4. Don’t make your home page the click-through destination

5. Don’t dismiss younger audiences

6. Incorporate video

You can follow Alison Krog on Twitter @brightonsarty