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Email Marketing

Is email-only outreach a thing of the past?

Lead rates from email-only outreach fell drastically last year, while those from multi-channel continued to climb.

That’s according to new research from Sopro, which noted a 22% drop in success rates for email-only outreach occurred in 2023 vs 2022.

This corresponded to an increase in the number of marketing emails by 49% as businesses battled for attention from prospects.

Three quarters of B2B companies surveyed believe that marketing results are better when email prospecting is combined with other outbound marketing channels, while 68% agree that email prospecting complements inbound marketing channels.

Email still holds a vital role in outreach strategy, however. 67% of buyers said they prefer to be contacted by email than any other channel, while 88% want to hear from suppliers when researching a purchasing decision.

The landscape remains challenging. An average of four stakeholders are now involved in the decision-making process, up from 3.6 in 2023. 11% of companies have between six and nine people involved. When asked to list their main marketing concerns in 2023, respondents cited lead generation (46%), lead quality (38%) and generating quality content (36%).

Sopro analysed data from more than 75.2 million emails and combined them with insights from over 350 sales and marketing professionals, outlined in the State of Prospecting 2024 whitepaper.

The study comes as businesses prepare for new regulations by Google and Yahoo, which are due to be enforced from February 2024. These will apply to anyone who sends more than 5,000 emails per day, in a bid to clamp down on spam.

Ryan Welmans, CEO and co-founder at Sopro said: “It is clearly a tough environment for businesses and marketing professionals, with increased competition and stricter regulations on the way, against a constantly evolving economic backdrop. But this also presents an opportunity for those who have the knowledge and tools to follow best practice and stand out from the crowd.

“The new regulations echo a belief that we have always held at Sopro – that emails should be personalised, relevant and value-driven. When combining expertise with new tools – in particular AI – businesses can offer recipients real personalisation that goes beyond email and that can be maximised across all relevant channels. We hope that the information in this new whitepaper will act as a practical guide for sales and marketing professionals, prompting them to set strong multi-channel strategies for 2024 and beyond.”

Another new development is that 18% of people are happy to be contacted by post, which is more than double the number in the previous year. This suggests that personalised direct mail could be highly valuable for intelligent prospecting.

The research indicated that gifting can increase lead quality by 36.1%. Branded merchandise was reported to be the next most successful gift (49%), with beers, wine, or spirits at 44%. Disappointingly for the planet, tree planting was the least used gift option, with 45% of survey respondents failing to redeem the gift.

Do you specialise in Email Marketing? We want to hear from you!

Each month on Digital Marketing Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on different parts of the print and marketing sectors – and in March we’ll be focussing on Email Marketing solutions.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help marketing industry professionals find the best products and services available today.

So, if you specialise in Email Marketing and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Kerry Naumburger on k.naumburger@forumevents.co.uk.

Mar – Email Marketing
April – Digital Printing
May – Social Media
Jun – Brand Monitoring
July – Web Analytics
Aug – Conversion Rate Optimisation
Sept – Digital Signage
Oct – Brochure Printing
Nov – Creative & Design
Dec – Online Strategy
Jan 2024 – Content Management
Feb 2024 – Lead Generation & Tracking

Global email marketing software market to reach $2.5bn by 2027

The global market for Email Marketing Software is projected to reach a revised size of $2.5 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 9.2% from $1.3 billion in  2020.

On-Premise, one of the segments analysed in the ReportLinker research, is projected to record 5.4% CAGR and reach $856.1 million by the end of the analysis period.

After an early analysis of the business implications of the pandemic and its induced economic crisis, growth in the Cloud segment is readjusted to a revised 11.8% CAGR for the next 7-year period.

The Email Marketing Software market in the US is estimated at $364.5 million in 2020. China, the world’s second largest economy, is forecast to reach a projected market size of $504.3 million by 2027, trailing a CAGR of 12.2% over the analysis period.

Among the other noteworthy geographic markets are Japan and Canada, each forecast to grow at 6% and 7.7% respectively over the 2020-2027 period. Within Europe, Germany is forecast to grow at approximately 6.9% CAGR.

Email Marketing

Do you specialise in Email Marketing? We want to hear from you!

Each month on Digital Marketing Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on different parts of the print and marketing sectors – and in March we’ll be focussing on Email Marketing solutions.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help marketing industry professionals find the best products and services available today.

So, if you specialise in Email Marketing and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Clair Wyld on c.wyld@forumevents.co.uk.

Here’s our features list in full:- Mar – Email Marketing April – Digital Printing May – Social Media Jun – Brand Monitoring July – Web Analytics Aug – Conversion Rate Optimisation Sept – Digital Signage Oct – Brochure Printing Nov – Creative & Design Dec – Online Strategy

Email Marketing

Top tips for better email marketing

By Adam Oldfield, CEO at Force24

Email marketing has been around for a quarter of a century – and it shows no signs of slowing down. Not only does it provide a powerful way for marketers to tell recipients about promotions, brand messages and news – it’s a versatile, low-cost, and efficient tool helping marketers to deliver hyper-personalised comms that are measurable and create positive ROI.

This can certainly be the case if an industry professional chooses to use an integrated email marketing platform that supports their brand in customer engagement.

Of course, the next email campaign will go somewhere as soon as the organisation clicks ‘send’ – but how do marketers know if they’re sending the right message to the right person, at the right time? Plus, modern-day marketers are today battling with privacy and data protection pressures which have come to the fore following the introduction of GDPR so the vital nature of ensuring every piece of comms is compliant has never been more important.

What that also means is that there’s an even greater expectation for brands to only send hyper-personalised content to individuals who have consented to receiving it. With that, the power is ultimately with the recipient and – with data protection regulations and the ability to hit ‘unsubscribe’ at any given time at their fingertips – they truly have the sender right where they want them.

However, marketers are also in a powerful position if they couple email content with an intuitive marketing automation platform because it’s soon to become their most cost-effective, efficient marketing channel. When brands plug in automation too, it can help to understand the audience on a more granular level – resulting in professionals sending relevant digital comms as a result.

So, what are the benefits of email marketing platforms, and what should marketers be looking for when they’re ready to buy a savvy tool that could help transform their customer conversations and empower email deliverability?

  1. Liberating email marketing

As an email marketing tool, it’ll be able to take on the mundane and time-consuming everyday tasks that industry professionals end up putting to the bottom of the ‘to do’ list – such as retrieving data from each campaign which, when manually carried out, can take several hours to collate, and something that won’t ever be entirely complete.

With marketing automation, brands can disconnect from the wheels of the marketing machine as it’s able to manage those routine jobs. And the result? Organisations can spend more time focusing on strategy, creativity, and customer conversations and continue to ensure their brand is engaging the right people, at the right time.

2. Email marketing platform integration for multi-channel journeys

For comms to work in harmony and drive real results, companies need an email marketing platform that can segment audiences and talk to multiple groups of recipients at the same time – all from one email build.

A savvy email marketing platform enables teams to create hyper-relevant landing pages, microsites, newsletters and email journeys – in minutes. And if a marketer is saving hours each week thanks to automation, just think how much time they can spend creating their next campaign!

3. Measuring the metrics that matter

What is being monitored to discover whether the latest email campaign was a success or failure? Are brands analysing what improvements they could make? If they’re only looking at email open and click through rates, it’s vital that marketers delve even deeper into the data because these ‘vanity metrics’ don’t tell the full story as to howengaged a recipient was.

For example, a reader could’ve accidentally clicked on an email and discarded it seconds later. And unfortunately, not only are they not interested in what that piece of content has to say, but the organisation itself is getting skewed data as a result.

However, any savvy marketer will know that they shouldn’t ignore them altogether – it’s just a case of not relying on them as the only form of measurement. Instead, using an email marketing automation platform can monitor each campaign alongside what the lead scoring data is telling marketers about every individual’s interaction in their brand, and where they are in the buying funnel.

And, if marketing departments are  unsure as to what lead scoring is, imagine numbers above each recipients’ head based on how engaged they are in the organisation. The higher the figure, the more these individuals should be targeted with hyper-relevant content they want to consume.

4. Unlocking personalisation using email marketing platforms

And speaking about ultra-individualised digital comms, if brands are sending the right content to the right person, at the right time, email campaigns will be far superior to those of a manual send. That’s because customers are being targeted with the type of material they’re interested in, and it goes a long way towards showing that they’re the onlyperson in the room that a company is talking to (even when the businesses is speaking to multiple recipients).

Consumers no longer want bland, irrelevant ‘batch and blast’ emails because the overall message will be loosely received by all. An audience needs to be segmented into specific groups so they can receive tailored sends that show the brand understands their of-the-moment interests.

Plus, when marketers plug in an email marketing platform, they can help to guide audiences through their customer journey and support conversion thanks to their hyper-relevance.

Email Marketing

5 insights into email marketing from 2020

By Michael Trapani, Senior Director of Product Marketing, Acoustic

Benchmarking an unexpected year, like 2020, can be a significant challenge. With so many factors affecting your company’s performance, how do you go about it? Comparing your performance in 2020 to 2019 (or any other year) will hardly account for the outsized influence a global pandemic had on your business, and the market as a whole.

Our newly released email marketing benchmark report, though, showcases the influence that the pandemic has had on email marketing based on data from thousands of marketing teams.

This benchmark is an indicator for your performance through an unprecedented year and a source of insight into consumers’ responses to the pandemic, current events, and how email marketing prevailed. These metrics uncover five primary insights:

  1. Pandemic lockdowns drove a huge increase in email engagement by consumers.
  2. It wasn’t just the pandemic — other global events impacted performance of email engagement.
  3. Email has further established itself as consumers’ preferred channel of engagement.
  4. COVID-19 messaging grew tiring and drove unsubscribes.
  5. Key industries were affected in different ways as a result of the pandemic and current events.

Let’s take a closer look.

  1. Pandemic Lockdowns Caused a Spike in Engagement

In March and April of 2020, the world entered the first wave of pandemic lockdowns and most of the in-person economy paused. However, while in-person shopping came to a halt, digital soared, leading to a surge in engagement with email marketing. Email marketing open rates increased 31% from January 2020 to April 2020.

While consumers sat at home, they opened more brand emails. Constantly online, the spring of 2020 was the perfect environment for email engagement. With higher open rates, click rates rose too: from January to April 2020, click rates increased 28.6%.  

2. Email Open Rates Coincided with Current Events

The pandemic wasn’t the only event that impacted email marketing performance. Natural disasters coincided with increased email engagement in the energy and environment industry. Unfortunately, the second half of 2020 saw a historic number of hurricanes, wildfires, and droughts. The industry was a clear outlier in the second half of the year, with multiple months exceeding a 40% open rate as a result — well above other industries measured.

The political arena of 2020 also had an impact on email marketing performance. Government-related emails saw a large uptick in November, coinciding with the U.S. presidential election. Open rates continued its upward trajectory for the industry through December, too, after the election was called.

3. In the “New Normal,” Email is Preferred

Email has always been a popular channel, but in the “new normal,” consumers are favoring this channel more than prior to the pandemic. Across the board, open rates increased since the pandemic’s start. While engagement peaked while we were in lockdown in the spring of 2020, engagement rates, overall, increased during the “new normal.”

In fact, every region measured had a higher click-to-open rate in the second half of the year. Europe saw the highest click-to-open rate in H2 of 2020, with an average of 14.8%.

Globally, consumers are more likely to engage with emails. This signifies a growing affinity for email communications as well as brands getting better at targeting the right consumers with each email.

4. COVID-Messaging Grew Tiresome Quickly, Driving Unsubscribes

While engagement was up, so was the unsubscribe rate. Other than India and Asia Pacific, every region had a higher unsubscribe rate in the second half of the year compared to the first. Overall, unsubscribe rates were 34.4% higher by year’s end, globally.

This could be a result of the COVID-19 messaging sent en masse to “unclean” lists. It was common practice for CEOs and brands to send pandemic-related updates to their entire list about the state of their business, like processes installed that kept employees and customers safe. This likely alerted many customers that brands they no longer shop with nor have affinity toward had their contact information, prompting them to unsubscribe.

5. Industry Highs and Lows Throughout 2020

Not all industries were equally prepared for the rapid digital transformation that took place: some industries thrived in a lockdown environment while others suffered. Unsurprisingly, hospitals and healthcare enjoyed high engagement throughout the entirety of H2, ranging between about 30 to 35% open rates. Because consumers were anxious for COVID-19 updates, they were more likely to interact with related content.

Two industries hit especially hard by the pandemic were travel and retail. Travel, for the most part, came to a halt for much of the year and the pandemic’s impact on the retail industry has been well-documented as dozens of retail hallmarks went out of business. This performance is reflected in their email marketing, as well. Travel and retail were two industries with consistently low open rates and low CTORs compared to other industries, rarely eclipsing 15% for open rates and hovering around 10% for CTOR.  

Getting Back to Basics with Email

While 2020 saw unexpected global changes, the “new normal” demonstrates that email marketing is a reliable tool with staying power. Comparing your performance from before and after the pandemic can signify how your brand is performing in the “new normal” as well as how you stack up in your market. Overall, global open rates increased in the latter half of the year by 6.5%. If you trend under the industry average, you can implement strategies to improve your email engagement, such as more advanced targeting to understand what content your audiences interact with more.

Despite many new marketing technologies and opportunities seeming to emerge daily, email is still growing. Make sure your email marketing strategies can keep pace. 

If you’d like to review the results of the full Acoustic report, download it here.

Three Psychological Pitfalls Marketers Should Avoid In 2021

By Norman Guadagno, CMO, Acoustic

A year in quarantine has changed consumer psychology and the rules of engagement for marketers. From dealing with isolation to significant economic uncertainty,  it is no surprise that depression has doubled for UK adults throughout the last twelve months. 

As the UK lockdown starts to ease, people are grappling with the conflicting emotions of desiring connection with each other on the one hand, yet remaining wary of too much close contact, too soon. 

For marketers, this means both adapting their 2021 plans to today’s “new normal,” contactless world, while ensuring that empathy and connection remain at the core of every communication. To accomplish this, we must all avoid the following pitfalls. 

Don’t mistake empathy for disingenuity 

We’ve all heard the same phrases a dizzying number of times by now: “These are unprecedented times,” “Stay at home, save lives,” and “We hope you’re doing well in these trying times.” For many brands, these empathetic phrases served as a pseudo-obligatory acknowledgement of current events before diving into sales-driven messaging. But for consumers, these messages quickly became white noise, a reason to ignore the communication altogether.

Data from Acoustic’s analysis of email marketing from January to May 2020 reinforces this. While open rates in the UK and Ireland increased by 19% in March versus January as consumers scoured for information on how to safely buy essential supplies and support their favourite businesses, click-through rates and click-to-open rates, on the other hand, remained relatively flat. This signals that emails with “An important message from our CEO” piqued curiosity but did not incite action or engagement. 

For marketers, the takeaway is clear: Show, don’t tell. Find creative ways to make it clear you genuinely care about your customers, without falling back on the same tired phrases. As marketers, we should emulate rigour. Our messaging should be clear, transparent, and to-the-point. The rest is just white noise. 

Stay connected with your audience 

Regardless of whether you’re a B2B or B2C brand, it’s important to remember marketing should not be a one-way street. The best marketers foster community and connection, which are vitally important in today’s context. For many consumers who are working from home, the marketing communications they receive may be some of the only forms of communication they have with the outside world in a given day, besides work and the news of the day. This gives marketers a golden opportunity to search for ways to spark conversations with and amongst their target audiences. 

After all, the pandemic has all but eliminated the small talk and water-cooler conversations that play a key role in keeping us happy and productive at work. In today’s stay-at-home world, many of us have replaced these innocuous conversations with scrolling through social media or “forced fun” like workplace happy hours on Zoom. We have less opportunity to opt-in to small talk, but brands can change that. Marketers should embrace new ways they can foster conversation and community through social media, message boards, or other means to create a sense of normality for their consumers. 

Don’t get too close 

It’s one thing to leverage consumer sentiment and personal data to make your communication more personal and relevant. It’s another thing altogether to get too granular that you prompt concern about misuse of that data and abuse an individual’s sense of trust. 

It’s a bit like dating in today’s online world, where finding out about someone is seemingly so easy. It’s almost second nature to Google your date or look them up on Facebook or Instagram to find out more about them beforehand. But would you ask them about their holiday to Croatia the year before last that you found out about? Of course not. At least, I hope not….

Marketers face a similar conundrum. We may have psychographic data about our consumers, but should we use it? And if so, how? Marketers should devise new approaches that allow consumers to be more involved in granting permission to use their data on their terms. Allowing them to actively curate information about their likes and dislikes, in exchange for a better value proposition — a better brand experience — a “give to get.” In this scenario, an informed consumer is acknowledging that a brand may want to learn more about them — and then taking things a step further by cultivating information about themselves that is relevant for brand marketers to know. In the coming months, marketers should think about how to tailor this approach to psychographic profiling to keep their communications empathetic and connected to a consumer’s personal identity. 

Ultimately, marketing and dating can be surprisingly similar. Marketers always want to keep consumers engaged and keep them coming back for more, which requires a delicate balance of reaching out to the target audience without overreaching. As marketers plan upcoming campaigns, we must avoid the artificial genuineness, one-way communication, and overt psychographic profiling that can be so off-putting to consumers. If not, those consumers just might say, “This date is over,” stand up, and leave. 

Norman Guadagno is CMO at Acoustic, an open, independent marketing cloud.

Do you specialise in Email Marketing? We want to hear from you!

Each month on Digital Marketing Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on different parts of the print and marketing sectors – and in March we’ll be focussing on Email Marketing services.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help marketing industry professionals find the best products and services available today.

So, if you specialise in Email Marketing solutions and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Clair Wyld on c.wyld@forumevents.co.uk.

Here are the areas we’ll be covering, month by month:

Mar – Email Marketing
Apr – Digital Printing
May – Social Media
Jun – Brand Monitoring
Jul -Web Analytics
Aug -Conversion Rate Optimisation
Sep -Digital Signage
Oct -Brochure Printing
Nov – Creative & Design
Dec – Online Strategy

Do you specialise in Email Marketing solutions? We want to hear from you!

Each month on Digital Marketing Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on different parts of the print and marketing sectors – and in March we’ll be focussing on Email Marketing.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help marketing industry professionals find the best products and services available today.

So, if you specialise in Email Marketing solutions and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact James Howe on j.howe@forumevents.co.uk.

Here are the areas we’ll be covering, month by month:

Mar – Email Marketing
Apr – Digital Printing
May – Social Media
Jun – Brand Monitoring
Jul – Web Analytics
Aug – Conversion Rate Optimisation
Sep – Digital Signage
Oct – Brochure Printing
Nov – Creative & Design
Dec – Online Strategy

Email Marketing

Email Personalisation: The Overlooked Source for Marketing Success

By Gregg Turek, Selligent Marketing Cloud

Email personalisation as a marketing strategy has evolved phenomenally in recent years. Monumental advances in technology are empowering marketers to do things once thought unimaginable.

And the skyrocketing growth of consumer expectations is a sure sign that old techniques are no longer viable for reaching customers in 2019. Marketers can no longer simply insert a first name into a subject line and consider their personalisation work done. We’ve come so much further than that and today, more than ever, personalisation is no longer just an option for marketers. In fact, it’s an imperative.

Personalisation through Time

Remember when Build-A-Bear workshops first started? For several years now, the beloved brand – and others like American Girl in the U.S. – have offered a personalised experience that has delighted parents and children alike. Teddy bears and dolls are built or dressed in outfits and colours that kids can pick out for themselves, offering an ultimate individualised experience that had previously been unavailable. In the digital realm, Amazon and other brands have extended these types of experiences by offering stronger and stronger product recommendations based on consumer behavioural data every day. The days of recommendations simply based on “customers also purchased…” are in the past. Consumers now demand ever more individualised offers.

As these kinds of advances occur, personalisation becomes second nature for consumers, who expect similar experiences wherever they go and whenever they shop. And it makes sense: as humans, we all want to be recognised and remembered. These desires are very real to us as consumers, too. Personalisation not only satisfies this desire, it also amplifies marketing results to a great extent.

The Case for Personalisation

Personalisation is the key to keeping your customers engaged – and spending money. 74% of marketers say targeted personalisation increases customer engagement.1And research shows thatemail personalisation boosts open rates by 26% and click-through rates by 97%.2

Marketers that get it right stand to gain a lot. Those who don’t, lose. Consider some of the major retailers that have struggled or failed in recent years. British casualties of the “retail apocalypse” in 2018 alone include Maplin, Debenhams, House of Fraser, Evans Cycles and Mothercare.3  One major common denominator among these retail casualties is this: they each failed at some level to adapt to escalating consumer demand for digital experiences and personalisation.

Mar-Tech & Email Personalisation

So how do you get it right? How can you take your email marketing to a new and more successful level through personalisation? Fortunately, tools exist today that allow marketers to hyper-personalise emails and other customer communications at a level previously unseen, using consumer data as the fuel for greater engagement. Today’s marketing technology allows you to deploy emails so that every automated message feels personal, every intelligent product recommendation appears hand-picked, and the timing of delivery is always right.

Many leading brands are already investing in marketing technology for personalisation and the required data. Demand for customer data platforms (CDPs) is growing tremendously.4 And marketing automation is expected to grow by nearly ten percent in 2019, with more than half of companies surveyed using some form of automation already.5

AI: The Secret Sauce for Personalisation

Artificial intelligence (AI) is unlocking the hyper-personalised future of marketing – and changing the game for marketers. AI engines can boost email personalisation and individual relevance by automatically turning consumer insights into on-taste messages, at scale and at previously unimagined levels. And it’s not only satisfying the demands of today’s entitled consumers, it can also save marketers time and money. In fact, according to an August 2018 survey of 400 retail executives worldwide by Capgemini, AI could save retailers as much as $340 billion annually by 2022.6

Getting Personal: The Key to Survival

It’s clear that the old ways of marketing are no longer enough to satisfy consumers. Marketers need to start thinking from the point of view of the customer. With every email you send – and every interaction a customer has with your brand – you need to put that individual’s preferences, histories, and current states front and centre. Carefully look at what you’re delivering versus what your customers expect – and make sure every email is injected with a human touch, providing personal relevance for every single consumer. When you are able to deliver hyper-personalised email messages at precisely the right time, you’ve discovered not only how to survive, but to thrive in today’s marketplace.

Getting personal with your customers starts with being human – in the way you collect and share data, and how you communicate with your customers. Download the free whitepaper, “The Case for Personalisation,”to learn how to get more human with your marketing, including a deeper look at the role of artificial intelligence for hyper-personalisation in your campaigns.

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1          https://econsultancy.com/tag/reports/

2          https://www.marketo.com/articles/how-is-personalization-changing-the-face-of-marketing/

3          https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/dec/01/everything-must-go-what-next-for-the-high-street-new-retail-empty-shops)

4          “Seven Marketing Tech Trends for 2019,”eMarketer PRO, December 19, 2019

5          “How AI Is Driving Marketing Automation,”Entrepreneur, January 25, 2019

6          “Will AI Transform Retail,” eMarketer, January 8, 2019

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