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Has Email Marketing Died?

Far from it people! In fact, it’s making a huge comeback and here’s why. Social media marketing kicked into high gear back in 2008 as marketers scrambled to invest and learn social media as a hopeful replacement to the ever so hard email-marketing field. As marketers focused their efforts on Facebook, the same company back in 2011 was insistent that they were going to replace email with their platform as reported to CNN. While Facebook was trying to tackle their own spam to achieve their new utopia, they schemed a new vision which they felt was going to replace the internet altogether. In fact, Facebook felt that replacing all other Internet websites with their own interface in order to connect the whole world into their idea would win the hearts of the people. And for a very short moment, it looked like they could be right.

But the majority was not interested in a one-domain system nor were they interested in replacing the Internet with Facebook. As Facebook celebrated its 10th birthday in 2014, a Princeton study predicted Facebook would lose 80% of its users by 2017 because older members felt Facebook were doing nefarious activities in data mining. Facebook fired back stating that they have a younger audience worthy of enough revenues to bypass the older spenders, as the Princeton article would predict. “The demographic has shifted and it is a positive thing when it comes to ad revenues. These older users have more spending power than young teens” says Eden Zoller of Ovum in response to Facebook’s future.

Facebook didn’t deny that the older users with the purse were spending less than teens on their network, so Facebook is no doubt betting their future on the younger generation, and is buying their time from being the future of “email”. The real spenders are not the younger audience, rather the middle aged and above; the ones who are used to receiving emails from old, instead of checking their Facebook for messages. And to make matters worse for Facebook, in 2014 they decided to make an extra app for messages, which confused users and made it more difficult to message people because you had to open up another application.

Indeed, the year 2014 was the year Facebook peaked as a multi-generational revenue source. And it was also the year email marketing started to make a comeback because after four years of playing around the social media arena, marketers realized that it wasn’t as easy (cost effective) to generate sales through social media as email marketing was. It simply was too much work and cost a lot of time and money to build an audience. You can’t buy a social media audience and start marketing to it right away. It takes effort and skills to rope in an audience and to keep it. You need talent, drive and wisdom to continue in the social media market. But you don’t with email marketing. Yes, some skills are required, but according to spam fighters, any “chickenboner” can be a spammer.

So now, social media has settled down and the hype has lost its edge. Don’t get me wrong, social media is here to stay. It’s a great tool for sharing information, but it’s not going to be competing or take over email marketing any time soon because the real audience with the purse still like receiving email. But I digress. Statistics don’t lie. In reading an excellent article from Outbound Engine about Email Marketing Statistics of 2015, they insist that “91% of consumers check their email at least once per day on their smartphone, making it the most used functionality.” Outbound Engine assures us that, “Email marketing yields an average 4,300% return on investment for businesses in the United States.” This is good, but what blew my mind was, “Email conversion rates are three times higher than social media, with a 17% higher value in the conversion.” How can you argue with that?

It makes a lot of sense that when people personally check Facebook, they are not interested in buying things, rather are interested in posting information about their day and/or finding information about others. “Whether we like it or not, Facebook has become the digital novel of people’s lives. And for many, it remains essential reading.” Says Jane Wakefield, a Technology Reporter for the BBC. Social media inadvertently made email marketing great again by forcing marketers to pay more attention to what they are sending, because for a while, they lost a lot of revenue during the hype. But in the end, social media marketing proved that the younger demographic doesn’t have the buying power that the older demographic does. So, is email marketing dead? Nope. It survived a generational fad and it is now back to business as usual.


James Carner
James Carner
James Carner is an Entrepreneur and the Executive President for Verify Rocket LLC. James cut his teeth in the 90’s selling SQL CRM databases for Epicor Software and telephony switches for Lucent Technologies, and for fun, was a producer and publicist for AM 620 The Buzz - Talk Radio. In 2003, James founded Quickie Marketing, Inc. which spawned The Viral Spiral, an internet marketing newsletter with 120,000 subscribers, furthermore birthed eHygienics, an email list cleaning company that recently merged with Monster Clicks LLC. James is interested in private investigation and fluent in American Sign Language. He is the worship leader for Bend Faith Center and a Home Mentor for Habitat for Humanity.

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