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Exploring the latest trends in email marketing

Richard Jones Archive

There are plenty of new-school channels out there that companies can use to engage with their customers and send worthwhile marketing messages. Between the rise of social media sites and the explosion of alternative devices like smartphones and tablets, there's no shortage of ways that brands can get in touch with their preferred patrons.

But amid all the hype surrounding the latest technology trends, there should still be room in our hearts (and our marketing budgets) for email. It may not have the same buzz surrounding it that it once did, but email is still a valuable tool that companies can use to touch base with consumers. It's still easy, convenient and able to yield real results.

That's why companies are still investing significant amounts of time in email-based marketing, and they're willing to put a little money into it, as well. They're also prone to using email verification solutions for ensuring the quality of their contact data. This can be a crucial step, as it separates the most effective email marketing initiatives from the duds.

According to Business 2 Community, there's a wealth of statistical evidence out there that email is still going strong as a customer communications channel. Email marketing expert Lisa Cannon says that now, armed with hard proof, companies can proceed with confidence into new initiatives.

"Most marketers realize that rumors of email marketing's demise have been greatly exaggerated," Cannon argued. "But there are still skeptics - and this information proves that email continues to be a powerful tool in the hands of those who know how to use it. These facts also make it clear that the days of batch and blast are long gone, and that in order to take advantage of the continued expansion of email and mobile usage around the world, it's time to make absolutely sure that your email communications are personal, relevant, and highly targeted."

Here are just a few of the latest trends in email marketing:

Email use is still increasing
You might think that today, given that email's already been around for two-plus decades, the market is fairly saturated and there are no new accounts still popping up. Surprisingly, you'd be wrong - recent survey data from the Radicati Group indicates that the number of worldwide email accounts is still growing rapidly. There were over 4.1 billion accounts in 2014, and there are expected to be over 5.2 billion by the end of 2018.

Social media might be overrated
There's also an assumption these days that email is outdated, and social media is the new king where marketing messages are concerned - that might not be accurate, either. Econsultancy recently polled marketers on the effectiveness of various engagement strategies, and the organization found that 66 percent of marketers rate email as "excellent" or "good," compared to only 41 percent who feel the same way about social channels.

Lead generation is key
Perhaps the most significant use for email marketing is in soliciting new leads. When looking to forge connections with new customers, a well-written message can be a valuable strategy. And indeed, according to Circle Research, 88 percent of marketers cite email as the most valuable tactic they have for lead generation.

Email leads to ROI
The ultimate goal with any business initiative is return on investment - you want to ensure that whatever you spend, you'll be able to make back (and then some). MarketingSherpa found that ROI tends to be fairly strong for email marketers - those who send over 100,000 messages per month tend to see an average return of 94 percent, while those sending under 100,000 get back 139 percent. As long as email marketing continues to yield profits, it will never truly be dead.