Email: Content Marketing’s Workhorse

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Filed under: Email Campaigns

Email: Content Marketing’s Workhorse

Today, the Canright content marketing inbox teems with emails on . . . email. Social media continues to rise on the agenda of all marketers, but email remains the marketing workhorse.

In “Marketers Use Growing Number of Tools to Spur Website Engagement,” eMarketer writes that “the most popular tool in digital campaigns was tried-and-true email marketing, which 78% of respondents said they used. Email newsletters were the No. 2 tactic (59%), followed closely by a social network presence (58%).”

Increasing organic search presence is also critical to marketers, eMarketer notes, reporting on a survey conducted by the trade publication Chief Marketer. To raise search listings, two-thirds of marketers surveyed include Facebook and Twitter “share” buttons on their websites. More than half use optimized landing pages, while just under half upload new content regularly or add blog content.

BtoB online reported last week that “mobile devices are on track to be the dominant platform for viewing email by the end of this year,” with email open rates on mobile devices growing some 82% over the past year. Those results come from “Email in Motion: Mobile is Leading the Email Revolution,” a survey from email deliverability and reputation monitoring company Return Path Inc. The post on the Return Path blog summarizes results in the increasingly popular infographic format.

It may not be surprising to see that companies which primarily focus on email marketing release reports on the increasing relevance of email marketing. Yet these reports also give clues to shifting preferences in content consumption and reading preferences. ExactTarget’s “2012 Channel Preference Survey” provides good insight into how consumers use digital channels, with excellent analysis of which channels work best for what messages.

The survey segments consumers and finds that although the means for personal communications has broadened, preferences for permission-based marketing communications have not. Email leads all other media by a wide margin, with an average of 77% of consumers of all ages preferring email for marketing messages, followed by direct mail at 9%. The ExactTarget report argues strongly for segmentation in email marketing to ensure reader relevance in the inbox.

It turned out to be quite relevant and very convenient for me that Hubspot sent me an email tagging the inbound marketing firm’s report on email marketing segmentation. “How to Segment & Integrate Your Emails for Better Results” shows how offer-based emails work best when the offers are highly targeted and sent to the segment of your list that has shown the most interest in the content related to the offer, based on their past email and website usage.

“The average click-through rates and open rates both showed a considerable increase for the segmented lists compared to the overall lists,” write the researchers at MarketingSherpa, the report’s author. You do not need an elaborate system to accomplish that. As the report states, “If you are tracking opens and clicks, you have enough information to dramatically improve your performance of your emails.”

Back in 2008, we at Canright published our report on the exaggerated death of email. Check out the latest ebook version, “Email Wires the Social Media Buzz.”