Is email marketing dead? | An insight from Walpole corporate partner GGMR

The first thing most of us do each morning when we wake up is look at our phones. We check social media and scroll through emails – however, it’s hard to disagree that emails from retailers are largely ignored. Despite this, by the end of 2017, the total number of business and consumer emails sent and received per day will reach 269 billion; a figure expected to continue to grow at an average annual rate of 4.4% over the next four years.

Unsurprisingly, email remains the most ubiquitous form of business communication, but with these big numbers, how do you stand out? With multiple devices on which to consume content, companies are facing increasing competition in the vast sea of these distractions; you need to be smarter than the rest to have your voice heard amongst all the noise. The answer is a customised email experience that is easy to read, relevant to the customer and personalised – otherwise it’s likely to be ignored. You also run the risk of a user unsubscribing and being labelled as a spam account: you will only capture someone’s attention if your message is relevant, timely and engaging.

What’s the first step? You must form an understanding of the customers you want to convert, including their usage of social channels to form a complete picture. Using this information you can then create a content strategy which details not only the best topics of communication but also when and how you communicate.

Using a test-and-learn approach with a small group to collect data, you can identify the emails that perform the best and use this to communicate with en masse. Software tools that help a business automatically display statistics on emails, remove duplicate email addresses, and send the email itself are essential to a successful email campaign.

You need to consider the importance of aesthetics and the device functionality. The mobile email market continues to show rapid growth due to the availability of email-capable mobile devices at all price points. By the end of 2018, worldwide mobile email users are expected to total over 2.2 billion. The best emails are therefore those that can be viewed in the same way across multiple devices. The emails themselves should be short and snappy to encourage purchase and click through, and to do so they need to be quick, distilled to the core and easily consumed on the go to tie in with a consumer’s busy lifestyle. The message needs to be delivered in a fun, brand-appropriate way.

Ultimately, email marketing is still the best form of marketing: it’s free, gives you direct access to customers, and it’s a relationship builder. It’s also a medium that shows no signs of slowing down, as long as you create a content strategy that can communicate the right message at the right time, to the right people.

Below are some interesting statistics on email:

First email system developed: 1971

Number of emails sent daily: 269 billion

Average office worker receives 121 emails a day

Average open rate for retail emails: 22.07%

Average open rate for professional services emails: 21.21%

Average click through rate for retail emails: 2.83%

Average email click through rates on desktops: 13.3%

Average email click through rates on mobile: 12.7%

Top reason why people unsubscribe: ‘I get too many emails in general’

Length of subject line for highest read rate: 61 – 70 characters

Top day for email volume: Cyber Monday

Company that sent the most per user: Groupon

Percentage of mobile users who read an email based on subject line: 33%

Percentage of opened emails that are opened on a desktop: 55.2%

Percentage of opened emails that are opened on a smartphone: 25%

Percentage of opened emails that are opened on a tablet: 7.3%

Most popular mobile device for email opens:  iPhone (with 33%)

Percentage of users who made a purchase based upon an email received on their mobile device: 6.1%

Most effective day of the week to send an email (based on open rates): Saturday

Least effective day of the week to send an email (based on open rates): Friday

Least effective day of the week to send an email (based on click rates): Wednesday / Friday

This is the first in a new digital series offering actionable insights into some of the luxury industry’s key online concerns. With many thanks to Corporate Partner GGMR Ltd. For more information, please contact George Gill on or 0870 777 6735.