Facebook was founded in 2004, Twitter 2006, and Instagram 2010. The “Big 3” have been around for over a decade and yet email usage has been higher than ever. Once social media became prevalent in marketing repertoire, a lot of marketing automation specialists were worried consumers were going to lose interest in emails.
But email marketing’s influence has become more apparent. In fact, email users in the United States have gone from 226 million in 2014 to 254 million in 2020. That’s 28 million more people using email in the past 6 years!
Even if email is still consistently growing, why is 2020 more pivotal than previous years? Below we’re going to list the top 3 reasons why email marketing is more popular in 2020.
1. Virtual Communication has Increased Due to COVID-19
Shelter-in-place regulations in March heightened concern in Americans and kept busy commuters at home with extra free time. The desire to receive coronavirus updates from businesses, along with sheer boredom, created the perfect recipe for increased email use.
Email open rates across all industries were up 20% in March. The government sent 25% more emails this March compared to March 2019, and yet the open rate increased and the unsubscribe rate decreased.
78% of marketers have seen an increase in email use since July 2019, and 59% of marketers say email is their biggest ROI. That means over half of businesses make most of their sales and conversions via email!
2. People View Email as a Valuable Source for Information
The odds are in your favor when it comes to email open rates, but your brand still has to be mindful of the content shared with subscribers. People are craving information right now, whether it’s related to the coronavirus or the election, and email is viewed as a legitimate source for company news, updates, and stories.
In spring 2020, the most popular subject lines included keywords like “COVID,” “pandemic,” “remote,” “tips,” and “financial.” Notice the words “discount,” “sale,” and “free” didn’t even make the list! Such subject line keywords emphasize the value of information over the value of sales. In another survey, 39% of people say they’d rather see an email rich in content over promotions.
This data is showing a huge shift in how consumers perceive emails. Emails were once a major source for exclusive deals, but now consumers want educational news and interactive content they can trust.
3. Emails Can be Segmented to Specific Audiences
One reason emails have stayed at the forefront of marketing resources is because marketing automation platforms have adapted to consumer habits. Social media is great for promoting brand awareness, but social posts can’t be specifically sent to certain people within your audience. That’s where the value of emails comes into play.
Email subscribers can be segmented into specific lists depending on where they are in the sales funnel, geographic location, recent buyer history, and more. Adapting campaigns to certain consumers has made email engagement increase. The “Top 3” social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) have a combined engagement rate of .56%. Emails have an average open rate of 22% and click-thru rate of 3.7%. That’s still higher than social media!
The average email marketing ROI is $42 for every $1 spent on marketing automation services. Marketing automation platforms offer a lot of features such as audience segmentation, automated campaigns, and mobile optimization to ensure you get more conversions from customers.
Are you ready to enhance your email marketing strategy for 2020? REAS Marketing is a full-service agency that can boost your email marketing influence to a wider audience. REAS is a Black woman-owned email marketing agency that supports small businesses looking to grow digitally.