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I just got home from the Email Insider Summit in Park City, Utah, after acting as the programming chairperson and MC for the event. While it would be challenging for me to provide a comprehensive recap, I wanted to touch on a few things that stood out.
Walking away, it is clear that despite skeptics, email is alive, well, and growing. One need look no further than the $2 billion-dollar annual revenue reported by Groupon and the fact that much of the company’s success has come as the direct result of its email efforts. But if that’s not enough, consider that HautLook is driving 70% of its revenue and traffic through the email channel. Hayley Osher, the self-proclaimed “cougar of email marketing,” shared that HauteLook subscribers have come to anticipate the delivery of their morning offers. She hears about it from customers wondering what happened when their emails don’t arrive on time.
Then there was the presentation by Mike Bloxham from the Center for Media Design at Ball State University. He shared information collected by shadowing consumers and recording which media they are exposed to in 20-second increments throughout the day. According to Bloxham, live television (not television played back through a DVR or online) is still the 800-pound gorilla in media; the vast majority of media exposure still comes through live television. Yet, he sees email as the connective tissue in the media mix based on the ubiquity of its use, the amount of time people use email throughout the day, and the ability for marketers to proactively communicate with their customers through the medium. He encouraged marketers to focus not only on how email can integrate with social and mobile platforms, but how it can be integrated with traditional media as well.
But not all the news was positive. According to Judy Loschen of Epsilon, email click-through rates are on the decline. Over the past year, average click-through rates dropped 14% between Q3 2009 and Q3 2010 from 6.2% to 5.4%. Her explanation built on information from Merkle’s Rich Fleck, who shared that while email communications with family and friends is decreasing, the number of permission-based emails people subscribe to is still on the rise. In the end, the reason for the decrease in click-through rates may be simply because there is more and more competition in the inbox.
So, should we rejoice or panic? Neither!
Originally from “The State of Email Marketing” | Published December 10, 2010