Email Marketing: What is It Good For?

The old adage is true:  Time is Money.  The more efficient your process is for developing leads, the higher the ROI on your marketing budget will be. In our focus on lead generation, we’re continuing to look at some of the traditional sources of leads and how much they cost.

Let’s talk about email marketing.

Email marketing has come a very long way since the days of simply pumping out mass messages from your company’s CRM system and praying that even half of your targets open them.  There are some very sophisticated email-marketing providers out there that are really doing it right. Constant Contact is one that most everyone knows.

You can find a nice breakdown of some of these providers here.

In researching email-marketing statistics, I came across these from Jay Baer over at ConvinceandConvert.com. These statistics were gathered through email subscriber studies.

  • 21% of email recipients report email as Spam, even if they know it isn’t
  • 43% of email recipients click the Spam button based on the email “from” name or email address
  • 69% of email recipients report email as Spam based solely on the subject line
  • 35% of email recipients open email based on the subject line alone
  • IP addresses appearing on just one of the 12 major blacklists had email deliverability 25 points below those not listed on any blacklists
  • Email lists with 10% or more unknown users get only 44% of their email delivered by ISPs
  • 17% of Americans create a new email address every 6 months
  • 30% of subscribers change email addresses annually
  • If marketers optimized their emails for image blocking, ROI would increase 9+%
  • 84% of people 18-34 use an email preview pane
  • Subscribers below age 25 prefer SMS to email
  • 35% of business professionals check email on a mobile device
  • 80% of social network members have received unsolicited email or invites

A full 75% of marketers say that they are using more email than they were three years ago. (Source: HubSpot) However, building a quality email distribution list takes a major time investment. Email marketing can be an excellent way to share information with your prospects and customers, but gathering qualified leads still takes that extra step of connection.

Can you make the leap from cold to qualified through marketing automation?

Marketing automation combines software with a company’s CRM system and scores leads based on defined criteria. This information is supposed to allow the marketer to better target messages and promotions to individuals based on perceived interests.  Marketing automation software can include email marketing, campaign management, lead nurturing/scoring, lead lifecycle management and analytics.

Marketing automation is, in its most basic form, a tool with which to take marketing leads and nurture them until they are ready to be converted to customers. While this can be somewhat helpful in the very beginning stages of a lead, letting your prospect know that you are aware of his or her interest and that you will be in contact, that is where the automation should end.

Particularly in the oftentimes highly technical world of B2B product sales, marketing automation can come off as a little too impersonal and out-of-touch with your target customers’ decision journeys. In that space, nothing beats a phone call and an honest conversation.

The bottom line:

Email marketing absolutely has its place, but it’s not to produce qualified leads.

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