Email; it’s time to seriously invest in this overlooked channel

Email is a channel that Warren Buffett would invest in!

For those who don’t know; Warren Buffett, the sage of Omaha and world’s third richest man, amassed his fortune by finding value stocks. He doesn’t chase down expensive new tech stocks, he invests in high quality firms that are overlooked by other investors. You see, the price of a share is largely a signal of it’s popularity. The more popular a company, the higher its price rises. As popularity dwindles, the price falls. It’s not a perfect system but it does create opportunities to buy stock in great companies that have largely been ignored by the market.

Email is the value buy of marketing channels

Email is the perfect example of a value stock. It’s cheap, delivers a great return and is often overlooked in favour of sexy new channels (app push messages, chatbots etc).

73% of marketers agree that email gives a good or excellent return on investment. In fact, marketers rate it as the best channel for ROI performance (source: Econsultancy).

250x return through highly segmented emails

Also look at this chart from a recent Adobe case study (http://www.adobe.com/content/dam/Adobe/en/customer-success/pdfs/william-reed-case-study.pdf)

Adobe chart on email conversion rate improvement

The way the numbers on the chart are presented obscures the real success here. I’ll elaborate:

Non-segmented emails converted 4 people from 21,000 = 0.02% conversion rate
Highly segmented emails converted 5 people from 100 = 5% conversion rate

That’s a 250x improvement in conversion. If you’re sending non-segmented emails at the moment (I know most of you are) – take your conversion rate and multiply it by 250. Now work out what that means in revenue.

You now have a business case*.

In my own analysis of every marketing channel, email comes out on top.

This is because email’s are versatile. They can be completely personalised. Extra content can be added with imagery and attachments. For developed markets, its safe to assume that everyone has an email address and therefore the channel is far more ubiquitous that other digital channels.

Carpe diem

Some opportunities to seize in the short-term:

  • How well do your emails communicate your brand message?
  • What call to action is in the footer of your emails?
  • How do your emails look on mobile devices?
  • When was the last time you trained your sales team on email etiquette?
  • What is the call to action in every email?
  • How are you segmenting your emails?
  • What testing are you using to optimise communications?

There’s plenty more to go at.

My guidance is simply to get optimising. The returns will be there.

* If you’re struggling with the business case – get in contact! I can help!

Photo Credit: sergiosantos9 via Compfight cc

David Sealey is a trusted adviser to senior executives on getting the most from their investment in digital and data. David created Storm81 as a place to share his passion for business, digital technologies, multichannel marketing and everything else around these topics.

More about David Sealey

Follow me on Twitter
Connect with me on LinkedIn


Download the all marketing channels list
WEEKLY DIGITAL STRATEGY NEWSLETTER

follow us in feedly Follow on Feedly
Follow with RSS
A powerful and affordable survey software tool