Rules of Email Marketing Are Changing

Email is one of the most important digital marketing channels, but it’s rapidly evolving, according to Reggie Brady, president of Reggie Brady Marketing Solutions, a direct marketing consultancy.


“The biggest change is the influence of mobile,” says Brady in Target Marketing.

In May 2011, recipients read 16% of emails on a mobile device. But five months later recipients used mobile to read 23% of emails, according to Return Path, an email intelligence firm.

That number is even higher now, and a conservative estimate is that recipients view one-third of all emails on mobile.

“This phenomenon has dramatically changed the rules for email templates,” notes Brady.

One significant change is that most of the email service providers (ESPs) now have services that integrate with websites, and ESPs have stepped up reporting on social sharing. This gives marketers more options and intelligence.

One aspect that hasn’t changed is that email still delivers the highest return on investment (ROI) of any online or offline channel, claims Brady, citing figures from the Direct Marketing Association showing email with the best ROI during 2012.

Where email really shines is for communicating marketing offers, providing content, and cementing relationships. For marketers, solidifying relationships means not having a “batch and blast” mentality. It means being relevant, and speaking directly to customers.

Email management recommendations from Brady include:

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