Does Anyone Still Read Digital Newsletters?

Published on January 3, 2018

Rumors of email’s death have been greatly exaggerated.

Maybe you’ve been put off by the declining cultural relevance of Outlook or Yahoo! Mail. Maybe you’ve read reports that social messaging is going to supplant email marketing in the coming years. Maybe you’ve just been put off by the fact that email is the oldest toy in the chest, while there are shiny new doodads to play with.

We get it! But the fact is, email is a workhorse – and a truly great digital newsletter can work wonders for your brand in a way that no other form of marketing communication can.

Don’t believe us? Let’s break down the numbers.

For one thing, it’s important to note that, based on sheer volume, email isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. According to a report from The Radicati Group, a technology market research firm, the total number of business and consumer emails sent per day reached 269 billion in 2017; researchers predict that email consumption is going to continue to grow at an annual rate of 4.4% over the next few years, reaching 319.6 billion by 2021.

According to that same report, about half of the world’s population used email regularly as of 2017; that number is projected to increase in the years ahead, and reach more than 4.1 billion by 2021.

Translation? There’s still plenty of growth left for email, and, by extension for email marketing; we’re nowhere near the ceiling when it comes to usership. There’s a hungry, growing audience of email users out there, ready to interact with your brand – and generate plenty of revenue for you, for years to come.

But, we hear you thinking, that’s just a raw number. So what if billions of emails are sent. How many emails are actually read? How many do people interact with? How much value can one email actually create?

We’re glad you asked, because we’ve got the receipts.

To the first part? According to statistics compiled by MailChimp, email open rates across industries generally sit around 20-25% - which is substantial. Imagine a quarter of your fans and followers checking out your content, absorbing your brand messaging, and clicking through to your website every week. Not too shabby, right?

Here’s a list of the email open rates for newsletters sent across industries, courtesy of MailChimp:

  • Government: 26.33%
  • Home and Garden: 23.82%
  • Legal: 22.49%
  • Medical, Dental, and Healthcare: 22.43%
  • Non-Profit: 24.98%
  • Restaurant and Venue: 21.71%
  • Architecture and Construction: 24.78%

You see, digital marketing is always going to be a game of increments and inches; the most successful strategies all take time and patience to get going and generate substantive results. What we’re saying is that you can’t expect a 100% email open rate or a perfect clickthrough rate, even with the greatest digital newsletter ever created.

But if you’re realistic and practical about how you approach your email campaign, and focused on accomplishing what email marketing can accomplish, the results of a great digital newsletter can still be staggering, for B2B and B2C brands alike.

Industry reports and surveys, across the board, all tend to say the same thing – email is still effective.

According to a recent report published by the American Marketing Association, for instance, 85% of marketing agencies say that email marketing performance is increasing; 50% would describe that increase as “significant.”

For B2B brands, consider this: 86% of business professionals prefer to use email when communicating for business purposes, per Hubspot. What’s more, according to a BtoB Magazine report, 59% of B2B marketers say email is their most effective channel in terms of revenue generation. This only makes sense; when you engage with influencers and decision makers on their terms, they’re more likely to respond positively to your messaging. That’s the power of email!

Meanwhile, for B2C, email is a proven source of lead generation and, perhaps even more importantly, customer retention. Indeed, according to one report, brought to our attention by eMarketer, 81% of retail professionals claim that email marketing is their greatest source of customer acquisition; 80% also rate it as the most effective way to ensure customer retention (80%). What’s more, welcome emails have shown to generate 320% more revenue than other types of digital promotions.

Starting to see how well email marketing can work? The next step is to make sure that your digital newsletter is up to snuff, so that your brand can see these remarkable results in time.

Here are a few resources to get you started:

And remember, as we mentioned earlier, digital marketing is a game of inches – and email is just one player! For maximum success on the great online playing field, you’ll want to cover as much ground as you can.

For that reason, Geek Chicago believes in a holistic approach to marketing, all centered around content creation. When you have an intuitive, powerful website; gripping, informative, creative content; a great-looking and effective email presence; and a robust relationship with social media all working in harmony, you’ll truly start to see a pretty significant impact in terms of lead generation and ROI.

Ready to get started? Curious about how we’ve put email to work for our clients? Don’t hesitate to drop us a line to keep the conversation going!

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