Does Your Business Need E-Mail Marketing? - dummies

Does Your Business Need E-Mail Marketing?

By Marsha Collier

New channels of communicating are far more efficient than e-mail. A post on Facebook or Twitter can deliver a powerful message to an audience you’ve already worked hard to cultivate. As much as the social media proponents would like you to believe, however, e-mail isn’t dead — there are just many more ways to connect with customers.

Although not a real-time social tool, e-mail can facilitate these new modes of real-time communication.

Since the first e-mail was sent in 1971 by Ray Tomlinson, a lot has changed. Here are a few fast facts on the state of e-mail today:

  • A 2010 study by the Radicati Group showed that there were approximately 1.9 billion e-mail users worldwide. In a 2012 IBM-sponsored white paper, IDC reported that by 2014, the estimated number of worldwide e-mail accounts would be 2.4 billion.

  • 92 percent of Internet users send or read e-mail.

  • 89.6 million Americans use their mobile device to access e-mail, 64 percent do so every day.

  • According to Forrester Research, U.S. marketers will spend almost $2.5 billion on e-mail marketing alone by 2016.

  • The estimated average return on $1 invested in e-mail marketing in 2011 was $44.25.

As a one-to-one communication tool, e-mail remains one of the most effective ways to drive online and offline sales. Studies show e-mail is also the preferred method by which consumers want to be notified of offers. The key here is to apply the social rules of new media to an established mode of communication.