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Quality Over Quantity: Why Targeted Emails Are Better Than Email Blasts

Email marketing is a tried-and-true digital channel that marketers across all sectors are using to reach and engage their audience.

According to a survey from Radicati Group conducted earlier this year, roughly 281.1 billion emails will be sent and received daily in 2018.

That figure includes both business and consumer emails.

"Marketers still believe that the more emails they send, the more revenue they make," said Allen Nance, CMO of Emarsys. "But part of the problem is that it is easier to rest on what has worked in the past and say ‘Wednesday is 20% off coupon day and send that to the whole list.’"

According to Nance, the conundrum is that doing personalized, data-driven email is hard and frankly, more expensive. "Marketers run the risk of investing more time, resources and budget and potentially not seeing the same return they get from their weekly blasted promotional code," he said.

By and large, when a consumer gives a brand the privilege of getting in their inbox, marketers shouldn’t abuse that.

Subscribe to the "Behind the Numbers" podcast on SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher.

B2B analyst Jillian Ryan talks about the continued importance of email to marketers.

She breaks down the main reasons that companies are using email marketing. She addresses some concerns around how consumers interact with email. We identify the main reason that people unsubscribe from email lists and Jillian explains what marketers can be doing better.

"Marketers see email as an inexpensive channel to deploy where they can send the same single thing to their entire list," said Forest Bronzan, executive vice president of CRM, email and creative services at Elite SEM. "The goal is to just get as many emails out as possible. This is the wrong approach and marketers need to recognize the responsibility of having that access to a person’s inbox and send their subscribers more relevant messages."

April Mullen, director of consumer-first marketing adoption at Selligent Marketing Cloud, worked with some brands on sending fewer emails, including European electronics retailer Coolblue. "We worked with them on an email strategy devised to drive customer product education," she said. "They included how-to videos in emails to customers who recently bought highly technical products in order to limit the amount of returns. The strategy helped reduce return rates by 30% by using personalized post-purchase content."

Read more about how email marketing experts—from vendors and agencies—are adjusting email strategies for their clients. They were interviewed as part of eMarketer's latest report, “Email Marketing StatPack 2018: Trends and Benchmarks.