After over a decade in successful use there is abundant proof that email is not only the connective tissue of all data-driven marketing but also the revenue-producing juggernaut of digital efforts. Yet despite claiming the highest ROI of all direct marketing channels at 28.5%1, the highest driver of online conversions2 and the number two spot (second only to search) in new customer acquisition3 email marketing is still too often swept out of sight, called upon only when we need miracles worked. In my nearly 15 years of experience with the channel, I am too frequently surprised and dismayed that email is not receiving nearly the attention and investment it economically deserves.
Like Cinderella in the classic fairy tale, email dutifully goes about its business quietly completing a wide variety of marketing tasks without complaint - from prospect qualification to lead nurturing to direct sales. It also does plenty of less attractive, more menial labor in the transactional messaging realm such as conveying confirmations, notifications, reminders and alerts and just like Cinderella, is frequently under-resourced and kept out of sight until needed. But when it’s needed, batten down the hatches, for email will be heavily (if not impossibly) leaned upon to achieve quarterly or annual revenue goals, save jobs and launch new products. Also like Cinderella, email marketing professionals will be expected to work nearly twenty-four hours a day with barely enough energy to stumble into bed long after midnight only to wake before sunrise to do it all over again.