Email Marketing: Welcome to the Gun Show

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Out of all the available digital promotion channels, email marketing has the biggest guns – Fact. It rules supreme!

This post was written as an unashamed homage to the digital marketing superpower, but it was also written as a defence against the email marketing naysayers. Here is what I mean…

Marketing bloggers love to be early adopters of any new technology or platform that comes out  – obviously! They will normally share their discovery of the new platform/technology by proclaiming the death of it’s nearest “rival” – which is typically considered by them to be email. Here are some examples from years gone by:

RSS to Kill Email – 2005

Facebook to Kill Email – 2008

Twitter to Kill Email – 2009

Google Wave to Kill Email – 2009

Well they all ‘came’, they all ‘saw’, but they certainly did not ‘conquer’ email marketing. Despite what hipster Marketers would have you believe, Email Marketing is still King!

Email Marketing is ‘Kind of a Big Deal’

As a means of ‘promoting’ your products or services to your customers, there simply isn’t a better way to do it, than by email. There are numerous studies that show just how important email marketing is to today’s Marketers. One such study from Analytics platform Custora found email to be streets ahead of the alternatives with the gap growing each year.

The study which investigates the acquisition and retention of customers amongst online retailers, shows that customer acquisition via email has quadrupled in the last four years. The trend is for marketers to build communities, collect their email addresses and then use these email addresses to convert community members into full blown customers. In 2013, 6.84% of all customers were acquired via email.

Over the same period of time Facebook and especially Twitter have offered little for marketers to get excited about. Facebook as a way to make a sale only accounts for 0.17%, whilst Twitter accounts for less than 0.01%.


Looking at the lifetime value of customers acquired through the different channels, doesn’t make for very good reading for the socials sites either. Whilst Facebook did deliver 1% above average, customers acquired via Twitter are worth a whopping 23% less than average.  Again, Email performs admirably, delivering 12% above average customer lifetime value.

Customer lifetime value by channel

Whilst social media has its place in the marketer’s toolkit, it is important to put things into perspective. Appropriate time and effort should be allocated to the channel that really delivers and will do for years to come – Email Marketing.

Of course, there are a lot of marketers that already make the most of email. Check out these email marketing case studies to get some inspiration.

About Craig Loynes

Marketing Manager at Emailcenter, the UK's largest independent ESP. Connect with +Craig Loynes on Google+ or follow on for more email marketing insights.

  • Justin Hyde

    I couldn’t agree more with this. As a digital marketer myself I cannot justify the time and effort required to achieve any noticeable results using Twitter when I know my weekly e-shot is guarenteed to generate more revenue.

  • It is just a case of prioritising really. You are right, Twitter is never going to generate the level of sales that Email will, so don’t spend too much time trying.

    However, Twitter is a good supplement to your emailing and a means of further sharing your messages.

  • Nick Everitt

    I agree. I don’t know why anyone would think a social network would kill email anyway since they are so completely unrelated? Email is here to stay, it’s too easy, convenient and ubiquitous to go.