How long can email’s digital marketing moment last as consumers turn to messaging apps

People will send less personal emails each year but businesses will step in and more than fill the gap as the web’s oldest channel for internet marketing undergoes something of a commercial resurgence.

But of course, this being the internet there’s a curse in the curve which we will get to in a moment.

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You will find more statistics at Statista

First up though, research by the Radicati Group suggests there are just under four billion email accounts in the world today generating 183 billion messages in each 24 hour period.

Of these, roughly 45 per cent are personal emails with business (and those Nigerian spammers) accounting for the rest. The study estimates that the personal component will drop by 10 per cent over the next three years while commercial email correspondance will grow at a healthy clip of 31 per cent.

There are two reasons for the divergence.

The combination of mobile, social and instant messaging has provided a simpler and more convenient alternative for consumers – that’s why the personal number is dropping.

On the other hand, for business – in simple terms – email works.

As we noted recently, a McKinsey & Company study found that email is 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined at acquiring new customers. It hasn’t quite over taken search (as measured by last click analysis) but on current trends, it could.

And that same McKinsey study showed the trend line for email’s effectiveness actually accelerated aggressively in the last few years. That was most likely due to the increasing sophistication and implementation of marketing automation solutions.

Curse in the curve

Consumers have a very strong sense of personal utility when it comes to digital technology. As their inbox’s fill with more correspondence which is less about them and more about selling to them, those effectiveness scores could start to degrade.

Marketers would argue that personalisation and targeting will mitigate for that problem although whether their personalised pitches will be enough reason for the buyer to open to email app in the first instance is the real question.

Now you know the reason the marketing tech outfits are writing such big checks to grow their ecosystems beyond your inbox.

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