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We can see the importance of email marketing by using the excellent Custora Ecommerce Pulse - which is updated monthly to show the impact of different channels on sales across $40 billion of US retail transactions from retailers who are clients of Custora. Here are three data points showing the importance of email marketing:
In 2015 Email remains one of the top three channels driving sales, not far behind organic and PPC. This position is mainly because of sales to existing customers. The latest data from May 2015 shows that email marketing now accounts for 15% of all sales.
All of the top 3 have fallen a little compared to 2014 as Affiliate prompted sales have grown.
For all of our interest and attention on social media this accounts for just 2% of retail sales.
Although email marketing is mainly seen as a customer communications medium, it has grown in importance as an acquisition technique in retail. It's striking that:
Customer Acquisition via Email has quadrupled over the last 4 years.
This is thanks to prospects signing up to enewsletters or responding to pop-ups offering discounts for the first order if a subscriber signs up to email.
Here the Custora data (from earlier research) shows us that email has increased dramatically as a customer acquisition channel, so that it now rivals search.
To truly understand the value of different acquisition channels you have to assess long-term sales measured as customer lifetime value (CLV or LTV typically measured over a 3 or 5 years). Here email is positive relative to affiliates and social media marketing, but less compared to social media marketing which perhaps can be seen as sparking more 'impulse purchases'.
Given the continued importance of email marketing for retailers and other businesses, we have recently launched a more detailed guide to using Email marketing to support acquisition and customer onboarding which uses examples from a range of sectors.
By Dave Chaffey
Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of Smart Insights. Dave is editor of the 100+ templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ Digital Marketing experts. Our resources are used by our Premium members in more than 100 countries to Plan, Manage and Optimize their digital marketing. Free members can access our sample templates here. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question. For my full profile and other social networks, see the Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights. Dave is a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.
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