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Is email dead? The question gets thrown around practically every end and start of a year. And now that we’re nearing the end of 2023, it’s probably a question some entrepreneurs and businesses are asking yet again. After all, with all the shiny new things like AI and Thread, or the constant rise of TikTok, does anyone still use email?

The answer is a resounding, “Yes! People still use email.”

Not only that, email marketing is still effective, especially for online and ecommerce business. Just think about how many emails you get from Amazon about the stuff you left in your shopping cart, or a list of recommendations to go with your recent frying pan and kitchen ware purchase. If the king of ecommerce is still actively using email marketing, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t.

More than just platitudes, however, allow me to go through a couple of concrete reasons why you should still very much consider jumping into email marketing if you aren’t already.


1. Email Marketing Statistics

Let’s be honest, ever since Meta, and every other social media platform, started allowing advertising on their platform it’s been a war on ad spend. Despite how seemingly old email marketing is, email is still able to give you an average open rate of about 19.21% across various industries. Compare that with social media’s organic reach of only 2-5% of your existing audience.

Similarly, click-through rates (CTR) are also considerably higher on email than on social media, with the average CTR for email marketing resting at roughly 2.5%, and only 0.07% for Facebook.

Even in terms of returns, email marketing continues to trump social media, generating a whopping 3600% ROI (that’s $36 for every $1 spent), whereas social media estimates returns around $2.80 for every $1 spent.

All these figures are a testament to the simple fact that practically everyone who’s online has an email, but not everyone is on social media. In fact, the total number of active email users in 2023 is over 4.2 billion, compared to Facebook’s 2.96 billion active users at the closing of 2022.

If all that’s not enough to convince you, though, then let’s go through a couple of other things email has that might.


2. Email Marketing Has Better Personalization

When you post something on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, or X you’re not necessarily addressing anyone in particular. Rather, social media can be likened to shouting your message out into a crowded city block. Not everyone hears you, and oftentimes those that do will simply keep walking on by.

With email marketing, you get to personalize your message to the point that you can include the first and/or last name of your subscribers in every subject line or body of your email.


You can also segment your audience!

This means that you get to group your audience into little buckets of where they are in their journey or relationship with you. Are they new subscribers, wallflowers, or big spenders? Have they ever purchased one of your products or services? If so, you can speak to those people directly and offer them something that might either complement or supplement their previous purchase.

With social media, the ability to retarget users has been limited by a demand for more privacy and security. Some people don’t want their data to be sold to advertisers, and so they opt out of allowing Meta to collect their data.

Your email subscribers, on the other hand, have actively chosen to receive updates from you. They chose to be there! That’s why all their numbers are up compared to social.


3. Email Marketing Gives You Ownership

It wasn’t that long ago that a lot of people feared that Twitter was going away. Then along came Meta’s new Threads app, which they dubbed its killer. And although Threads never really took over X in terms of active users, the fear was still there, especially for people who’d already built their following on X.

What this tells you is that social media platforms may come and go. What was popular one day, may just as easily disappear on the next. What happens to your following then?

You also have to take into account that these platforms can shadow ban you if they don’t approve of your content. What this means is that they’ll limit the visibility of your posts if they don’t agree with your message.

On social media, you’re subject to their rules and regulations. And if they go away one day, it’s going to take a bit of effort for you to get your fans to migrate with you onto another platform.

With email, that’s something you never have to worry about.


Even if you do decide to migrate to a different email marketing platform, exporting and importing your list is as easy as the click of a button. Your audience might never even realize that you’ve switched sides.

Email marketing gives you complete ownership of your audience, your reach, your engagement, and your return on investment. You’re not subject to the changing winds and whims at any social media conglomerate.

And just to repeat the metaphor that many a marketer has used before, having your own mailing list is like owning a piece of land. It’s your property, and you can do anything you want with it. If you build it, they will come.

On the other hand, building a following on social media is like building a home on rented property. If the landlord doesn’t like you, or chooses to sell or demolish the building, then you’re out on the streets.


4. Email Marketing Lets You Nurture Leads Better

Besides allowing you to personalize your messages to your audience, email marketing also allows you to get close and personal. Remember, you’re not shouting into a vacuum whenever you send out an email. You’re sending a letter to people who’ve chosen to hear from you—a pen pal if you will.


This alone means that you have permission to build your relationship with your audience, one by one.

In fact, one very successful strategy that you can apply with your audience, is to survey them. If you sell digital marketing services (or any kind of service-based product, for that matter), ask them what they’re struggling with the most, and what kind of help they need.

If you sell toys, action figures, or video games online, then ask your audience what games they’d want to see you pre-order or restock. And this question works for virtually any product or industry, whether its apparel, beauty products, or handmade goods.

Your subscribers have chosen to allow your business into their inbox, so treat them as you would treat any friend that’s interested in what you do. Don’t spam them with constant marketing spiels and babbles. Instead, build up trust and familiarity. Your business will be all the better for it.


5. Email Marketing is Less Distracting

Lastly, the one huge boon of social media is also its bane. Because while it’s true that you can discover many different things through social media (thanks to advertising, viral posts, and organic shares within your circle of friends), you can also be distracted by a lot of the things that go on inside of it.

Girl with phone looking at photos on social network

Sure, that hoodie your friend shared on their feed might get your attention. But unless your friend shared a link to the company’s website, you’re not likely to get a similar hoodie yourself.

When it comes to the mindset that the environment sets for its users, email and social media are also vastly different. Because while spam still does get into people’s inboxes, most people will still choose to open emails from people they know, like, and trust.

Social media, on the other hand, is designed to keep you scrolling. Once in a while, something may get your attention, but overall you’re bound to just mindlessly find that next fix from that endless scroll.


So, given all this information, do you think that email marketing is still effective come 2024? I encourage you to scroll back up a bit and read through those figures and statistics once again to get a little refresher. Because if you aren’t maximizing your email marketing at the moment, then you’re missing out on a whole lot of potential for sales and revenue.

Email Marketing

Francis Concepcion

Francis Concepcion is an SEO Content Producer at 1Digital Agency and enjoys writing content for businesses that are part of the arts, graphic design, interior design, retail and fashion industries. When he's not working, he's either voraciously consuming all sorts of literature, film, video games and animation, or he's deconstructing their various plots and storytelling techniques in order to improve his craft and further weave and develop his own fictions.

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