Is email marketing successful or just plain easy?

Email marketing continues to be the “number one” – but why?

Email marketing is constantly being rated as the “number one” method of marketing by online marketers. There are dozens of surveys and studies which show that marketers rate email marketing as their most successful method of gaining business. There is plenty of research which shows that email marketing generates more sales and more leads than other forms of internet marketing.

However, a new study shows an interesting twist to this long-held belief. It turns out that marketers rate email marketing as the easiest form of marketing.

Graph showing that email marketing is considered to be easy

This suggests that there is a vast amount of email marketing going on simply because marketers find it easy to do. And with large volumes of email marketing happening you are likely to find it is more successful than other forms of digital marketing, simply because of the impact of the volume.

Marketers rate social media as the most difficult form of online marketing that they do. They rate this as their fourth most effective kind of marketing.

When you consider other elements of marketing which they also find difficult, such as SMS marketing or marketing through ecommerce channels, you can see that things rated as more difficult tend to be rated as less effective.

This suggests that people may be finding data that confirms their beliefs. They believe email marketing to be easy and so the data they find backs up it is successful. In other words, people tend to find what they are looking for,

Independent analysis, by firms such as HubSpot, shows that content marketing is by far the single most successful online method of generating sales. Yet, marketers believe this is one of the least successful elements, behind email marketing, a website, SEO and social media. But they also rate it as one of the most difficult kinds of marketing they do. They don’t rate it as that successful because they find it hard to do.

What this data suggests is that email marketing might not be the “holy grail” it seems. It might just be that people find it easy and therefore reckon it is valuable.

Sometimes, a business benefits when you concentrate on the more difficult tasks, rather than the easy ones. Just because it is easy and it produces results, does not mean that email marketing is better than something else, such as content marketing which is more difficult to work with. Don’t let a marketing task’s difficulty fool you into believing it will not be successful. We might be being fooled into believing that email marketing is the most successful form of online marketing, when in reality what we are actually measuring is its ease of use.

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Graham Jones
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+
Graham Jones

@grahamjones

Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist, professional speaker and author of 32 books who helps businesses understand the online behaviour of their customers
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