Remember the good ‘ol days of email marketing? When you’d send every email message to the entire database of email addresses because more precise targeting didn’t exist? Yeah. That was fun.

As you might guess, it’s also an extremely outdated model. With even the most basic targeting and segmentation techniques, banks and credit unions can easily find the right people to put email marketing in front of. Today’s email marketing best practices go even further, though.

This is where we make the bold statement that email marketing today is most definitely NOT a numbers game based off of the number of contacts and email sends.

No One Pays Attention to Email Marketing

Whenever I hear someone say that email marketing doesn’t work anymore because consumers delete all marketing messages, I automatically have follow-up questions about targeting practices and relevant messaging. The reality is that email marketing most definitely works – still does, always has.

“But email marketing doesn’t work for the younger demographics!”

Again, wrong. A study conducted by Adobe in 2017 found that Millennials and Gen Z are actually obsessed with email. More than half of those surveyed admitted to checking email before they get out of bed. However, the consumers in these groups also understand that their online actions are being watched. What annoys them is when irrelevant email marketing is sent. It’s a sure-fire way to end up in the trash bin without a second thought.

When measuring the effectiveness of email marketing, the benchmark metrics you use need to be up-to-date and aligned with your industry. Incorrect benchmarks can skew the success of the email program and affect adjustments you make for future sends.

Financial services email marketing benchmarks (as of Q2 2018) are reported as:

  • Open Rate: 27%
  • Click-through rate: 5%
  • Click-to-open rate: 18%

Not a Numbers Game

Targeting and relevance come together to paint the picture that email marketing today is most certainly not a contact number game. There are many reasons that blasting everyone in your email database with every email is a bad idea (read: SPAM filters will begin to shuffle your emails straight to the junk folder). The most important is that non-relevant and non-intent-based messaging simply gets disregarded in the noise of all of today’s media messages.

The numbers that matter in email marketing measure performance. Tracking the correct Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will give you a much better idea of how successful your marketing is. This goes beyond simple open and click-through rates and advances to contact engagement. The more engaged a contact is, the more likely they are to convert to a sale in the future.

The most uncomfortable point about email marketing today is getting comfortable with the idea that email send lists are getting smaller and will continue to do so. The fear of not wanting consumers to “miss out” is definitely real. However, the success rate of well-targeted emails to engaged recipients will make up the difference in the end.

Happy emailing!