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What the Stats Say in 2018: Should Your Business Be Using Email Marketing?

What the Stats Say in 2018: Should Your Business Be Using Email Marketing?

Have you ever signed up for a newsletter and then simply deleted it every time it drops into your inbox? You’re not alone. A lot of recipients end up sending newsletters to the trash without bothering to read them.

But does this mean that email marketing isn’t worth it for businesses?

Consider this one statistic. According to McKinsey & Company, email is 40 times more likely to secure new clients than Facebook or Twitter.

This doesn’t mean that email marketing is without disadvantages or that it’s suitable in all cases – but it’s definitely not time to dismiss it as just an “old-school” marketing channel.

Email marketing statistics: what really works?

Statistics indicate that email marketing is still among the most effective of all digital marketing strategies, provided it makes use of the right tactics.

Email marketing has had to evolve over the years to suit what consumers want. With content becoming easier to process through video and social media, how does an old-school email newsletter keep up?

Adapting content to be shorter and easier to consume by users, making emails more relevant by using segmentation and personalisation and incorporating different kinds of media, like video, are among the answers.

email marketing statisticsSource: Email Marketing Performance in 2017

Consider these stats about email marketing and which tactics work the best:

Pros of email marketing

Email marketing can have several benefits for companies. These are some of the best ones.

Best ROI

Email marketing has the best return on investment (ROI) of any digital marketing channel. On average, marketers report a 30:1 ROI when using email marketing. This means for every R1 spent on email marketing, you can expect about R30 worth of return.

Easy to measure

It’s very easy to measure the success of an email campaign. You can get immediate feedback on the delivery success rate, open rate, bounce rate, click rate, conversion rate and more. This also makes it ideal for A/B testing a marketing campaign.


Personalisation is not only very important for email marketing, it’s also fairly easy to achieve and results in better open rates. You can personalise a newsletter by including the recipient’s name, addressing the content directly at them, referencing a previous purchase (a good opportunity to get feedback) or even sending them recommendations.

Low cost

Email marketing is extremely cost-effective and, in some cases, even free. MailChimp, for example, allows users to send newsletters for free, as long as their subscriber list is fewer than 2000. Plans for unlimited subscriber are available from only $10 per month.


You can divide your subscriber list into segments for more direct, targeted marketing. For example, you can create lists based on location, gender, age, known interests and more.

This requires you to have more information about your subscribers, but it also means your email will be more relevant to the recipient.

Cons of email marketing

Email marketing has some potential disadvantages that may discourage its use – although there are ways of working around these issues.

Can be time-consuming

Coming up with a good email campaign and then writing the necessary content and giving it a professional layout can be time-consuming. This is where outsourcing email marketing comes in handy.


Emails may be blocked by user or company filters or spam blockers. An email also might not be delivered successfully if a user’s inbox is full or if there’s any mistake in the email address specified for a recipient.

Proper maintenance of a subscriber list can help you deal with these issues; confirm email addresses are correct with subscribers where possible and delete email addresses that no longer exist.

Low open rates

A high delivery rate doesn’t automatically equal a high open rate. You don’t want just to send your email to as many people as possible; you want them to open and read it.

This isn’t easy to achieve, with even a good open rate hovering only at around 20 – 25%. If your open rates are low, you may need to adapt your subject lines and content to be more appealing and prevent recipients from assuming your mails are spam.


Email marketing can be very competitive. With so many companies sending out newsletters with all manner of special deals and interesting content, it can be difficult to get yours to stand out. The best approach is to create content that’s highly relevant to your recipients. They have to get something out of it. Instead of only selling, consider what value mails you send could have for your customers (and potential customers).

Email marketing with Gnu World

At Gnu World, we’ve been creating effective email marketing campaigns for our clients for almost two decades. We also have the expertise to identify and write effective content for your newsletters.

We offer packages that cover other aspects of digital marketing as well, from SEO and social media marketing to web development and online advertising – as well as holistic, “all in one” packages, designed to make the best possible use of available digital marketing channels.

Contact us for more information or to discuss your email marketing needs.