With the rise of social media marketing and the increase in purchases being made on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, you may be wondering if you should continue to focus efforts on email marketing in 2014? The answer is a resounding, “Yes!” While social media has become an important part of marketing for businesses, email is still the work horse of your marketing tool kit.

According to a study by predictive analytics firm, Custora, email is one of the top ways to get new customers (beating out Facebook and Twitter), and what’s more, this channel has continued to grow considerably over the past year. Most importantly for your business, customers that come to you via email rather than social media tend to shop more and spend more.That’s a definite win for email!


One of the reasons email marketing is going strong? Mobile. According to Litmus, mobile email opens just hit 51%, meaning not only are people still reading their email, but more emails are being opened on a mobile device than on a desktop. “Email is effective because it’s permission-based. The people on your email list have given you the go-ahead to send them messages. They’re bought in. And, with the prevalence of smartphones and tablets, they’re always listening,” says Tim Devaney and Tom Stein via Forbes. “In fact, email is the number-one activity for people on their phones.”

Courtesy of eConsultancy infographic

Now that we know email marketing is still alive and well, let’s take a look at some benchmark stats and see how your marketing stacks up in 2013.

Opens – According to a recent study by Epsilon, the average open rate for 2013 is 29%, up 3% over 2012, so far.

Clicks – Clicks have declined a bit over the course of the year, but the average so far is still above last year:  4.7% vs 4.5% in 2012.


Have no fear if your own stats don’t quite measure up. Email marketing is nothing if not flexible, so there are plenty of tactics you can take to improve your stats.

You can help increase your own open and click-through rates by testing (always!) and paying attention to:

  • Subject lines and from labels – The two parts of an email that entice your readers to open it.
  • Content – Compelling, valuable email copy, incentives and offers.
  • Calls to action – A CTA button can help drive more clicks or actions, especially when they’re clear and easy to find.
  • Email design – Clean, simple layout and “Pinterest-worthy” images.
  • Send – The day of the week and time the email is sent can impact how your readers engage.

There’s still plenty of time to take a look at your email marketing plan for 2014 and make changes if you need to. And, if your stats are out performing the average, keep doing what you’ve been doing, with just a few tweaks here and there. While email is a very effective performer, using multiple channels to drive purchases is still the best bet. Remember that social media sales are only going to grow, so mix in marketing on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, as well as email to keep your business growing.

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