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Is email marketing in 2014 still relevant?

With a global community of email users expanding from 2.4 billion to 2.8 billion by 2017, it's not rocket science to deduce that email marketing is and should still be an important part of the (direct) marketer's arsenal, and the numbers speak for themselves.

In America alone, the number of email users continue to grow exponentially with each passing year and eMarketer projects that by 2017 there will be more than 240 million email users.

Although email marketing may fall into the more 'traditional' method of marketing, analysts in the know seem to think that it matters now more than ever due to the advent of smart watches and wearable computing devices - introducing new ways of accessing email. Email's permeating presence through mobile devices therefore makes it relevant and impactful, at least for the foreseeable future.

Even in a rapidly-evolving landscape, the nuts and bolts of email marketing hasn't changed much at all. We highlight some of the nuances that sets it apart:

1. Relevance is the differentiator

One can skilfully determine what to communicate in a way that resonates with the consumer when emphasis is placed on relevance rather than actual content, thereby targeting your email marketing efforts.

2. Utility is king

Give the recipient something that they can actually use like pertinent news, resources that communicate your awareness of the consumer's interests, or demonstrating your authority on the matter.

3. Timing: get it right

There is no golden egg where timing of an email is concerned. Once again knowing your audience is key. Test out a few strategies and see what gets the better response rate. Similarly your metrics or what it is you are measuring to determine success, should guide your strategy.

4. CTA is not just an acronym

Providing a strong call to action (CTA) is one of the best tactics to use when addressing consumers. Make your email as actionable as it is personable, highlighting a captivating offer, opportunity or invite will not be seen as forceful as long as your content is relevant, concise and compelling.

5. Measure those results

By dedicating ample time to monitoring and measuring your email campaigns, you could save time by modifying a campaign mid-way or applying results to your next campaign for better results. Eventually one should be able to isolate variables that don't work and building on those that do.

About Nick Durrant

Nick Durrant is MD at Bluegrass Digital, a digital production agency. We work with marketing teams and creative agencies around the world delivering digital platforms. After spending 15 years in working the industry in the UK and setting up the business in London in 1999, Nicholas now runs the business from Cape Town, developing the business in Africa and Europe.

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