The Importance of Email in Digital Marketing

Email marketing has been around for quite a while now and it did have its own success moments and downfalls. But it has eventually become a very powerful marketing tool that a smart marketer can use to generate quality traffic and leads. I personally have always been skeptical towards email marketing since I am kind of blind to the promotion emails in my mailbox. But the numbers speak for themselves.

Just take a look at these figures from 2015 EMAIL MARKETING METRICS BENCHMARK STUDY by Silverpop.

unique open rate

As you can see the best performing industry is Travel, whereas the weakest player appears to be Publishing & Media. And this doesn’t really come as a surprise to me, because travel and lodging industry is where CRM is a top priority and the best way to stay in touch with a customer is certainly email. Moreover, travel customers are eager to receive emails from their hotel or travel partner, because usually those are important confirmation emails, updates or personalized coupons and discounts.

Now let’s have a look at a more important metric, which is the click-through-rate (CTR).


As you can see the Mean CTR ranges from 2.2% to 5.7%.

Just to compare, do you know what is the average CTR for PPC ads on Google?
It’s 2% for paid search ads and 0.06% across all display ad formats and placements. (source: Smartinsights)

Additionally, if we consider the amount of spendings on PPC ads and on email, it’s literally incomparable. Surely, the deciding factor is always conversion rate metrics and specifically the CPA (cost per acquisition), but that’s a completely different story.

This comparison simply illustrates just how strong email stands in the digital marketing mix.

There are several reasons for that.

Firstly, your list of emails is actually a list of people who want to recieve emails from you. They have given their permission and expressed willingness to engage with your business. What more can a marketer wish for at all? This is also one of the reasons for a high open rat and click-through-rate. Maintaining and growing the email list is a crucial part of successful email marketing.

Secondly, email marketing allows you to personalize your marketing messages and reach customers directly in their inbox. This makes it the best channel particularly for remarketing campaigns and user onboarding. According to Salecycle, the average retail cart abandonment rate is 70% and email remarketing allows you to follow up with your customer and help them finish their purchase. The average open rate of a remarketing email is 57% and around 30% conversion rate.

email remarketing

As for user onboarding, emails are a crucial part of it. Running email drip campaigns help users experience the product with least effort and guide them through any difficulty they may come across.

And finally, email marketing has highest return-on-investment among all other digital marketing channels. Take a look.
email marketing roi

According to Campaign Monitor 2015 Report

For every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI.

It also beats Social Media channels like Facebook and Twitter 40x in customer acquisition.


Email marketing is a big player in digital marketing game. Understanding its strengths and advantages, as well as learning how to use them can dramatically improve the effectiveness of your marketing.