Act with Certainty

The ForeSee blog for CX professionals and the Voice of Customer community.

Why Email Is Still King (And How To Make It More Powerful)

Email Is King

As some marketers debate the effectiveness of email in a world of spam, smarter email filters from the likes of Google’s Gmail, and an increase in the sheer volume of marketing emails, many still insist it is a viable customer acquisition strategy, including Inc. Magazine. I tend to agree with those assessments. Email is still the best customer acquisition source in terms of both quality and quantity, as you’ll note from my previous post, and is something everyone needs to be thinking about.

In ForeSee’s study of more than 15,000 retail web shoppers, we found that promotional emails drove 25 percent of site visits. (Similarly, promotional emails drove 23 percent of mobile web and mobile app visits.) The only source pulling in more traffic, driving 33 percent of visits, was when users had a prior familiarity with a particular website as well as overall brand recognition.

That said, brand recognition and familiarity is much harder to control, influence, and measure. Not so with email marketing, which is much more under the control of marketers. It’s also easy to measure, allows for A/B testing with messages, and tracks overall effectiveness and contribution over time.

In addition to being the reason for one-quarter of all retail site visits, more than half of customers say email is their preferred way to receive communications from retailers. That’s more than double any other answer, as you’ll see in the table below:

How do you prefer to receive communications from this retailer? % of Respondents FXI Score
Promotional emails 55% 82
Postal mail 27% 81
This company’s website 23% 82
Social media 17% 82
Television 15% 82
Don’t want communications 12% 71
Mobile phone text messages or alerts 10% 82
Radio 5% 83
Other 2% 76

Email marketing and measuring customer experience

For email marketing, typically what gets discussed is the referral and engagement stats in relation to an overall promotional strategy — a.k.a. making educated guesses for how to proceed based on those figures. That means there is more educated guesswork happening than many would like.

However, it is possible to apply ForeSee’s CX measurement methodology to emails in the same way it’s used to measure individual channel touchpoints such as stores, websites, mobile sites, apps, and call centers.  In doing so with email marketing, you can statistically measure and link perceptions, attitudes, and future intentions. Marketers can then know the root cause of issues based on causal — not correlated — factors, and know the impact of any CX improvement they make before they act.

For more information about how to get the most out of your email marketing efforts, contact ForeSee today.

About the Author

Eric drives ForeSee’s marketing strategy, working closely with the company’s product, client service, and sales teams to infuse innovation and operational excellence into its offerings. Since joining ForeSee in 2004, he has contributed to the organization’s strategic growth, particularly providing leadership around mobile solutions. He is the author of several of the company’s thought leadership studies, including the 11th annual ForeSee Experience Index (FXI) and the American Employee Study. Eric is a frequent speaker on customer experience analytics, and marketing best practices. He is a board member of the Digital Analytics Association (DAA) and an adjunct professor of mobile marketing at the University of California, Irvine Extension. Previously, he worked as a web analyst, multichannel strategy consultant, usability specialist and focus group moderator. Eric is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

Read more posts by Eric Feinberg

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