Email Remains a Top Marketing Channel, with Social Media Right Behind
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Email Remains a Top Marketing Channel, with Social Media Right Behind

Email Remains a Top Marketing Channel, with Social Media Right Behind

Email marketing has been around since the 1990s. Yet even with all the newer technologies available to present-day marketers, the inbox is still the most effective place to engage with customers and convert their interest into purchases, according to Marigold’s 2024 Global Consumer Trends Index.

The survey found that half of consumers made a purchase resulting from an email. However, the Most Popular Marketing Channel title is held by only a slim margin: 48% of buyers reported making a purchase from a social media ad, and 43% shopped after a social media post prompted them. Rounding out the marketing channels are SMS/MMS messages, which sparked purchases with 24% of customers, and banner ads at 21%.

Email marketing is even stronger in B2B sales and marketing. “When it comes to professional communication, especially in B2B interactions, emails don’t just survive; they thrive,” wrote Don Markland, CEO of Accountability Now, in Forbes. “In 2020, 81% of B2B marketers leveraged email newsletters as one of their primary content marketing tools.”

While email inboxes are a daily must for many, and as close as a smartphone for most, some age groups are more email-friendly than others. Among Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964), 62% reported making a purchase from an email in the past 12 months. Gen Xers and Millennials were more likely (51% and 49%, respectively) than members of Gen Z (33%) to buy from an email prompt, the report found.

Boomers were least likely to buy from a social media ad or post (33% and 23%), while the Zoomers, the Gen Z denizens born between 1997 and 2013, are most likely to buy from a social media ad (51%) or post (48%).

Gen Z sees email as a source of stress since it can include everything from spam to bills, The New York Times reports, and some in this cohort see emailing as inefficient at best. The consulting firm Creative Strategies showed workers under 30 preferring email alternatives such as Slack for work communications. That’s significant since those who don’t email during the work day might not do it at home, either.

Even when communicating with a receptive audience, using email marketing effectively is key. Including an attention-grabbing subject line and a call to action when marketing your franchise will make your email marketing stand out from the more than the 361 billion emails Statista estimates are sent each day.

For better and for worse, consumers today are solidly in the digital world. SOCi’s 2024 Consumer Behavior Index reports that 80% of consumers search for a business online once a week, and 32% percent look for businesses online several times a day. Yet, the report notes, nearly two in three (63%) have encountered inaccuracies in business listings on major platforms such as Google, Facebook, and Instagram. What happens next, according to the report, is that these errors substantially affect brand loyalty, causing almost half (47%) of all respondents to “break up” with a business that posts inaccurate information—and then search for a competitor with information they can trust.

“Our findings,” says the SOCi report, “send a clear signal to local marketers that consumers want and need to find information about local businesses online, and they need that information to be complete, accurate, and up to date.” And adds, “This doesn’t just apply to the obvious cases like restaurants and grocery stores. Consumers have been trained to expect that businesses of all kinds will be highly available online and will provide helpful, accurate information that helps consumers make informed decisions.”

Published: April 17th, 2024

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