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Email marketing is not dead, conversational marketing has only taken over

by Editorial Team

August 13, 2019


There’s been increasing talks about email marketing being dead or not, amongst digital marketers and even business owners. They believe email engagement has hit the rock bottom, and as a result, email open rate has fallen off a cliff, with click-through rates being lower than ever. Is email marketing truly dead or has conversational marketing actually taken over? We should probably delve first, into what email marketing is.

What is email marketing?

Email marketing is basically the use of emails to build and maintain relationships with prospective customers/clients and hopefully turn your prospects into repeated customers over time. Email marketing is still a good foundation of digital marketing, especially if your business services a B2B (Business to Business) audience. Several years ago, business owners had a better experience with email engagements alongside amazing conversion rates.

Picture of several emails.However, the recent emergence of social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), has made businesses experience changes in consumer behaviour; people spend more time on social media than reading their personal emails.

This, of course, has led to a decrease in email engagements, with average email marketing open rate of 23.77% across all industries. You might want to say “that’s not so bad”, but you should consider another alarming fact. The average click-through rate is a paltry 4.13% and conversion rate is just between 1 – 2%. This obviously is a big reason to worry.

Fair enough, email marketing still works, but conversation marketing seems to be more engaging. Customers are king, and the advent of social media has made them more conversational. It is, therefore, important to follow them wherever they go.

What is Conversational Marketing?

Conversational marketing is a marketing perspective that intends to make businesses have better engagements. Thereby leading to having a one-on-one individual experience with customers in real-time. Presently, it’s the fastest way to move your leads through your buyer’s journey, using real-time conversation. The word ‘Conversation marketing’ is overly broad, but these two — “Live chat and Chatbot” are well known and popularly used in conversational marketing.

Picture of phone conversation, like a chat.

The way marketing has been taught before now does not resonate with the present day impulse buyer. Think about it; if you’re not having a conversation with someone, what will you be doing? Checking your phone of course, or initiating a conversation with someone just to keep yourself busy. Suffice to say, over 90% of buyers are on their phone, waiting to engage with one conversation or the other.

How conversational Marketing has really taken over

picture of a mobile phone

Every marketing effort is geared towards getting a paid customer/client. That is why audience research is very important before embarking on any form of a marketing campaign. This will enable you to speak directly and clearly to your audience pain point. A classic approach of qualifying leads may take days of marketing automation and followup emails (nurturing process). It’s not safe to rely on this approach, because a study released by Microsoft in 2015, reveals that the attention span of humans dropped significantly to eight seconds from twelve seconds in the year 2000. This makes us even more distracted than a goldfish which has an attention span of nine seconds.

How then do you expect to engage your audience without losing their attention? That’s exactly the problem conversational marketing is solving presently. It helps you take your leads through your marketing and sales funnel, as fast as possible. You can qualify leads in minutes of engaging with them, using chatbots to ask a few questions. Questions you usually ask over the calls, through forms or surveys.

Furthermore, you can reach out to those who interacted very well with the questions asked (warm leads). Likewise, you can quickly convert them into paying customers or clients. The ‘2019 State of Conversational Marketing’ by Drift states clearly that; 42% of people respond to chatbot within five seconds. Compared to 44% response of face-to-face conversation. And 36% respond to chatbot within five minutes as opposed 33% of face-to-face conversation. Chatbot is said to give 3X more conversions over email, based on a survey carried out.

Taking prospects through a marketing/sales funnel can literally be achieved in a day with a chatbot. While email marketing requires a nurturing process. Imagine how many people would have dropped off the journey, not because they don’t want to read your emails, but their short attention span will definitely get them distracted to something else. They may never come back again.

Finally, despite thoughts or claims that “email marketing is dead”, 33% of people used it more frequently last year, 2018. Only 14% of people would rather prefer to fill a landing page form, over engaging with a chatbot. Circumspectly, it may not be right to say email marketing is outrightly dead. But evidently, everything is now gearing towards conversational marketing.

You may consider having a blend of both in your dealings, going forward.

We are Charisol, a software development agency with a community of talented software developers that leverage on the “work without walls” culture to provide solutions for clients around the world. Our services span Software designing, App developmentDigital MarketingSocial Media MarketingContent Writing & Marketingand Search Engine Optimisation. Follow us on Medium or on social (FacebookInstagramTwitterLinkedIn).

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