By Michelle Voznyuk, Marketing Consultant at Heinz Marketing

Spam. We all get it. We all hate it.

While some emails might feel like spam, they aren’t usually classified that way, technically. 

In order to be considered “email spam”, the message has to be unsolicited.

Most of us willingly sign up for promotional emails when we subscribe to a mailing list in exchange for a coupon, or check that box in the online shopping cart during checkout.

Still, it can get quickly overwhelming when we are on the receiving end of an intense nurture program getting a bunch of irrelevant information about products or services we aren’t interested in.

This can result in high unsubscribe numbers that could leave marketers wondering if email is really a wise place to be spending time and resources ($$$).

However, based on current trends, email marketing is far from dead.

Here are some stats and articles to back up that claim:

While new forms of marketing are emerging and taking off (like influencer marketing), that doesn’t mean email marketing has become ineffective or should be left in the dust.

That being said, there is room for improvement. In an age where there’s so much competing for our attention, the challenge is to stand out.

Sending a generic email from marketing@abccompany.com isn’t going to cut the mustard. Neither is bombarding customers with a slew of emails just to go through the marketing motions.

In order to break through the noise, marketers need to get personal. We need to humanize connections and use personalization to create relevant, curated content. In a recent Gartner survey of more than 2,500 customers, 38% said they would stop doing business with a company due to poor marketing personalization efforts.

So, crafting meaningful connections is more important than ever – if we want customers to keep coming back for more.

Martha Mathers, managing vice president at Gartner says “creating personalized messages and experiences requires intimate knowledge of customer journeys, relevant content that drives action, and technology that helps deliver and measure experience”.

It’s crucial to incorporate this into email strategy.

We need to think about what’s going to provide value to a customer and prompt them to take action. Maybe it’s sending them a cart abandonment email when they’ve added items to their basket and haven’t checked out yet (driving sales). Maybe it’s giving them tips or showing them how to better utilize a tool (driving engagement). Maybe it’s giving them access to a special offer (driving loyalty).

Whatever it is, make sure it’s tailored to that individual. And avoid using “to whom it may concern” and “dear valued customer” at all costs.

To sum things up: email marketing isn’t going away anytime soon. And emailing customers is a privilege, not a right. A customer can decide to click that unsubscribe button at any point they feel there’s no longer anything in it for them.

By integrating personalization, being thoughtful about the cadence and frequency customers are contacted, and providing them with real value, email can be one of the most powerful and effective tools available to marketers today.