...is not delivery. Or spam. Or open rates. Or click-throughs. Instead, the biggest threat to email marketing is the failure of marketers to "market" email as a communications vehicle to senior management.

This is not just the opinion of this blogger who frequently blames marketers for not educating their senior management on the value of marketing. It's argued by the writer of the widely read Email Insider, Bill McCloskey, who says here that the biggest threat to email marketing is the "lack of education of upper management on the importance of email as a marketing channel."
Citing a recent Forrester Research study called E-Mail Marketing Comes of Age, which finds that 94% of marketers work in companies that use email marketing, McCloskey notes that email clearly works.
Bill writes, "Click-through rates have remained steady, about 5%, for the last four years, but those who do click through are the kind of customers marketers, especially retailers, are looking for. Those who buy products marketed through email spend 138% more than those who are non-readers of email marketing. And an astounding 50% of those who open and read email marketing messages are more likely to purchase impulse items once they get to the site."
What's more: three out of five people who forward email messages to friends are women. One-third of consumers who maintain a separate email address to receive email promotions are in the 18-34 year old range.
But still: marketers have not provided adequate explanation to upper management to secure well-funded budgets.
The real value of the Forrester figures is not just the numbers, but what we do with them. In fact, the study is great ammunition to educate your CEO about the effectiveness of email in reaching your customers.
Does your senior management "get it?" How did you make them believers?

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Roy Young is coauthor of Marketing Champions: Practical Strategies for Improving Marketing's Power, Influence and Business Impact.