Email has been around for a very long time. Push notifications, not so long. While both of these tools are effective and powerful, they are most definitely not the same. As an ecommerce business, which should you be focusing on as your business grows? Let’s compare the two and then get down to the nitty gritty and the numbers.
People check their email frequently. According to OptInMonster, 99% of email users check their email daily, with 58% checking first thing in the morning.
Businesses have used email because it’s convenient. It’s easy to manage, segment and send. On top of that, it’s also a tool that can be personalised. Marketers can give each part of an email sequence an individual touch that ensures recipients engage.
There is some real versatility to email marketing too. You can choose to send plain text emails, a tactic that ensures recipients feel you are talking to them. With fewer graphic and video elements, your email seems less like a commercial marketing tool.
On the other hand, businesses can choose to include all the bells and whistles to gain more engagement. Ecommerce businesses will have sent out special holiday emails with offers and discounts, emails that are attractive to look at and fun to read because of the visual elements.
Still shiny and new, push notifications as a marketing tool are making a huge difference to ecommerce marketing.
A customer downloads your app and then receives timely, useful notifications that keep your business top of mind. They can deliver incredibly targeted messaging that informs and delights customers. And they can be fully automated.
Push marketing has recently made a huge leap forward too. Brands can now push messaging to smart devices, not just phones. That same level of automation is still there, so whole campaigns and nurturing sequences can be done with the minimum of fuss.
The death of Mailchimp?
Email marketing platforms like Mailchimp might want to look at the data below very carefully. While it’s clear that email marketing has worked well for ecommerce companies in the past, the landscape seems to be changing.
First of all, let’s look at the open rate. Anyone who has spent any time at all using email to market to customers knows that the open rate is one of those key metrics that you obsess over. The more emails that are opened, the more conversions you receive. It’s quite simple. Obviously, you could have an awful message in that email, but that’s quite rare with ecommerce companies that actually want to sell something.
The open rate for email marketing stands at around 20-25%. Mailchimp itself undertook some research across a wide range of industries on this very point. You can find that research here.
What’s fascinating here are the stats on ecommerce. This comes out at 15.68% on open rate. It’s not the lowest open rate but it’s darn close.
Push notifications have an open rate of 90% (Citron). Mailchimp says email marketing has a top open rate of nearly 29% (for government related emails). This is pretty compelling stuff. On open rates alone, push notifications are light years ahead.
As we all know, when recipients take action, the messaging is working. The average click-through rate tops out at around 4.5% for email. For push notifications, it is around 7x higher.
Some more facts on push:
It’s not even gotten started yet
We looked at the growth potential of push earlier in this post. To understand how it will work in the future of ecommerce you need to put yourself in the shoes of a customer.
Bearing in mind that, to read an email from you, your customer would have to open up an app, the beauty of push is clear. As push becomes something that rolls out to a stack of smart devices, rather than just phones, that instant ‘top of mind’ impact can be everywhere your customer is. Whether they are watching a movie, shopping for groceries or just taking a walk, your marketing messaging can reach them in just a second.
Is it the end of an era for Mailchimp (as well as the countless other email services out there)? We think so. In this TikTok era where Gen Z are already looking like old-timers, email seems as antiquated as direct mail.
And your customer can’t open a letter while they’re at the gym.