Email’s Role in Discovery Marketing

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Forrester Research, Inc.’s June 2013 report, How Consumers Found Websites in 2012, provides some interesting statistics for marketers seeking to develop a multi-channel Discovery Marketing strategy. The report highlights that while users continue to rely heavily on natural search, traffic from sponsored search and social networks has increased. It touts gains of 4% in natural search, 7% in social, and 10% in sponsored search in 2012 versus 2011.

The report also shows that traffic from links to other websites (31% in 2011, 28% in 2012), email from friends (26% in 2011, 25% in 2012), and offline sources such as newspapers or magazines (19% in 2011, 18% in 2012) remained relatively consistent during the same period.

But what gets buried in Forrester’s data is the fact that Email from Brands experienced the single largest gain, increasing from 15% in 2011 to 26% in 2012. That’s a jump of 11%.

Now consider a couple statistics that weren’t included in the Forrester report:

Mobile web use is expected to overtake desktop by 2014 (IDATE)
71% of mobile purchasing decisions are influenced by email (Adobe 2013 Digital Publishing Report)
That’s right: More people will soon be visiting your website via mobile than desktop and 71% of their purchases will be influenced by email.

So while Forrester makes the case that marketers should integrate natural search, sponsored search, and social into a comprehensive Discovery Marketing strategy, it is important to remember that email has an important role to play.