5 Email Marketing Myths Busted at Digital Summit

5 Email Marketing Myths Busted at Digital Summit

Oct 4, 2017 by Lisa Lemons

We’ve all heard our fair share of marketing myths. Have you heard the one about how email is dead? Apparently, those dang millennials are at it again, using new technology and ditching email. Or what about the “best practice” that inactive leads should be mass deleted? Gotta keep that email list clean, right? Or the biggest fear of the century: robots are stealing our jobs.

Actually, we learned that last one has some truth to it… It’s not as terrifying as you might think.

We recently attended the Digital Summit in Detroit. If you don’t know, Digital Summit is a conference for digital marketers held all over the United States. We’re talking about crowds of amped-up marketers looking up in awe at rockstar companies like Marketo, Adobe, Cisco, Google, and Facebook. Okay, it’s no rock concert, but it definitely got our hearts pumping.

The people behind the world’s top brands sat down to discuss just how they do it. These are the people who help make these brands so recognizable, and they spend a good portion of their time challenging the status quo. Without further ado, let’s dive into five common marketing myths that were busted at Digital Summit.

The number 1 myth? Email is dead!

Email Is Dead

This rumor has been spread for years. Every new communication technology has “threatened” email’s dominance, but it has yet to waver. Email is its own form that we continually find necessary to our work and personal lives. Oh yes, email is very much alive.

According to a digital marketing survey from Adobe, 61% of people surveyed stated they prefer the brands they love to contact them through email, as opposed to other mediums including (but not limited to) direct mail (18%), the brand’s mobile app (6%), and social media channels (5%).


As for the companies behind those brands, the 2017 Digital Marketing Survey Summary Report found that their top three channels for digital marketing were website, email, and social media, with email taking up 52% of marketing influencers’ overall digital marketing plan. The reason why is surprisingly simple: the return of investment for email is an average of $38 for each $1 spent.

Millenials not using email is news to the millenial writer of this blog...

Millennials Don’t Use Email

The reason this myth exists is because back in 2010, Mark Zuckerberg claimed that Facebook messenger was the “Gmail killer.” However, as the stats above indicate, this could not be further from the truth.

Despite the market clearly embracing email, there is still an assumption that millennials prefer social media to email marketing. Once again, the statistics prove otherwise.

In fact, millennials check their email more often than any other age group. In August, Adobe conducted a survey to see how people check their email. 69% of the respondents said they checked it while watching a TV or movie. Of that group, 75% were millennials. You can see in the graph below that millennials still dominated the majority in most other categories.


This myth could lead to a lot of missed connections!

Inactive Leads Should Be Deleted

So, email isn’t dead, and millennials are big fans of using it. That’s great! But what about the people in your list that aren’t reading your emails?

Since best practice says you have to keep your list clean, many people assume their inactive, “sleepy subscribers” are better off deleted. However, Marketo strongly advises against doing this without first attempting to engage with the inactive audience via a reactivation campaign.

A reactivation campaign is a series of emails a company sends out to leads that have not been actively engaged (no recent opens or clicks, but the emails are being delivered).

Marketo decided that instead of deleting the leads, they’d run a reactivation campaign with their sleepy subscribers. Their results? A 70% higher open rate, and 10% of the sleepy subscribers were reactivated.

That 10% would have been lost had Marketo simply deleted the sleepers. Now, that’s 10% more leads they had already acquired that are newly nurtured and ready to engage.

You want a good list, you need good leads. This myth isn't going to help with that.

Single Opt-Ins Are Best Practice

Getting new leads to nurture is something email marketers will continue to pursue, so long as they have emails to send. A recent trend has seen newsletter signups become single opt-in forms.

This means that once an email address is submitted, that address is added to the email list and will begin to receive emails in the established flow, whenever the next email is scheduled to go out.

In a double opt-in, an email is immediately triggered to confirm the sign-up before the address is added to the list. Double opt-ins lead to instant gratification for the subscriber and higher quality lists for marketers.

As Marketo found, when it comes to your list, size is not nearly as important as quality. Single opt-ins tend to lead to fake and incorrect emails, increasing your bounce rate and lowering your sender reputation.

A double opt-in enforces the quality of your list by verifying these emails. In addition, the introduction email that’s sent to confirm the subscription is a chance for the marketer to engage with a new subscriber. Don’t pass that up!

Beep beep boop. Do not be afraid...

Robots Are Stealing Our Jobs

Okay, so this one is partially true. Think “enhance” rather than stealing, and you’re looking at the future of email marketing.

Phrasee is an AI bot that writes subject lines—and they’re good ones, too. When put to the test, Phrasee beat out actual human-written lines. We’re talking about a robot’s writing appealing to an audience more than an actual human’s writing—what!?

But don’t get nervous. This bot is here to help us reach high email opens, which is just a part of a marketer’s job. These bots definitely aren’t smart enough to take over completely. Plus, who really enjoys writing subject lines all the time, anyway? The pressure to write the perfect line to get subscribers to open just adds stress to our already crazy workloads.

Take a look at what the Phrasee bot can do. In a competition to write subject lines for Domino’s, the bot’s line won against human-written ones—and it has us seriously impressed. I mean, who knew a robot could be so punny?

“You’ve been served Domino’s new Mexican Fiesta – you wanna pizza this?”

In addition to writing hilarious, catchy subject lines, Phrasee can write copy, calls to action, and your triggered emails. We see a lot of saved time in the marketer’s future.

At MarketNet, we’re really excited for the future of email marketing. Our time at Digital Summit just proved to us how much this field has to look forward to. Hopefully we’ll see you there next year!

Stats junkie? Check out our post on trvia we learned at Digital Summit.

Stats junkie? Check out our post on trvia we learned at Digital Summit.

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