July 19, 2018

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Is E-mail Marketing Dead?


What do these numbers mean?

171 Billion. 71 percent. 97.

Stumped? Well, here are the answers:

  1. 171 Billion = the total number of e-mails sent each day worldwide.
  2. 71% = the percentage of all these e-mails that are SPAM.
  3. 97 = The average number of emails received each day by a corporate user.
Source: The Radicati Group

No wonder so many people think e-mail marketing is dead…a sad victim of its own success.

But is e-mail marketing really dead?

Well, a lot of people certainly think so. Given the proliferation of SPAM, more aggressive filtering software, and the simple fact that we're all busier than ever and have less time than ever to read, many of the marketing experts will tell you that e-mail marketing has been dead for about two years.

Don't you believe them.

At Haley Marketing, we've been providing e-mail marketing services for staffing, search, and other firms for the past 6 years. While there are certainly more challenges today than there were in 2000, here are a few REAL STATISTICS from our clients' marketing efforts (and these are all 2006 numbers):

  1. Average open rates

    a. For client and prospect e-mails: 22%

    b. For candidate e-mails: 23%

    Open rate refers to the percentage of people who "open" your e-mails. This figure only counts people who see the HTML (Graphical) version of the e-mails you send. It is estimated (but not verifiable) that the total open rate, including plain text versions of e-mails that are sent, is actually 20 to 25% higher than the reported open rates.

  2. Average click through rates

    a. For client and prospect e-mails: 14%

    b. For candidate e-mails: 12%

    Click through rate refers to the percentage of people who click on a link embedded within an e-mail message. These statistics will double count people who click on more than one link or repeatedly click on the same link.

  3. Our best performing e-mail

    For clients and prospects, our top performer received an open rate and a click through rate of 23%. So what did we send? It was the HR survival guide that we sent during the holiday season.

In second place was a 4th of July greeting that offered some tasty recipes for a successful summer barbeque.

For candidates, our top performer was a candidate newsletter that featured hot job opportunities. This e-mail garnered a whopping 43% view rate and an unbelievable 71% click through rate.


There's no question that e-mail is different today than it was even a year ago. But is it dead as a marketing tool? Absolutely not! The key to e-mail marketing is using it the right way. Your clients, prospects, and candidates are way too busy to have their time wasted. For your e-mail marketing to work, it has to be sent to the right people, with content that the recipients will find both relevant and interesting.

E-mail marketing works best when used in the following ways:

  1. To convey timely information

    Top candidate marketing, special offers, and relevant news are all opportunities for e-mail communication.

  2. To educate

    We all want to learn more. We all want to be better at our jobs. But none of us has enough time for training. E-mail (with links to content on a website) is an ideal way to help your clients, prospects, and candidates focus on the educational information that is most important to them. If you can provide useful, practical information in concise, easy to digest chunks, it will get read.

  3. To entertain

    While this may seem odd for your corporate communications, great e-mail marketing can be quite entertaining. Whether you're using captivating imagery, sharing humorous or engaging content, or offering a true multi-media experience, e-mail that connects with people on a personal level can be very effective (and some of the most effective e-mails we ever sent had nothing to do with business topics at all).

  4. To nurture personal relationships

    Despite the fact that everyone knows you can send an e-mail "blast" to thousands of people at once, you can still use it to strengthen personal relationships. By personalizing your messages with the name of the recipient, sharing relevant content, and including a personal note from specific individuals in your organization, you can make even the largest e-mail blast feel personal. Taking it a step further, you can use e-mail in a more personal way to recognize individuals on their birthdays, service anniversaries, holidays, and on other significant occasions.

A Few E-mail Best Practices

Include multiple links, lots of them

We've found that the more links that are in an e-mail, the better it performs. For some reason, and we honestly don't know why, 10 to 15 total links seems to be ideal. These links can include links to multiple forms of content, graphics that are links, links to contact and referral forms, and CAN-SPAM compliance links.

Do NOT use your corporate systems to send e-mail

While it might be tempting to use Outlook or your staffing software to send bulk e-mail, NEVER do it from your corporate systems. Why not? Because if for any reason you get blacklisted (and by the way it requires no proof from the complaining audience to get you blacklisted), you will not be able to get your everyday e-mails through to your clients and candidates until you get off the blacklist.

While getting on a blacklist is all too easy, getting off one takes a lot of work and usually a minimum of 24 to 48 hours. So if you're considering sending bulk e-mail from your in office systems, think about what it might be like if you did not have e-mail access for the next two days or more!

When you keep it short

Keep it short. Keep it simple. Keep it relevant. If you have long copy, like an article to share, only include a quick lead in within the e-mail and drive people to a special website for the full story (kind of like what you are reading right now!).

And if you think we're making this all up ... listen to what other staffing executives are saying

"My last referral e-mail was almost too good... I got over 40 responses, with 15 new people being referred. These people are starting to think of me as a friend... Life could not be any better."

Thomas W. Bradley
VP - Manufacturing & Logistics
Hobbie Personnel Services

"There was a particular client, a software manufacturer, that we had not received an order from since 1997. We continued to send our HaleyMail e-mails to them each month. Just a few weeks ago we got a call from them to place a high level Director of Operations. The client talked with us like we had been friends for a long time. I feel it was a direct result of the Haley Marketing program positioning our company as a high-level executive recruiting/staffing services firm. We were able to fill the position and exceed the client's expectations!"

Gary J. Wilberg
The Herman Draack Co.

-David Searns

Remember, Haley Marketing can help! Whether you need assistance with direct marketing to get the door open or nurture marketing to keep it open, call on us. We have two new, and very cost effective solutions that can help your business to stand-out, stay top-of-mind, and increase sales.

Just give us a call if you'd like to know more: 1-888-696-2900.