The Future of Email Marketing: Insights From 23 Content Marketing Experts

Are the days of email as a successful marketing channel waning?

The statistics argue no: About two-thirds of content marketers told CMI they use email newsletters or other email to distribute their content in 2023. About the same number said the same for 2022.

But 2023 kicked off with dramatic comments from a CEO who claimed he’s turned to social media to reach Gen Z (and even millennial) employees who don’t read email.

If CEOs can’t reach their employees by email (admittedly, that’s a big if), what hope do marketers have to reach an audience that doesn’t have the incentive of a paycheck on the line?

We asked the content and marketing leaders, practitioners, and experts speaking at Content Marketing World this September whether 2024 will be the year email falls from its status as the channel marketers just can’t quit and what (if anything) would take its place.

December 20, 2023
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Hell, no, we won’t let email marketing go

A big chunk of the answers can be summed up in a simple phrase: Email isn’t going anywhere. The reasons why, though, add interesting nuance, directions, and caveats to consider as you plan the future of your email efforts.

You’re in control

The best part about email is it provides a direct connection to the audience. On the other platforms, someone else controls the algorithm that dictates what a person sees. I don’t foresee anything topping email anytime soon. Ruth Carter, evil genius, Geek Law Firm

Owned channels are more important than ever in light of what’s going on at Twitter and TikTok. I believe our email lists are and will continue to be a meaningful resource for us. – Hayden Goethe, senior content marketing strategist, WEX

No one can stop it

When it comes to content marketing, email continues to reign as the true king of the hill, and there’s one simple reason behind its enduring supremacy: No one can shut it down.

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It’s cost-effective

As fragmentation continues and platforms extract more dollars per thousand, email remains the most cost-effective way to get in front of people who have volunteered to hear from you. – Adam Pierno, managing director of brand strategy, Arizona State University

You’re invited

Email will always win. Customers invited you into their inboxes. Don’t mess it up. Social media platforms and usage will come and go. Email unsubscribes will happen, so it’s up to us to make sure we don’t give our subscribers a reason to do that. – Cathy McPhillips, chief growth officer, Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute

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