Is Email Marketing Relevant in the Age of Social Networking?
By Bob Speyer and Alison Brown, Web Success Team
Social networks have become an important part of the Internet and online marketing landscape in the last decade. How do social networks impact email marketing, and is email marketing still relevant in a world full of social networks? Does it make sense for you to allocate all your marketing resources to social network marketing? No! Email is still a very important part of any complete web marketing strategy. Of course, in the socially-networked world, you’ll need to combine your email marketing strategy and your social networking strategy to meet different goals.
Email Marketing Is Still Relevant
Email marketing is still a good marketing practice overall. There’s sometimes a stigma attached to email marketing in regards to being inundated with too many emails, so all the unimportant ones mostly go straight into the trash. But, it remains true that people are always checking it, so even if they are skimming your email or sending it straight to the trash, at least you are keeping your brand at the top of their mind — which makes the subject line even more relevant. Since now there is more competition in the email marketing sector, it may take more time to come up with compelling subject lines or relevant offers, but these are the sorts of topics that will get people to open your emails. You may not send out as many emails as you did in the past, but if you are willing to put the time and effort into crafting innovative emails peppered with offers to send out, the amount of interest generated can be substantial.
Email Is Still the Main Form of Communication
Email is still the main source of communication in the business world. Business prior to the invention of email is hard to remember because it has transformed communication so much. Over the last decade people have adapted to using email as a main source of communication and often times people form “relationships” via email without ever needing to speak over the phone or meet in person. It’s the tool of choice for marketers because it’s so widely used by every generation. Because regardless of how traditional you are, you are using email in some form, probably every day. Since so many people use it regularly, it’s a great way to reach your intended audience, and you can even set up tracking software to let you know who has opened your email and when.
Not Everyone Is on Board with Social Media, Yet
Unfortunately, not everyone is on board with social media at this time. Social media marketing is becoming increasing relevant, but it currently can be viewed as too progressive for some. Some companies are not fully accepting of social media marketing and it can be difficult, especially if they have never used Facebook or Twitter before, it’s hard for them to envision the potential. So in this way, email still has the advantage. Email also has the advantage of being really personal, without any distractions. When someone is reading an email from your company, that’s all their looking at. With social media it can sometimes get distracting with new Tweets or Facebook posts constantly popping up. With email, you have the ability to get some one-on-one time with your readers and capture their attention.
Email Marketing Still Generates Sales
The fact remains that email is still a sales generator. People respond better to direct emails and there’s a lot to be said for a direct marketing strategy. As long as you are sending out relevant, interesting and intriguing content that will appeal to your readers, then you should be generating positive feedback or business leads. Even Facebook is still relying on email for the new “offers” feature since it’s appealing in a one-on-one way. As we transition into even more of an information and technology era, it will become apparent that perhaps email isn’t still the best way to communicate and generate leads, but for now, there is still a lot of potential to reach your targeted audience and really engage them in your company’s goals.
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May 12th, 2012 16:14 /
It’s so clear from this graphic that email is still the best way to reach a lot of folks who are not on social media. Yes, we know that one of the largest growing groups on social media is seniors. However, if your target market is age 55+, you’re still going to be reaching the preponderance of folks more directly via email.
That being the case, I recommend making a doctor’s appointment for your email program. Set aside some time to look at it yourself and with your team; consider bringing in a consultant for a quick exam. Do you just need a bit of refreshing? Or a major creative overhaul. Do you know what your email looks like on a smart phone? Email is the number one activity people perform on their iphones, Androids and Blackberries.
The use of email may be evolving, but it’s nowhere near dead. Mark Zuckerberg may have us believe it’s dying, but one does need to use email to sign up for a Facebook account.