I’m a social media enthusiast, yet recognize, the number one communications tool today is email. The Pew Research Center says that 9 out of 10 Internet users send or read email every day. A number of sources report that social media usage ranks fairly well in the 60% range for the general online adult population, and even higher (of course) in the under 40 demographic. Only search, according to Pew Research, has around the same adoption rate as email in the 90% range. We love to “Google” don’t we?
Business marketers are also embracing email—from newsletters and transactional emails to direct emails and sponsorship emails. In fact, the CMO Council recently reported that a majority of marketers worldwide (67%) rated email as the most successful digital marketing tactic.
Email is indeed one of the most important tools in the marketer’s toolkit, but it still needs to be complemented with search, social media, and content marketing. An integrated multichannel campaign generates superior results and is a foundation for creating thought leadership status—essential for building brand and differentiation.
What are email marketers focused on this year? According to a survey by services provider StrongMail, the top marketing initiative is subscriber engagement at 48% followed by improving segmentation and targeting (44%) and growing opt-in email lists (32%).
Read my list of 10 reasons why email marketing still delivers:
- Email marketing is the most affordable and efficient means to communicate with prospects and customers.
- A central database can track customer data and buying habits, and be used for segmentation purposes.
- Personalization of messaging is easy to do and generates more open and click-through rates (CTR).
- Campaign results can be easily tracked, including delivery rates, CTR, email sharing, and conversion rates.
- Email marketing can readily incorporate automation such as auto-responders and lead nurturing.
- Subscribers typically “opt-in” to receive a company’s communications and hence, should be highly responsive. It all begins with “sign up here.”
- At the heart of email marketing is trust and customer relationship building—a byproduct of “permission marketing” (a phrase coined by bestselling author Seth Godin).
- Email marketing is especially well suited for promotional offerings and e-commerce transactions.
- Email marketing goes hand in hand with the production of relevant content, which needs to continually engage.
- Creating, maintaining, and growing an email list is relatively simple. Marketers should adopt good data hygiene and management practices (keeping data clean and ready for segmentation).
Let’s look at the numbers: There are almost 3 billion users of email worldwide! Facebook broke 950 million users and Twitter is at 300 million users. Is email dead? Not quite.
This isn’t a debate of email versus social—simply allocate budgets for each channel according to customer demographic data. There is no doubt that social media will enhance the success of an email campaign. So please get social.
I welcome hearing about your use of email marketing. Are you getting good results? Email me (DM is also good).