With the proliferation of Facebook fans, Twitter followers, Pinterest boards and social media communities for virtually anything, why exactly do you need Email Marketing today?

Old school baggage.

The medium seems a little over the hill at the moment. Sure, you may have invested in building, maintaining, and cleansing a prospect and customer list. But the idea of sending them emails about your products, services, news or commentary might just be considered a bit irrelevant given the emergence of social media and it’s new reach and influence.

If you can instantly broadcast any value that you offer to a community that has “opted-in” to your network or group, why would you invest the time, resources and expense to create and deploy an email message with the risk of:

  • | Failing to deliver your message due to effective spam blockers
  • | Changing perceptions to an annoying SPAMer
  • | Dismissing your email as trash
  • | Irritating your audience with more undesired stuff to manage

Sharing with your community has its rewards.

Social media appears to be doing a much more effective job in delivering marketers value to the people interested in it. That’s because the receivers of the content can share it, link off it or comment on it—all while seeing what others in the community have to say at the same time.

Who cares about SPAM compliant lists, SPAM filters, firewalls, email PUSH providers and monitoring post-deployment reporting. You can eliminate all of that and gain the even more valuable benefit of raising your internet visibility and search results ranking with social media.

While many organizations continue to participate in email marketing, more than ever they should be looking at their investment and considering if these resources could be better utilized by supporting their social media efforts. And as their social communities continue to grow in size and sharing the frequency, comparing these two mediums reach and effectiveness will become essential.

How is email marketing working for you?

Are you continuing to use email marketing as part of your marketing strategy? Do you see it as a more effective media for connecting with prospects and customers than Social Media? Please share your experience.

4 thoughts on “Email marketing: Moving toward extinction?

  1. Paul-

    I think you are correct that e-mail marketing is becoming less effective; this is certainly the case. Yet, you don’t touch on the issue, here at least, of providing value. Good opt-in email marketing is simply delivering something of value to someone that has specifically requested such things. They are more likely to read, appreciate and act on something which they have actively chosen to receive. When combined with new media and even older techniques like picking up the phone after opt-ins, e-mail marketing is still relevant and remains a tool-box staple when conducted correctly.

  2. You pose an interesting view but email is not over the hill, yet. According to eMarketer only 4% of US consumers follow brands on Twitter and 9% have become fans on other sites like Facebook.

    Additionally I think you will start to see an integration of the two mediums, not a full replacement. The “2010 Marketing Trends Survey” published by StrongMail suggest 69% of business executives world wide will be increasing their email marketing budgets and 59% will be increasing their social media spending in 2010.

    Other research from earlier this year “Beyond the Click: The Indirect Value of Email,” by Epsilon and ROI Research revealed that 84% of email users LIKED receiving emails from companies that they registered with, which is up from 2005.

    A company should also consider that social media is basically living, everything is constantly changing and details and information can quickly be replaced with newer info. “Beyond the Click: The Indirect Value of Email,” also reported that 49% of males and 60% of females will save emails they receive from companies to read at a later date when they are ready to purchase.

  3. Justan,

    Thanks so much for your considered comment.
    You back up your POV with some powerful statistics.

    Email’s current position as the essential application that’s used for millions of messages and collaborative interactions every day remains unchallenged. Yet with the reliance on email, it’s easy to see how people are struggling to stay on top of what’s buried inside their mailbox and how to sort out what’s important and what’s worth their attention or retention.

    Social media delivers an immediacy and community environment that email would have difficulty matching. Social Media’s rapid rise and ability to deliver content to a community that has chosen to participate with visible and transparent measurement indicates to me that email may soon be challenged like never before.

    But like you said, everything is moving and constantly changing. We’ll have to see where this all ends up.

  4. Ian,

    Thank you for your comment. And my apologies for not getting back to you sooner.
    I completely agree with your point: “Good opt-in …marketing is simply delivering something of value to someone that has specifically requested such things. They are more likely to read, appreciate and act on something which they have actively chosen to receive.”

    So if you’ve chosen to join a group, or follow someone or some organization, you will receive the value that they broadcast to you on public platforms.
    Even better, all of this happens without the cost, management and complexity of creating, pushing and reporting on traditional email.

    From my perspective, social media offers the additional benefits of immediacy, community and transparency that helps increase brand perception and hopefully fosters loyalty. What’s more, all of this participatory activity in a community that has “opted-in” helps keep a brands ranking high on SERPs so that new suspects or prospects can more easily find the value that a brand offers. And the end result of that is that they just might join the community too.

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