Email marketing regularly dares to be the center of a much-discussed topic: is email really a dying communication medium?
Many marketers claimed that traditional media are stepping aside for new communication media such as social networks and apps. Of course we are not disputing the decreasing effectiveness of a mass communication medium that sends one single message to one single audience. But with marketing automation in the back of our mind, do you also believe that email is past tense? Then it’s about time that you take a closer look at your email communication strategy.
Does email really make room for social media? Let’s look at the figures. From experience we know that even less qualitative newsletters effortlessly achieve an open ratio of 20%. Compared to a Facebook advertisement, that reaches an average open ratio of 0,01% percent according to Quora. And Zuckerberg clearly figured that out as well. If you thought that the emoji’s on Facebook were an amusing extra, then we have to disappoint you. With the emoji’s you cannot only like posts, but you also indicate whether a post makes you sad, angry of even very happy. By tracking which elements anticipate to our feelings, Facebook can advertise in a very targeted way. A tactic they clearly copied from email marketing.
Unfortunately we very often see the inverse world. Marketers apply the reasoning of Facebook ads to their email campaigns. People have transformed to everlasting lists and volume seems to be a requirement all of a sudden. On that very moment email is no longer a communication medium, but a channel. You lose your personal touch that makes an email so special. An email is personal and direct. Why wouldn’t we benefit from that?
Besides the advantages of one-to-one communication an email is also built in the daily rythm of your receiver. Next to calling and texting, checking your email is one of the most populair uses for smartphones. Sending an email is the way to reach your recipient. Of course email is also a universal instrument. It’s an extraordinary simple way to get in touch with someone from the other side of the planet.
You can also integrate email marketing seamlessly within other marketing strategies. You can inform someone of your most recent post on Facebook. You can notify somebody when a webinar starts. You can send a quick alert that an offer is ending. Traditional medium or not, email marketing didn’t stand still either. Where senders used to send emails in a bulk to their contacts, they now use email to create a personal bond with the receivers via personalization. So we see email as a fixed value rather than ‘traditional’.
It all comes down to adding value by providing useful content via personalized email campaigns. Use the data and contextual information of your audience to send the right message on the right moment. Instead of bombarding your contact list massively with unpersonal emails, try to analyze the online behavior of your receivers. Don’t change email to a channel, but let it work for you as a means of communication. A clever marketer has already nuanced his idea, because actually traditional communication strategies are stepping aside for renewing strategies. Which we can only encourage!