Email: first hatchling of intranet still most effective communique–but don’t abuse

email 1

It’s really easy to be of the mindset that email is an outmoded technology, based on the fact that it was the first hatchling of the intranet/internet to give us a faster way to communicate.  I appreciated its value even more by offsetting the high cost for individual long-distance phone calls.  The concept of email may be categorized as an old man now, especially amidst the glamour and glitz of an ever-burgeoning, constantly changing, souped-up digital media landscape, but if you think grandpa is ready for the retirement community—think again!

“Even today, with all the advancements made in the way that we communicate online, with all the focus and buzz around social media marketing–email marketing is still the most effective way to advertise. The great news is that it can be used in conjunction with your social media efforts for even greater success. (Is Email Marketing Really Dead? (Links to an external site.) Jason, 2015).”

To make an even better case for email, how many times have we let a call go to voicemail because we don’t recognize the number, yet constantly are checking our email? In addition, “My favorite musicians don’t call me about their summer tour nor do the local restaurants text me their spring menu – they email me. (Levitt, n.d.)”

email 3

What are the downsides of emarketing?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with trying to reach out to current and potential clients through email, as everything in this world has turned digital. “However, sending out a generic, automated and impersonalized email to your entire email list is very, very wrong. Not everyone on that list is interested in what you have to say and it’s important to know that. Make sure you have personalized targeted lists and only send them personalized information based on the list they are in. (Alblum, 2015). Is Email Marketing Really Dead? (Links to an external site.)

What are the benefits to keep email marketing going as part of an IMC campaign?

With the increase in Smartphones over the past couple of years, the validity of integrating with other channels is commonplace.  Whenever I receive a weekly email from Safeway with specials, I quickly fire up my Safeway app and tap the special coupons which are automatically downloaded to my loyalty card and remitted when I scan at checkout.  When asked by various vendors if I prefer email to texts, I always opt for emails because I like to exclusively use texts for personal, quick correspondence. On the DC metro yesterday, I scanned a QR code on a bus ad and promptly submitted my email to receive updates and offers.

It’s also no secret that sending emails can be both environmentally and financially advantageous over other IMC.  According to Constant Contact infographic (n.d.) “It’s more measureable because opens and clicks can be tracked and emails can be split tested for effectiveness. 1-2% regular mail response versus rate 20-30% email response rate. 83% of people check email first thing in the morning along with 72% checking more than six times daily.”

A report came out yesterday (PRNewswire, 2015) (Links to an external site.) announcing an email marketing report by MarketingSherpa in advance of an  international “Email Summit” being held Feb. 23 – 26 in Las Vegas.  The findings are part of a national survey conducted online in the U.S. between Jan 21st and 23rd among 2,057 adults. More than 72% indicate a preference for companies to communicate with them via email followed by postal mail (48%), TV (34%), print media (31%), text message (19%), social media and in-person conversation/consultation tied at 17%. “The essence of marketing is the message. It is with this message the marketer simplifies the connection between the customer and a company,” said Flint McGlaughlin, managing director and CEO of MECLABS, parent company of MarketingSherpa. “It’s not surprising that consumers who do business with companies continue to be receptive to email. Email can transcend monologue with dialogue. It enables marketers to build genuine relationships. This is important, because ultimately people don’t buy from companies; people buy from people.”

Other survey findings:

    • 91% like promotional emails from companies they do business, of which:
      • 86 % monthly
      • 61% weekly
      • 15% daily
    • 35% would prefer personalized content
    • 30% want shorter emails versus 1% who prefer them longer
    • 51% like reminders of items in an online shopping cart
      • 6% promptly complete the purchase after receiving the reminder
    • 38% say reminder emails are annoying

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How can marketing communication professionals keep email alive in this saturated media place?

In a nutshell, as Jaclyn Rhoads, 2015 mentioned in weekly lecture, “Send timely, targeted, relevant emails to subscribers who have asked for them!”

Other lecture points include landing the email in their inbox at the right time; with each campaign, record what works well, needs improvement or needs to be dropped; send special offers on the day normally visited; consistent branding look and feel.  The email should also have compelling images, make the value clear, and have a call to action to boost conversion rates.

In  “The Simple Guide to Email Marketing,” good writing matters and readers shouldn’t be distracted with typos or exhausted by over exclamation. Single topic emails are easy to digest and easy to keep up

How can social media tie into email marketing?

It’s not hard to understand the independent properties of email or social media marketing, but integrating maximizes the reach and effectiveness of both. As Weinbrenner & Philip (2015) puts it, “The two are better together — like peanut butter and chocolate.” They continue:

SIMPLE WAYS TO USE EMAIL TO DRIVE SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT

    1. Incorporate social “connect” and “share” buttons on all emails.
    2. Provide the opportunity to opt-in and opt-out on brand social pages.
    3. Add retweet links to emails that auto-populate.
    4. Send a dedicated email invitation to “connect” to social properties.
    5. Analyze email program results to identify social content.

SIMPLE WAYS TO USE SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT TO DRIVE EMAIL OPT-IN

    1. Periodically prompt for email opt-in through Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn posts.
    2. Include an email opt-in on last slide of any presentation or video bumper on YouTube.
    3. Extend email creative by linking to web versions on social properties or showcasing it on a Pinterest board.
    4. Conduct surveys and contests on social channels to encourage email opt-in.
    5. Use social analytics to drive email content.

“Integrated marketing is obviously common sense, but amazingly still not common practice.” – Peter Fisk, CEO of The Chartered Institute of Marketing

Email Marketing Trends?

Personally, I’m not a big fan of clogging up my emails with an endless barrage of promotional offers and social media post notices, so I was happy when Google+ allows filtering my incoming emails into three separate boxes–primary, social and promotional.

(Maxmail, 2015) Google’s new Android App is just one among the many customer centric apps that Google has launched, designed and deployed with the user in mind and not the marketer. Thus far the App is available by invite only but will be available on a far more accessible scale very soon. The most important feature is its ability to allow readers to bundle or group emails from those of friends, to bank statements to unwanted marketing spam. This is certainly not good news for the email marketing arena.” What Google Inbox Means for Email Marketers.  (Links to an external site.)

According to Email marketing trends in 2015: Omnichannel Integration (Links to an external site.) (Kepler, 2015), “Years ago, email was a unique marketing channel that essentially existed in a silo,” wrote Business News Daily’s Nicole Fallon in an article for the news source. “However, as more and more communication channels have opened up … marketers now need to approach email as their consumer’s do – as part of an omnichannel marketing strategy. Among the more than 1,100 email marketers who took part in Econsultancy’s eighth annual Email Marketing Industry Census earlier this year, 85 percent stated that they believed email would become fully integrated with other marketing channels within five years.”

References

Alblum, E. (Jan. 22, 2015). Is Email Marketing Really Dead? (Links to an external site.)

Basterfield, C. (Jan. 14, 2015). The advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing content marketing.

Constant Contact (n.d.). Infographic: The State of Email Marketing.

Jason, C, (Jan. 14, 2015). Is Email Marketing Dead? (Links to an external site.)

Kepler, D.J. (Jan. 12, 2015). Email marketing trends in 2015: Omnichannel Integration. (Links to an external site.)

Levitt, D. (n.d.). The Simple Guide to Email Marketing.

Maxmail (Jan. 7, 2015). What Google Inbox Means for Email Marketers.  (Links to an external site.)

PR Newswire (Feb. 3, 2015).MarketingSherpa Survey of Consumer Attitudes towards Email Marketing Reveals Strong Preference for Email Compared with All Other Communications (Links to an external site.)

Rhoads, J. (Feb., 2015). MMC 5006 Week 5 Lecture: Blogs & Email.

Weinbrenner, D. & Philip, K. (Jan. 19, 2015). Why Email and Social Marketing are Like Chocolate and Peanut Butter. (Links to an external site.)

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