Email is NOT Dead.

If you look in the media online or offline, you will read ‘EMAIL is DEAD’.

Read further and you’ll discover that ‘Facebook is DEAD, Twitter is DEAD, Pinterest is DEAD, Print media is DEAD, SEO is DEAD, SEM is DEAD, Online is DEAD, Apps are DEAD’. It would seem (according to the media) that ALL of these marketing channels are DEAD.

Apparently there aren’t any marketing channels left to get your message from your business to customers. Let me share an insight with you, the media is WRONG.

Email is not dead and neither are the other marketing channels. In fact, EMAIL marketing is the most important of all the marketing channels, here’s why;

Audience.

Think for a moment about Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin. Do you have the direct contact details of your fans, followers or connections? No. These belong to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You have the right to advertise within the rules and payment terms that are set by these social media channels. You need to pay for this access and you don’t have a direct relationship with your audience. You rent the audience from these social media platforms.

Email is the only channel, where you have the direct relationship with your audience.

Think about that for a moment…. If you want to reach your Facebook audience, you need to do this via Facebook. Increasingly you will also need to pay money in order to reach your Facebook audience. Other channels are the same. Linkedin, twitter – who owns the audience? They do. You get the right to market to these people who are interested in your brand, products and services, but they own the communication channel.

As it turns out there are only two digital channels where you own your own audience. These are Email and Mobile.  You own the list of your email (and mobile) subscribers. There is no other third party ownership between you and your audience (assuming you’ve gathered the email and mobile addresses directly). What’s more, your subscribers have chosen to provide you with their details so that they can hear from you. This is the same for the mobile marketing channel. When an individual shared their mobile phone number with you – this is a direct audience.

When I’m driving in my car, I love to sing loudly to my favorite tunes. I include playlists of upbeat songs to get my heart pumping. Recently I was driving in my car with my 5 year old little girl. It was a Saturday morning, we were on our way to a birthday party and all was good in the world. I was thinking about the concept of audience.

I was listening to my music on this Saturday morning and my 5 year old pipes up from the back seat, “don’t you think that’s a bit loud mum?, don’t you think you should turn that down?”. In that moment I had an epiphany. I love my playlist, and I want to hear it more often, I want to consume more of it. At this stage in my life, I can’t get enough of it. I love it loud. I love to get as much as I can from the experience.

In contrast, she doesn’t enjoy my music, when I play the music that she is interested in such as the playschool soundtrack, she asks for me to “turn it up”, “make it louder”, she likes me to blast her with the music that she loves.

This is the same concept for your email marketing. We LOVE to hear from the brands, products and services that we love. We also love to hear from brands we’re investigating, or wanting to work with or purchase from.

It’s important to keep this in mind when we are marketing to our email subscribers. They are part of your email list, because they want to hear from you. They want to ‘turn the volume up’ on communications from your company / brand. The express gift of their contact details to you is the permission that you’ve been invited to share the brand’s products and services with this individual. Go do it. Don’t disappoint them by not providing what you have promised.

Be careful that your marketing is engaging, rewarding and NOT a crap experience for your subscriber.

Email Marketing is changing

Please don’t’ get me wrong, email marketing is changing. The move to relevant content is paramount. If you are sending emails that are not relevant, you’ll have increasing unsubscribe rates. The only way to stop your attrition of subscribers is to stop sending emails that have little or no relevance.

Another big change in email is the automation of emails is far more important for programs that will deliver revenue. Optimise your transactional emails, abandoned shopping programs and you’ll increase your conversion rates immediately for this channel.

When you are running a relevant and optimized program you’ll be able to switch off your regular ad hoc newsletter programs and just run relevant lifecycle programs. This should be your goal. This is when your unsubscribe rates will be low and your conversion rate very very high.

Always remember….. Email is not dead.

Justine Coombe
justine@ignitedigital.com.au
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