Social Media is NOT Killing Email Marketing

Before the rise of the mass social media networks, communicating with your users or customers was a lot easier. Most of them read email, and they read it frequently. However, now people admittedly spend less time in their inbox and more time on social networks. As a result, many marketers have shifted their focus to social network marketing to the detriment of their email programs.

Internet communication studies have revealed that social networks and Facebook in particular, are replacing email as the most popular way to stay in touch with friends.  96% of respondents regularly use Facebook to connect with friends, followed by text messaging at 93% and email at 91%.However,email is still the primary communications tool for work and office related communications. Email also is where people receive their receipts and confirmations for online purchases. People do go into their inboxes, daily, to transact in non-personal ways. People are still able to receive, and often are receptive to, your email marketing campaigns.

One of the most imperative reasons to continue, (or begin), your email marketing program is because of the increased viability of direct response marketing via email versus via social networks. How users behave in both environments is different. In an email environment the user is participating in a solo activity with no other distractions. He or she can review your email and be directed to clicking links or taking other actions. Users are absorbing and responding to your message. In a social network environment, it is more difficult to generate direct response actions or sales. Social media users become action takers rather than one who reads your message.  Social media users move on to the next opportunity to interact with other social network users, which is time consuming and takes longer to result in action.

A few short years ago people believed MySpace would last forever. Today, MySpace is struggling with revenue and much of its user base has migrated to other social networks. Moving your profile and following from one social network to another is not challenging. As soon as their friends and contacts start to do it, users will do the same. We believe that nobody will ever abandon Facebook or Twitter, but that does not mean another option, using better technology, will not come along. When it does, you will need to build your social network audience from scratch. On the other hand, while people do change email addresses, they do so infrequently and often keep the same email addresses for years. Once you have an email database, you have a more reliable and long term method of contacting users.

There has not been a social network that has proven it can withstand a decade of use, but many email providers have. Do not abandon your email list unless you are willing to take the risk regarding having your social networking strategy impacted negatively by advancing technology. However, the fact that’s users spend less time in their inbox than they used to will impact your email marketing campaigns, so you will need to focus on certain things to make email marketing in the social networking era work.

Inboxes are crowded, and users will want to quickly clear them out. You must send out compelling offers. Make sure you segment your list, study what offers your users respond to, and then send the best offers when using your email campaigns.

Because inboxes are more crowded deleting email without even reading it has become more common. Make sure you spend time and effort on your subject line. You are competing with more email for fewer resources. The subject line is the most important step in the process.

There was a time when people would scan their SPAM or junk folders. This is not the case anymore, so you must make sure your sender reputation is clear and your messages are reaching the inbox.

Social networks are not replacing email, but they are altering the way email should be used. Make sure your email strategy responds accordingly. Send quality, relevant, targeted emails to clean-lists. You will discover that email still works best for R.O.I. purposes.

The first step to getting started with email marketing, whether it is your primary method of customer contact or in combination with a social network strategy, is to choose a superior email marketing manager.

*Did You Know— 64% of decision-makers view emails on mobile devices. By ensuring your newsletter is accessible and readable on mobile devices you will increase your reader base and stand out as a marketer who adapts to changing environments

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