7 Reasons Why Email is Still KickingNovember 8, 2012 By Jeff Lyons
"The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." — Mark Twain
Mistaken predictions about the demise of people and things are relatively common. In the 1990s, brick-and-mortar bank branches were declared dead. ATMs and internet banking were supposed to result in the end of the local bank branch. Over the last few years, similar thoughts have been shared regarding email's fate in the digital marketing mix. Social media, SMS and mobile apps have been touted as "email killers." In the background, Facebook, Twitter and other brands have strengthened their use of email marketing to improve customer relationships.
Why would Facebook and Twitter be investing in email marketing? Here are seven reasons why:
1. Reach: Prime-time television has long been the gold standard for providing marketing campaigns the ability to reach millions of consumers. In the digital world, email carries that title. Merkle's View from the Inbox study reported that 87 percent of people check their email more than one time a day. In comparison, the same study showed only 43 percent of online adults use social networks on a daily basis. When you want to reach a large segment of your customers, email has the clear advantage.
2. Consumers like email: A recent ExactTarget study revealed that 77 percent of consumers prefer email for their commercial communications. In the same study, only 4 percent cited Facebook as their preferred channel for commercial communication. These figures are very different from what consumers indicated as their preferred channel for personal communications, with email falling to 45 percent preference and Facebook growing to 13 percent preference. You might trade comments with your friends on Facebook, but when communicating as your brand, email is how your customers want to hear from you.
3. Email is effective: The Direct Marketing Association reports that email returns $28.50 in revenue for every dollar invested in the channel. Measurement of social marketing is coming along, but email measurement is established and the track record of performance is clear. Underinvesting in your email program is likely to result in underperformance of your marketing programs.
4. Email is social: While social media is growing, Merkle's View from the Inbox study showed 61 percent of social media users are also regular emailers. As consumers adopt social media, they're not leaving email behind, but rather using both channels. This high degree of overlap also presents opportunity with Facebook Exchange, which can enable campaigns across email and Facebook advertising to be coordinated at the individual customer level.