March 14, 2012
Whenever new technology is introduced, commentators and so-called “experts” begin predicting the death of old technology. They did it with radio when live television broadcasting was introduced, and now it’s being done with email. With the rise of social networks and alternative marketing avenues–like Facebook, Twitter, SMS and Pay-Per-Click marketing–there’s an assumption that email’s value is rapidly declining. To take it one step further, many analysts are already writing email’s obituary long before its death.
Why Email Marketing is Alive and Well
There are plenty of problems with this assumption. For starters, the email marketing industry is more vibrant than ever. In fact, there are several companies that specialize in email marketing. Some of the major email marketing players include, Exact Target, MailChimp, Constant Contact, Pinpointe and iContact, which are used by marketing professionals all over the globe.
Not only is the email marketing industry flourishing, but email users are as active as they ever were, if not more so. According to email marketing software maker Exact Target, 58 percent of adults check their email first thing in the morning. With statistics like that, the complete death of email seems highly unlikely.
Does Facebook Generate New Customers?
But there’s still that myth that email marketing is completely replaceable by social media marketing strategies. The source of this myth comes from this idea that a company must have a Facebook page to get customers on Facebook. Social media marketing experts say that 44 percent of corporate social media marketing strategists look to Facebook as the primary way to get more customers. But on the customer side of things, 84 percent of all fans of a company Facebook page are either current or former customers. What does this indicate exactly? In short, Facebook does not create new customers, but rather draws in existing customers to your brand.
Integrating Your Email and Social Media Marketing Campaigns
The best web marketing strategy is an integrated Web marketing strategy. Facebook and email should not be stand-alone efforts – they should be used together. But not every Web marketer understands the value in social media and email integration. In fact, only 18 percent of all Web marketers have social media icons embedded in their emails.
Tips For Email and Facebook Integration
· Use Facebook to crowd source ideas for email content. Nobody will know what a company’s customers want to read better than your customers.
· Leverage Facebook customer comments as email content. Instead of sending a newsletter about how great your company is, let customers do the promotional legwork.
· Use Facebook as a platform to push email-only updates or special deals. Not only will this make customers feel special, but it also gives a chance to expand email list contacts without much effort.
While Facebook and Twitter may dominate the Web marketing discussion, email marketing is still a viable channel for customer retention and business expansion. Millions of people use email on a daily basis, it’s easily integrated into existing social media efforts and it lets companies cast a wider net for both new and existing customers.
Joseph Baker is a freelance writer living in the Midwest. He enjoys working on his novel and drinking large amounts of Earl Grey tea. He writes this article behalf of American InterContinental University.