“Email marketing is dead; long live email marketing” is the chant you will hear many a marketer utter these days. But don’t be fooled. Email is alive and well, and if you aren’t using it you can be sure your competitors will be…

The reason email was shunned by many marketers in the first place was because of the rise of the new social media generation. They saw email as old fashioned in the way that many offline communications such as direct mail are now viewed and began forsaking email marketing efforts to pump more into social media. At their peril…

So why should you be giving email marketing the time of day?

Guaranteed Reach

The concept of ‘reach’ is viewed very differently in social media than it is in email. In email, you know that your ‘reach’ is however many email addresses you have on your mailing list (minus any bounces and the few emails that get lost to the spam folder). You can guarantee that a minimum number of people will at the very least SEE your email in their inbox.

When it comes to social media, all you have to play with is ‘potential reach’. The amount of people who actually see your message before clicks is variable and it is dependent on a number of factors, including how much you want to pay to increase that reach!

Regular Use

More than 3.2 billion email addresses are in use today. More to the point 95% of internet shoppers use email and, 91% of those consumers check their emails at least once every day (Source: Exact Target). How can you argue with those numbers?

Shelf Life

The average Facebook post will reach 75% of the users it is destined to reach in under 2 hours, and the average Tweet isn’t likely to be seen after the first 3 hours.

Email has no such shelf life. It remains in the inbox until the user checks their email and opens or deletes it.

ROI

In marketing, we have to consider the return on investment (ROI). According to ExactTarget’s report, for every $1 spent, companies are seeing an average $44.25 return.

Social media, although many claim it is “free”, is a difficult one when it comes to measuring the return on investment. By no means are we claiming there is no return, but there are many companies who are throwing large marketing budgets at social media with no exact science for working out how much it is gaining them in return.

Tracking Success

The last point about not being able to work out the exact ROI of social media brings us onto the issue of tracking success. There are many experts of social media out there with different methods for tracking success on social media, but it all comes down to one thing; the unique goal of the company.

Email is very much the same; in order to track success of email marketing campaigns you must first determine what the overall aim of each campaign is. With this information, you can pinpoint the metrics that should be tracked, and use the data from each email to improve the next. One benefit of email is that email marketing platforms often come with built in analytics, allowing you to run and measure the whole campaign from one easy to use platform.

Cross-channel Communication

Email is a valuable platform that shouldn’t be shunned by marketers for shiny newer toys, but nor should we forsake marketing trends in favour sticking to the old faithful communication methods.

The beauty of the varied online communications methods at our fingertips is that we can create a multi-channel strategy that encompasses all these different channels. Using cross-channel communications and integrating both email and social media into your marketing plan can allow you to increase your reach by connecting with audiences on both platforms.

The likelihood of cross-channel marketing is that you will reach many of the same prospects on more than one channel, which is why it is so important that you match up the branding and messages on each channel. Tailoring the campaign to each channel’s unique features while keeping the core message the same will have a greater impact on the customers you reach, and result in a more successful marketing campaign.

Are you interested in learning more about using email in your marketing and creating cross channel campaigns? Then you may be interested in the Postgraduate Certificate in Digital Marketing  course offered by the University of California Irvine Extension in partnership with The Digital Marketing Association as part of their Certified Digital Marketer Program.

The digital qualification is aimed at a marketing professional looking to gain more insight into using the digital tools available to craft digital marketing campaigns. For more information on this and the other digital marketing courses available at Oxford College of Marketing call Dave Charlton on (0)1865 515 255 or email enquiries@oxfordpeg.com.