With the rise of social networks in the latter half of the 21st century, many experts have come to the conclusion that email is dead. In 2010, Mark Zuckerberg himself said email was obsolete, with new real-time communication channels SMS and live chat in the picture (of course, these claims have nothing to do with the fact that Zuckerberg was launching Facebook Message). At the same time, many e-marketers began allocating large portions of their budget towards paid ad marketing on social media channels. This Flight School Friday, we’ll be challenging the idea that social media is replacing email marketing as the best medium to acquire customers.
Email = Conversion
Is this shift in marketing strategy working for brands? A McKinsey & Company study shows that despite a decrease in email marketing as social media channels picked up (2008 - 2012), email remains the customers favorite channel to engage with and learn about a brand. Conversion rates for email were 40 times higher than that of both Facebook and Twitter.
Triggered Emails, The Future of Email Marketing
Email marketing is far from being dead, rather, it is evolving into a smarter form of communication. Marketers are now equipped with a variety of tools to send highly customized, relevant triggered emails. At every new point of interaction a customer makes with your brand, you gain more insight into the type of communication they are looking for. Customers will see more of the content they are engaged with and less of what they don’t want to see. Over time, this looks a lot like a one-to-one exchange. Social media on the other hand, is a one-to-many conversation where customers are blasted with one generic message.
Reconcile Email and Social Networks
Still, we aren’t saying this to discount the value of your social networks. Email and social can and should be used collaboratively; there are unique benefits to be found in both channels. Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Instagram are great channels to visually display content and display brand identity. In fact, adding social sharing buttons in the body of your emails increases the click-through-rate by 158%!
Ultimately, save time and money by optimizing your marketing channels to their strengths. Use social as its name suggests, as a relationship building tool, and email as a customer acquisition channel. The two channels can be reconciled, there’s no need for a war!