In case you have not already heard the rumors on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, email is like totally DOA, TTFN, CU-L8R! The rising popularity of more accessible technology like texting and social networking, and the continuing misuse of email by malicious spammers, has left lowly email looking like a sorry extra on “The Walking Dead.”
If you agree with what I (any many others) just said, it could be that you fall in the 12-17 year old bracket — from whom email usage has declined significantly in the last 2 years.
However, I can pretty much guarantee that this younger segment (Generation Y) will not be reading my blog post, nor will they be answering my plaintive emails about whether they have started looking for a summer job, or if they've done their homework.
For us more mature readers, you’ll be relieved to know that in 2010, a comScore report showed there was a 25% increase in email users over 55. In fact, “users, who have received email communications about a brand or product, tend to spend more than consumers targeted through other digital channels.”
So, hit the “LIKE” button and read on.
How and where emails are read today? On the run. Mobile devices are being used more for email and texting than for making calls. According to bizcommunity.com, 38.5% of time on the mobile Internet is spent on email, by far more than any other task (yes, even compared to social networking).
Email is definitely not dead, but the rules have and will continue to change. Just like the recent glut of programs on TV where humans are fighting to survive invasions of zombies, vampires, aliens, and robots with their incredible supernatural powers, you should “power up” your email program for greater success with these 3 weapons:
Anyone who “opts in,” or asks for more information via email, has a right to get EXACTLY what they want from you — not to be bombarded with useless messages. Remember, vampires sneak around in the dark — uninvited — sucking the blood of beautiful babes while they are sleeping. It is a hard-won privilege to be “invited” to interact.
Just like a direct blow to the head of a zombie, kill your competition with great content. Remember, when you give clients valuable content, they eventually respond by giving you their business and loyalty. Email is a perfect opportunity to communicate without selling, but by providing useful information they can rely on you to deliver.
Studies show that 80% of consumers finds reading marketing emails on their mobile less easy than on a PC. The most common complaints were: having to scroll across a page to read all the information (15%), too much textual content (9%), images not rendering properly (8%) and a failure for all the information to download (7%).
The ultimate secret to the success of any TV series that involves monsters and humans in conflict is that at some point they have to collaborate to survive. In the same way, marketers need to utilize and maximize the strengths of ALL channels available. Email marketing has the added advantage of being able to funnel your customers back to your existing social media platforms. So, maybe the zombies, etc., can help us out after all.
Or as it has been better said by Paul Bucheit, a founder of FriendFeed: "Email is not going to disappear. Possibly ever. Until the robots kill us all."
The source of inspiration for this article was Kenyon's recent post on the top 10 marketing trends for 2012.