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A much covered question in marketing circles – ‘is email dead?’ is often answered with a straight forward ‘no’. It offers marketers a different angle to their digital activities and in our opinion is still valid, however, we feel it has to evolve and a huge part of the evolution has to be smart thinking integration with Social Media. We asked Gianfranco Cuzziol his thoughts on the matter…
I recently used the quote attributed to Mark Twain when talking about email in that ‘ Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated ‘
There does seem to be a feeling that with email or social , it’s one or the other. I don’t agree with that.I think there is a real opportunity to integrate an organisations email marketing stratey with its social media strategy.
Some research from Merkle highlights the fact that people who use social media actually check their email more frequently than those that do not: 42% of social media users check their email four times a day or more, compared to just 27% of those that don’t use social media,and that 63% said that they use the same email account for social media messages as they do to opt-in to permission based email. So I’m guessing that the chances of any promotional emails being read will be higher
This seems to be right as a recent MarketingSherpa study found that 75% of daily social media users said that email is the best way for companies to communicate with them, compared to 65% of all email users. And 49% of Twitter users said they made an online purchase because of an email, compared to 33% of all email users.
Email service providers such as eCircle now offer the ability to deploy ‘email marketing’ messages to Facebook and Twitter. In fact, Brian Solis states that once integrated programs are deployed, 42% of executives reported a lift in email campaign performance after integrating social and email. Subtle repetition of marketing messages through different channels isn’t a new concept, marketers have been doing it for years
The savvy marketers will then encourage consumers to share emails via their social networks, an approach which allows email distribution to take on an extra dimension
Of course social isn’t just about the usual suspects ( Did you know that the title of that film was inspired from a line in Casablanca?) Facebook, Twitter etc. Social also manifests itself in the guise of ratings and reviews seen on retailers websites. I recently saw a presentation from Bazaarvoice where it was highlighted that a product with negative review will out sell a product with none! Clever marketers such as Argos and Amazon are integrating their web analytics with their ratings and review engine to provide tailored basket or browse abandon emails to offer suitable alternative products that are ‘most highly rated’.
One thing to bear in mind as well is that we always seem to talk about Social Media as purely B2C opportunity – but there are many examples of B2B integrating email with social as well. McKinsey do a great job in integrating all their channels. Graham Lubie’s blog has kindly put together a case study to highlight this. It shows how email for example can be used to drive traffic to the more ‘traditional’ social sites.
Ultimately, it just makes sense to have all bases covered when communicating with Followers, Fans, Subscribers, Customers, to ensure that we can move them along that progression.
Graphic Credit – Michael Smith