Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Is email marketing dying?

Tying into my theme of social media, is the string of media channels that have to adapt as social media develops.

Does your business make use of e-newsletters, or mass email promotions? More than likely would be my best guess. It feels like nearly every time I visit a website, store or restaurant, I'm asked to sign up to join their 'super-savers' or 'VIP' club--and somewhere on their form they ask for my email address.

I used to think seriously before giving my email address, but it limited so much of what I could do online or prohibited me from having access to great discounts, so I usually caved. But I, and many of my friends, have out-smarted these email marketers. I give them the address to a dummy email account that I created. It is a real email address, but I only check it every few months (if at all) to clean it out. I maybe read 5 out of every 100 emails that I receive on that account. I loathe sorting through them; it's all junk and while the coupons might have been valuable, they weren't as valuable as the time it would have taken to sort through them and print them off.

So I have to ask--if say 1 in every 4 consumers gave a dummy email address like I do, how effective is email marketing really? Is it a waste of money?

A blog I ran across by a man named Scott Kraus predicted the death of email marketing--well not exactly. Rather, he predicted the death of email marketing as we know it.

I tend to agree. As social media becomes more social, and more interactive, one-way mass email communications from a brand to its consumer become less relevant. In fact, as fast as people are subscribing to email lists, they are unsubscribing--citing reasons like being emailed too frequently, receiving too many un-relevant emails, or receiving too many repetitive or boring emails.

The answer it seems is not to send more emails, but to send targeted, relevant emails to a more specific niche of comsumers.

Check out the blog here for more information.