The assortment of available marketing channels is growing at a rapid pace. Choosing the right channels and tools can be a lot like shopping for a car. You read the reviews, listen to the sales pitches, and take test drives. There are many makes and models to consider. Purchasing a car is a significant investment – you want to choose a vehicle that looks great, is fun to drive, gets good gas mileage, and reliably takes you to your destination. You definitely don’t want to end up with a “clunker.”
Do you know that email has been around for over 40 years? In the 1990s, email became a popular alternative to direct mail and media advertising…for good reason. The cost is low and it is easy to send email marketing messages to a large group of people in a short period of time. Email changed marketing the way the Model T changed the way we travel.
The trendsetting users of younger marketing media sometimes prophesy the demise of email marketing. They are attracted to shiny new marketing models like social media, video, text-messaging, and more.
However, I’m going to tell you why email marketing is like a classic car. It is a worthy investment of time and money.
A classic retains value over time. In spite of its age, email is still the #1 choice. People prefer to receive communications from businesses through email than any other method (source of graphic: Smarter Tools). A clunker is a run-down machine that no longer works. Email is more effective than the social channels because it is easier to send relevant messages to a specific group of people. Email marketing still works.
A classic has a proven performance history. If you are using the right system, you can set performance expectations for email marketing efforts and track results. It is still very difficult to evaluate the impact of social marketing efforts because, unless you ask, they cannot always be linked to a specific person and their response.
A classic is distinctive – it often elicits an emotional response. Email marketing feels more personal than social media. The messages are delivered straight to the contact’s inbox and encourage a personal conversation. Social media conversations are generally public, making some people reluctant to engage. When an email message brings a question to mind or stirs up an emotion, the reader is likely to reply and share their thoughts.
A classic gets attention. Email is delivered straight to your contacts’ inboxes. It is convenient and timely. Most people read email regularly – it does not require them to remember to visit you online to view your message. Social streams fill up quickly. Unless someone is intentionally looking for your posts, they may miss them entirely. If you want to get someone’s attention, then it is much better to send an email.
Over the next few months, I’m going to share strategies and resources that will help you be successful with your email marketing efforts. In the next article, I’ll talk about the “rules of the road” … no one wants to get a ticket from the SPAM cops