Surprisingly, email is still one of the most cost effective and efficient company marketing tools out there.
Over the last decade it has merely evolved to incorporate the requirements of new technology and a rapidly changing market. Some companies use email to provide specific content to customers, a targeted marketing effort providing added value. Others keep the email short and snappy targeting social media companies that have followed, retweeted or responded to a social media or blog post. Relevant offers or products which may be of interest are presented in an easy to purchase way with instant access to additional information if required. Email and social media are converging, working hand in hand. One is like a real time global bill board, advertising your products and brand whilst talking with your audience and the other is a personal, one on one connection with those followers, providing them with pre defined information.
According to Econsultancy’s email Marketing Census 2014, sponsored by Adestra, revenue from email has increased proportionately by 28% in one year and 68% of companies rated the channel as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. On average 23% of their total sales are attributed to email marketing compared to only18% in 2013. However, this is only true when companies embrace technology and provide functions such as personalisation, automation, relevant/value content and mobile optimisation.
Whether you use email, social media or both will depend on the industry and where the customer is in the purchasing cycle. According to Eric Krattenstein, CEO of email marketing software Mailif, ‘the strength of social media is that it can give a company credibility’, large or small without bias. People like to see brands being active on social media. They can engage, connect with a community and get a response instantly. However, in order to be successful you need a significant following and time, it cannot be half -hearted. With email you can generate leads with only a few hundred subscribers, but your content needs to be relevant and of value to be successful. So even though you don’t spend as much time managing a site, you do need to research and spend time on your content to be credible and effective.
Ultimately, the best strategy isn’t choosing one over the other, but rather to create a multi-channel approach that is customer focused.
Krattenstein says “The technology is already getting us there with social feeds inside of emails and the fusion of email and mobile. Eventually we’ll bring all of the unique benefits together, and that’s when we’ll begin to see the most return. That’s marketing of the future.”