Email : The Digital Glue That Holds All Communication Together
If email isn’t your number one priority, it’s time to shift gears and focus solely on email.
I’m only halfway kidding. Obviously, any good marketing mix consists of a variety of different programs, channels, and strategies. That being said, I really want to focus on explaining why I think email is the digital glue that holds all other communication together, and why email is very far from “dead.” In fact, if anything, it is probably the most alive and well it has been. I see great strides in the email space happening now and the future is bright.
It is truly remarkable how often I hear some variation of the statement: “Email is dead.” Whether it is because someone has jumped on the social bandwagon or because they heard some sort of statistic that says people prefer checking social to email, it’s always something. It’s almost like people want to come up with just about any reason they want to ditch their email marketing program and put all their efforts into something else, which is bizarre to me, because it produces more ROI than any other channel. Follow the money!
So, I want to use this opportunity to briefly touch on why I think email is probably the most critical communications tool out there right now, especially in the digital space and why it can be seen as the backbone to your social, content, and other efforts.
Let’s begin by addressing social media. Email supports your social strategy from inception. When you first go to create your brand-spanking-new Twitter account, the way you activate it is through your email. Without a valid email address, you can’t even begin to Tweet. Once you’ve gotten your handle secured, and you send out some tweets, how will you know people are tweeting at you? If you’re not logged in to your account at the time then you can see you’ve been tweeted via, wait for it, your email.
So many people are spending hours upon hours crafting their tweets, thinking of the perfect hashtag, monitoring mentions, etc. Not saying this isn’t important, because it is. But in terms of ROI, if you spent even half of that time working on your email program, I could almost guarantee you would see a larger number of conversions and sales. There are approximately 3x more email addresses than Twitter and Facebook users combined, which leaves you with even more of a chance for growth and reaching new people.
I wouldn’t be hitting all the hot marketing strategies if I didn’t talk about content and how email can support your content strategy. Content is huge, there is no doubt in that. While there may be a slight over-saturation in content these days, if you can present valuable, sought after content, then you are adding a service to your readers, prospects, and clients. Not to mention thought-provoking content can really assist in promoting you and/or your brand as an industry thought-leader. Being recognized as an industry expert is something all companies should strive to be, after all many prospects base decisions on brand reputation.
Email can support your content program through a variety of ways. Mainly, email can be a vehicle to get people to view your content. If it’s a blog post, while sharing your post on your social networks is important, sending out an email means you have the option to tailor your audience and send a link to your content to an audience that you know will love it. It also simply means you can be seen by a larger number of people. This is especially true if you’re not overly involved on your social accounts.
Depending on your business, you have options for sending out your content. They could go in a weekly newsletter, or perhaps you have a preference center where people can register to get articles on certain subjects when they are published. The point is email gives you a host of options that you don’t have access to on social.
Finally, I’m going to guess a lot of your clients, regardless of your industry, are working at a business during the daytime. And while those same clients may love to hit up Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn on the regular, the one space they will be spending a large percentage of their time will be in their email account. The go-to method of communication in the business world is email. This is unlikely to change any time soon. If anything, email is going to adapt to be increasingly relevant, and thus, increasingly important to the business professional.
Email has an ROI that hovers around $39.40 per email. This is a number that just can’t be beat by other channels out there today. So, in summary, make sure you are giving your email program the attention deserves and you’ll end up loving email as much as I do.