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Who Knew? E-mail Is Still Really Important

  |  March 14, 2011   |  Comments

Three reasons why you might want to reconsider the importance of e-mail.

This column goes out to all of the e-mail skeptics out there. You know who you are. You are the analysts questioning the value of e-mail in an SMS-driven world. You are the speakers who stand in front of audiences and suggest that social networks will kill e-mail. You are the C-level executives who refuse to approve the budgets for e-mail staff and support because you still think it should be free.

Well, if you are not a believer in the critical importance of e-mail, you might want to reconsider it. Here is why:

  1. E-mail enables a conversation, while social enables a public statement. E-mail is essential to have an ongoing dialogue that is secure and personal. When is the last time you reviewed the e-mails your service team is sending? Do they appropriately address the brand?
  2. It still doesn't happen digitally if you don't have an e-mail. The advent of single sign-on has changed our world. Now, it is much easier to share, save, and sign up for services when you can use Twitter and Facebook. But remember, at the end of the day, you register for all services using your e-mail. E-mail is the digital social security number and will remain the stable, backend foundation of your digital persona. Until we can scan eyeballs and hair follicles, I think it is safe to say e-mail is here to stay.
  3. When something happens with your company's services, the first place customers expect to get information is through their e-mail. I was reminded of this the hard way last week, but it was worth it. It restored my faith in the channel. Do you have e-mail as part of your crisis or recovery plans?

While the three scenarios above speak to e-mail as a backend element of your digital initiatives, it doesn't mean e-mail doesn't still play a role in marketing. E-mail is still the kill app for relationship and lifecycle marketing when using all of those innovation-based efforts at the beginning of the funnel.

So fund your programs as they relate to e-mail. It could be one of the best investments you make.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeanniey Mullen

Jeanniey Mullen is the vice president of marketing at NOOK by Barnes and Noble, focused on business growth and customer acquisition.

Prior to her role at NOOKTM Jeanniey launched a wearables fashion technology company called Ringblingz. Before getting into the wearables business, Jeanniey was the chief marketing officer (CMO) of Zinio, where she grew the business by more than 427 percent, into one of the largest global digital newsstands. Other notable roles in her career include her involvement as the executive director and senior partner at OgilvyOne, where she led the digital Dialogue business and worked with Fortune 50 brands including IBM, Unilever, and American Express, and being a general manager at Grey Direct. At Grey Direct Jeanniey launched the first email marketing division of a global advertising agency. Prior to her time in advertising, Jeanniey spent seven years in retail leading a variety of groups from Consumer Relations and Operations, to Collections and Digital at JCPenney.

One of Jeanniey's favorite times in her career was when she founded the Email Experience Council (which was acquired by the Direct Marketing Association). Jeanniey is a recognized "Women in Business," a frequent keynote speaker, and has authored three books and launched a number of companies ranging from entertainment to technology and fashion.

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