Why does it pay for marketers and consumers to stick with email? Because no matter what, it's always going to win, place, or at least show.
Earlier this month, California Chrome became the latest almost-winner of thoroughbred horse racing's Triple Crown. Who wasn't cheering this purple and green-silked underdog from the wrong side of the track?
Once every four or five years you get a horse that is dominant in the early races, only to be shut down when something with fresh legs comes around. In consumer technology, there has not been a Triple Crown winner since the dawning of the desktop personal computer age, 36 years ago. Compaq, Dell, Nokia, Apple, Samsung - all have come close only to be edged out before closing the deal.
Email, the original and largest social network, got edged out several years ago when the large P2P social platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, with their mobile-friendly experiences, arrived on the scene. Sure, you needed an email address to log in to any of these services, but who was paying attention to that little detail? They were winning the hearts of minds of youth and consequently of agencies and advertisers who raced to see who could mount these steeds to victory.
But don't count out early winners. Every year there is a new chance for a Triple Crown winner in the attention and usage race.
With the rise of mobile, that future Triple Crown winner increasingly looks to be an old favorite: email.
The tipping point appears to be - ironically - the rise of the smartphone and tablet and the decline of the desktop, the same things that propelled the challengers to email's ownership of audience and attention.
In our latest report, Email Everywhere: Adapting to the Mobile Nature of Email, we released a treasure trove of statistics that demonstrate beyond a doubt that email is not only increasingly mobile, it is on its way to dominating smartphone and tablet devices at the expense of other services like Snapchat and Instagram. With so many social services competing for, users still remain reliant on email not only for person-to-person communication, but also for authentication and identity management.
With consumers "going mobile," email is staying in the front of the pack and even gaining ground.
What have we learned about next-generation email behaviors?
Among the findings in the report, recipients identified as women apparently open, click, and convert more on ads shown in email newsletters. Now before you claim that this does not apply to you, an ad for this purpose is anything including content. And if you are selling something in an email that you send, then it's an advertisement, whether or not it's a first- or third-party product.
Within this report, you'll see surprising and shocking information about smartphone and tablet performance - including evidence that young people open, click, and convert within email.
With so many ways to spend - and waste - time, why does it pay for marketers and consumers to stick with email? Because no matter what, it's always going to win, place, or at least show. Having a consumer's email address is like having a prized stud in your stable. You have a something that keeps on producing.
Email's got such a bright future, I'm betting on it for the long haul.
Image via Shutterstock.
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As president of LiveIntent, Dave Hendricks has overall responsibility for revenue, finance, legal, and operations. Prior to joining LiveIntent before its 2009 Series A, Dave was EVP of operations at PulsePoint (then known as Datran Media), where he worked with LiveIntent founder and CEO Matt Keiser and ran Datran's ESP StormPost. Before all that, Dave held senior roles at data management companies InfoUSA and Experian. A member of the founding executive team at ExperianCheetahMail, Dave began his email adventure at Pioneering ESP MessageMedia after running global partnerships for Oracle Corp. Dave was named one of Silicon Alley Insiders Top 100 technologists in 2011 and is active in several IAB Committees including Mobile and Email. Follow him on Twitter @davehendricks.
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