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:
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
It's easy to think of customers as fish you can bait with discounts. It's also lazy. Marketers should adopt the B2B mentality of solving customers' problems.
Amazon is well-known for sending emails just for you. But a business doesn't have to be Amazon-sized to successfully deploy the same strategy.
Instead of launching a fully-formed new program, try innovating in increments, where you make a series of small changes that eventually add up to something big.
Toy retailer The Entertainer recently reported some impressive figures, including 120% growth in mobile sales and a tripling of its email revenue. ... read more