Email: Another Marketing Medium That Can Come Off The Endangered List

April 10, 2012 by  
Filed under Article Marketing

Just about a month ago I told you about a marketing medium dinosaur that is not only quite relevant it’s also highly effective: direct mail.

In my article, aptly titled Direct Mail: Alive And Kicking, I tell of all the reasons that direct mail – with all its negative and pricey connotations, should remain a very visible part of an integrated marketing campaign.

Email Icon

Email Icon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well it seems another medium, long considered past its prime by many short-sighted marketers and advertisers, is here to tell us all that it too is alive, kicking and doing quite well thank you very much.

The folks over at ExactTarget recently released the results of their 2012 Channel Preference Survey — an in-depth examination and ranking of the direct messaging channels preferred by consumers for particular types of marketing activity.

The channels evaluated include email, direct mail, Facebook, Twitter and text messaging among others.

Culled directly from the conclusion: “Email is the most-preferred channel for direct, one-to-one marketing communications with consumers.”

See for yourself.

Seems email is very important in driving consumer’s buying decisions.

And so much for all that sharing that is supposedly done via social media channels and platforms.

And finally when it comes time to reach out and touch our favorite brands for a little TLCS – tender loving customer service, email is once again, our preferred method.

This last finding correlates directly to the findings of a survey conducted last year by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and Lithium who asked over 1,300 consumers a series of questions including this one.

What Does It All Mean?

Well it means you should focus all your energies on email marketing with a dash of direct mail thrown in.

No, I kid.

It means that email, like it’s physical counterpart direct mail, is and always will be for that matter, an extremely effective marketing tool.

But you have to remember that email is no longer tethered to a pc or a Mac. What this survey did not do which I wished it had was to break down traditional email vs. mobile email.

Yes I realize email is email but reading to and responding to and acting upon a mobile email is different than doing so on a pc or Mac. If for no other reason the word mobile. People who read and write the majority of their emails via a handheld device are more likely to be doing other things via the same device.

And as such they need to be advertised and marketed to differently.

However, the folks at ExactTarget did touch on the new, “post-PC” reality in their conclusion and they are spot on when they write:

“New devices, social networks, and mobile technologies have fragmented consumer communication channels in ways that would have boggled the mind just a decade ago. The marketer’s challenge is finding a way to stitch together a cross-channel communication strategy that “makes the numbers” without alienating consumers.”

So what do you think about all this?

Do you use email as part of an overall integrated marketing strategy?

Do the findings in this survey surprise you and if so why?

Source: ExactTarget

Named one of the Top 100 Influencers In Social Media (#41) by Social Technology Review, Steve Olenski is a freelance writer/blogger currently looking for full-time work. He has worked on some of the biggest brands in the world and has over 20 years experience in advertising and marketing. He lives in Philly and can be reached via email,TwitterLinkedIn or his website.

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