Some say that email is dead, but while email may be considered an “older” form of communication in the context of the “social media revolution”, it is still integral to direct-to-consumer communication. And, the two mediums are actually complimentary.
Email is alive and well. In the simplest sense, social networks still rely heavily on email systems to trigger consumers’ interactions online – i.e. an email telling you that Johnny has just sent you a message on Facebook or Sally has requested to be your friend.
Studies have found that consumers are using both email and social media to keep tabs on their favorite brands. Check out this graph, a result of ExactTarget’s “Subscribers, Fans and Followers” study from earlier this year:
Clearly, there is an overlap – consumers are not just using one medium or the other. The majority are still using email, and complimenting it with a profile on other networks.
In a blog post from Nielsen about their examination of the relationship between email consumption and social media use, it was found that very often the people who are highly engaged in social media are also those that consume the most email. Social media was found to make people consume email even more, not less, and in particular for the highest social media users.
Further, in a separate report from GetResponse about the integration of social media and email marketing, it was found that emails that included options like “Share on Facebook or Twitter” generated a 30% higher click-through rate than emails without these options. Reason to start integrating social media and emails? Yes.
With all of that said, email marketing is most definately still relevant and, in fact, is complimentary to the “relationship building” aspect that is now so key in most PR/ Marketing campaigns.
What do you think?