Is Email Marketing Still Effective in 2011 in the Wake of the Rise of Social Media?
This blog post is based on my own experience; therefore I would welcome insight from anybody else seeing similar or different things.
Having spent quite a period of time working on direct marketing projects I began noticing changes in the open rates of some of my email marketing campaigns. We, as an agency maintained the statistic that open rates averages were around 15%. However, nearing the end of my time this was nearer 10% per cent for most clients, and more discouragingly they did not appear to be converting to any sales for our clients.
I understand that email marketing has many different objectives therefore we can’t base everything on ROI, however, it should be is the E-communications are clearly sales driven.
My personal experience as a consumer and looking at the stats I experienced with clients indicates the day of email marketing has been and gone, probably because of increasingly sophisticated spam detectors, high levels of emails and a general distaste for spam of any kind.
For example, one of my past clients had sent over 100,000 E-communications and not made a single sale, literally costing thousands of pounds – I remember thinking there must be another way and feeling somewhat guilty nothing was working.
Taking my past client for example, and if I knew what I did now, I would suggest he stops sending email communications and use the time and money saved on some more modern tactics. I would use a mixture of SEO and Social Media to increase their online presence and website traffic, they are an ecommerce site therefore one would hope this equated to increased sales.
I would use some of the budget on building a large social network on twitter and Facebook, as well as look at a number of specific blogs. I would then use the content generated for SEO and the rest of the time producing emails to produce quality content in which to push through those social networks.
But why the big change? I firmly believe there is a place for email marketing within the overall communications strategy, but not as a sales tool, and not at the prices I know agencies charge. With internet marketing there are obvious ROI statistics that make campaigns more measurable, which is more rewarding for the client and for us as marketers.
Email marketing is great for controlling what is said about the brand, for information and to present the brand image you want to, however, I have thought of a simple way to achieve the same objectives without going through the email route, but for that, you will have to wait until next time.
About the Author: Graham Jane is an SEO copy writer for Fresh Egg Social Media Agency with a pasion for social media.