Posted on 21 October 2009.
You likely are well aware of my company’s Social Media Marketing Program that we named “Sparking”. You can learn about it by clicking here. While this program successfully and cost effectively increases our clients’ followers, friends and fans through a wide mixture of social media and Web 2.0 tools, our biggest goal through Sparking is to grow our clients’ e-lists.
At a recent conference, I sat on a panel with three social media “experts” who said that our focus was a waste because people didn’t use email anymore. I was stunned — not because these “experts” had a different opinion, but because they were so anti-email.
When I pointed out to that everyone on the panel communicated with each other before the conference via email, and that eblasts were the number one way people at the conference linked to the registration page, they were silent.
It seems to me that social media experts like their tools so much that it has had a negative effect on their abilities to generate sales and exposure for their clients. Each one of the panelists was an expert on one social media tool (Facebook, YouTube and Twitter), which is likely why each one professed that their tool of choice was all that was needed.
Well, what’s needed is results. And short of online sales, the best way to measure results is to track the response from those who follow you by analyzing eblast clickthroughs and reads. Email works in tandem with other tactics to increase engagement, deliver relevant content and build contact databases.
And don’t believe these people when they say email is dead. While Twitter and Facebook certainly offer other ways for people to communicate, the simple truth is that most adults (young and old) have an email account and check it often. Heck, some have more than one.
Here’s a chart just released from MarketingSherpa that dispels the myth that email is dead. Note that this chart is about how consumers share information about a product or service they find interesting:
Ways Consumers Share Information
According to MarketingSherpa, the chart views “how email is used to share information, because this activity is so central to social media sites. Email is dominant, even in this regard. When we look at media use over the last 15 years, we see a pattern of aggregation and adoption rather than replacement. Some media suffer in the exchange, but none are eliminated entirely. More commonly, their uses become more refined. For example, we may find that Twitter and Facebook gradually reduce our use of email to convey quick messages and content to social groups, but it’s far less likely that social media will replace email for commercial transactions, receipts and the like.”
In conclusion, email is not dying. It’s not even sick. It’s still the number one way that people share important information. And, to boot, it’s the only clear way you can monitor what your friends, fans and followers do with the information you give them.