Email marketing remains powerful despite the growth of social media. So? Invest in both!

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Is email marketing old fashioned?

Social media is the future, they say. Surely Facebook is the new communication hub and Tumblr seems like the place where cool kids hang out. But does that make email marketing old fashioned? Are young people shifting to Tumblr and Vine rather than emails to find out about their favourite brands?

The answer is, not yet. Regardless of the popularity of social media marketing, email remains powerful.

Social media is a necessity. Yet, email remains powerful and effective.  

According to this article on the Drum, traditional marketing channels like email marketing is actually the most common way of finding out offers and promotions among 16 to 24-year-olds.

The truth is, most of us – despite age and other demographics – still stick to emails.

It’s all about ‘‘permission marketing’’

The seemingly old-fashioned channel is still considered to be more effective in getting customers to your website, according to Forbes.

“It’s not a sexy tool like Pinterest or Instagram or Vine. But the pendulum has really swung back in the last few years, spurred in part by the recession. People want things that generate revenue, not just bright shiny objects.” said Simms Jenkins, CEO of BrightWave Marketing and author of The New Inbox: Why Email Marketing Is the Digital Marketing Hub in a Social & Mobile World.

In addition, many sources have proved that customers from emails are likely to purchase and spend more. In other words, some valuable customers are actually driven from emails.

The logic behind this is actually simple: emails are aimed to send promotions and offers, driving more customers to your online business. On the other hand, social media is a commonplace for customers to find entertaining content.


The bottom line is that ‘permission-based’ emails have a much clearer purpose – that is to sell. Let it be discounts or offers, those who have subscribed for your newsletter have already given you an ‘okay’ sign to be sold via emails. So it shouldn’t come as surprise that emails remain as the primary tool to ‘sell’.

Two separate channels, two different usages?

Alright, if social media is not driving sales, then why should we stick to it?

Once again, many people tend confuse the purpose(s) of social media. While social media like Pinterest does help drive sales to some extent, it tends to excel at one particular (and vital) thing, i.e. customer engagement. Whether it is a fun video or an interactive online campaign, social media is not quite a place to shout ‘buy me! buy me!’ at your audience.

And digitally-smart brands know the importance of using both marketing tools.

Never duplicate your content.

By the way emails can still annoy consumers. A newsletter sent every single day with generic and irrelevant content has nowhere to go to but the junk box.

Asos's email marketing

On the other hand, smart emails like those of ASOS (as already mentioned elsewhere) and Warby Parker, give their readers meaningful offers and personalised contents.

Warby Parker's email marketing

 

(Image via.)

But real ‘digitally-savvy’ brands don’t stop at this point. Just like those two brands, Chanel not only uses smart email marketing methods like ‘offering early access’ to exclusive contents, but also drives subscribers to their exclusive branded videos from their new collections and other social platforms.

So smart brands create an effective tactic combining multiple channels like emails, videos and social media to attract the attention of readers.

How to be a digitally-savvy brand?

On emails, people don’t mind receiving promotions, so long as the offer is personalised and relevant, of course. And let your customers choose their most preferred frequencies to receive newsletter / offers / news, so that your emails won’t annoy them.

On social media, users want to be connected with their favourite brands at emotional level. To be more precise, fans want to have more inside look or behind the scene glimpse of products on Instagram. They want to be entertained and enamoured by beautiful and captivating images on Tumblr. Meanwhile, many people go on Twitter for another distinctive reason – to find out quick brand updates. (Read more here)

Long story short, different channels are used for different purposes. Emails, social media, blogs etc… when brands effectively use multiple tools, it is the most powerful and effective way to market your products, learn about your followers and nurture the relationships with your prosumers without squandering big money. .

What do you think?

Appnova is a digital agency specialising in web design, UX, eCommerce, branding, digital marketing and social media.

Keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.

(Cover image via Kevin Fitz, Flickr.)

(By Dani and Waka)

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