Some marketers have shared with us that while email optimization is something they think about, they have not paid much attention to it (it's a bit like exercise!).
The lack of skills, budget and resources are oft-cited (and valid) reasons. Other reasons can be attributed to the rise of Social Media as a Marketing Tool. Firstly, marketers have been kept busy formulating and implementing their social media strategy; and secondly, some feel that the social networks provide a viable alternative for them to reach out to their customers, and they can do away with more traditional tactics such as email updates, alerts or newsletters.
A digital presence these days would certainly be incomplete without the appropriate use of social networks, but email and social should not be seen as competing or mutually exclusive?
While email marketing may seem old fashioned to some, and there are indeed challenges and issues which have arisen mainly due to abuse (indiscriminate sending, declining inbox placement rates, inbox overload), it will continue to play a key role in the marketer's arsenal as it:
- Provides a direct branded engagement
- Is still the most efficient way to reach out to customers who have opted to maintain communication with you
- Remains the most effective way to generate demand and revenue*.
And [even] with the increase in mobile readership, the fact that the ability to read and send email is one of the first on a device manufacturer's list of basic features, suggests that wherever mobile goes, email will follow.
What organizations need to provide is an intelligent and coherent experience for their customers, and at the heart of making this happen, lies a robust repository of knowing exactly who your customers and prospects are, and how to reach out to them whenever you have something of value to say.
Besides, no marketer should leave their most precious data assets – customer engagements, interactions and profiles – solely in the hands of the networks, even just for the simple matter of avoiding contingency issues. You certainly would want to build your own data asset and subscriber list, even if you have a strong following in Facebook, Twitter, PInterest or LinkedIn. Many organizations have used these networks successfully to attain better customer insights and audience acquisition as a base for further interaction by email.
Even the social networks are sending emails to connect with their subscribers to drive increased usage, customer engagement and acquisition by analyzing click and traffic behaviour.
And I am glad that I am not alone in my views. 67% of organizations surveyed for the MarketingSherpa 2012 Email Marketing Benchmark Report indicated that they planned to spend more on email.
So – take a fresh look at your email and email optimisation strategy today. And give us a tinkle should you want to discuss email deliverability further!