As I start to roll into my 20th year of online marketing I think to myself, “email is still an amazing thing.” It’s such a strong tool, and yet, so many brands are still underutilizing this most basic of communication. If you think it’s old school, think again.
Think about how much direct mail you still get in your mailbox every day. I can’t tell you the amount of companies that send out truckloads of direct mail and don’t use email to segment test, optimizing before they send. Worse still, they don’t properly reinforce the messaging. A company will spend $1 per piece on direct mail, but not a few extra pennies to get the email out as bookends. If you have never been to the Direct Mail Show in Vegas, I’ll tell you it’s a more than 13 billion dollar dinosaur that will not be going anywhere soon.
The same ROI arguments fall into every online marketing tactic in our tool belt. Your SEM dollars, your content strategies, and your giant media spend are all in need of email support. It’s the glue that holds campaigns together, that allows you test laser-focused messages, and get instant reactions from the best focus group you could ask for.
You may think the young folks don’t email anymore, and you might be right as a means of touching base with friends, but that is different than buying online, getting a lead, or moving the needle in a measurable way. Get them to opt in, and you will have a better inroad to their behavior than social.
Next time you start a conversation about KPIs, don’t leave email acquisition off the table. You can test, target, and communicate like no other online tactic. I remember in the late 1990’s, there was an article on why email is king − I think it was Fast Company or Wired. I find it funny that ‘‘email is king” articles still come up today.