People are starting to divide communications systems into “personal”, “private” and “business”. Increasing amounts of research shows that email is losing its popularity as a personal communications vehicle. Instead, people are mainly using Facebook and Twitter as the means of keeping in touch with friends and family. And then if the information is really private then text messages are the preferred method.
What is interesting, however, is the fact that over three quarters of people in recent studies want to hear from businesses and brands they like BUT via email instead of any other means. Indeed, email is more popular as a means of keeping in touch with businesses than all of the other communications methods added together.
This means if you are neglecting email marketing you are missing out on the NUMBER ONE way of keeping in touch with your customers. It is THE way they want you to contact them.
Yet, all I hear when I visit businesses is “Email is dead, people are giving up on email aren’t they?” This is the land of assumption. All the evidence suggests that email is becoming increasingly important to businesses. Only today I was reviewing the success of an online campaign for a website. Only 10% of the sales had come via social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and so on. Twitter, alone, had brought over a third of the traffic to the website – yet no-one who came via that route actually bought the item. The vast majority of the sales had actually come from two email campaigns. Hours of Tweeting, writing on Facebook and adding to LinkedIn discussions had brought the website a lot of attention and a great deal of traffic. But almost none of that traffic was converted into purchasers. Instead, email was the main way in which people were turned from being interested, to being buyers.
This could well be due to the fact that people are changing the reasons they use email. With increasing numbers of people using email as their preferred method of receiving information from businesses this means they are already in “business mode” ways of thinking when they are using their email system. That means you are more likely to get a sale, because the people receiving your email are already partially in a buying frame of mind.
But when they are on Twitter or Facebook, for instance, they are in a personal frame of mind – which means that if they see your Tweet or message and are interested they may well click through but are less likely to buy because they are not fully in “buying mode”.
Essentially, if you are not focusing your online marketing methods on email, you are missing out – big time.
- Email’s Demise Has Been Greatly Exaggerated … Again (blogs.constantcontact.com)
- Email Is Still the Best Way to Share Content Among Consumers and Businesses (contentmarketinginstitute.com)
- Email stops you sleeping (grahamjones.co.uk)
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+