The Death of Your Inbox?

Since the rise of social media and online collaboration tools such as Yammer and Huddle, there have been cries that email will eventually become extinct! But there are several reasons why transactional emails and promotional newsletters will remain part of your marketing campaign and become key drivers of your inbound and outbound sales funnel.

Email is not dead!

Firstly, email isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, the number of email accounts created every year are continually rising. According to research conducted by Radicati in 2010, there were there were at least 2.9 billion email accounts. This figure is predicted to reach 3.8 billion by 2014.

Secondly, in a study ExactTarget, 77% of us want to get marketing messages via email instead of SMS texts, Facebook or Twitter messages. Consumers prefer to receive company promotions via direct mail and newsletters rather than social media channels and notifications.

Email communication can sometimes be consider as an archaic disruption to your workflow, but it’s also an effective way to speak directly to your customers and collect valuable feedback about your product or service. With email, it gets personal.

3 Reasons Why Email Won’t Die

1. Maintaining a direct relationship with your customer

This should be the number one reason you should be sending emails to your customers. Whether it’s a transactional email i.e. a Welcome Email, Survey, Password Request form or a company newsletter and community update, this direct communication with your customers can set the tone for the rest of your company. Using Twitter as a customer service tool is great! And an excellent way to respond quickly to incoming requests. However having their email address means you can move this conversation away your social media platform and speak to your customer direct.

2. Starting your business with just a mailing list

Building your mailing list is a great way to secure potential leads and customers. Before launch, many startups have a landing page, with a call to action for visitors to leave their email address. Not their social media profile account. There have been many successful startups who initially started as an email first up such as Timehop, iDoneThis, Thrillist, AngelList, Sunrise and The Fetch. Using email marketing is a simple yet effective way to spread your message and by signing up for your weekly newsletter, your customers essentially giving you permission to get in contact and hear news from you.

3. Write an email courses to share your expertise (and up-sell your product and services)

Another way to use engage your users is to write a short email course and share this content exclusively with your subscribers. By sharing your knowledge, you will be positioning yourself as an expert in your field and building an audience of potential customers. You could post your course to your blog and share this content via your social media channels, however using a mailing list is great way to distribute your course and earn your customer’s trust.

The future of email?

Although social media is also a great way to engage with your fans and source potential sales leads, transactional emails and newsletters can often seal the deal. Therefore it’s worth spending time developing your email marketing strategy and how this fits in with the overall tone of your company and how your staff deals with customer service inquires.

In the next few years, we’ll see a continued trend of email integrating with social media channels, such as Rapportive. For example innovative startups such as Paperfold are changing the way we use our inbox. Paperfold is an email client for iPad that brings your inbox to life and allows advertisers to play videos within the app. Secondly, the co-founder of Product Hunt, Ryan Hoover, has used Twitter Cards to directly engage with his readers via social media and invite them to sign up to his newsletter via the platform. These are just a couple of examples of how social media and email marketing can work together and ultimately build your audience and drive sales.

To recap:

  • Signups for email accounts are continually rising and most consumers prefer to hear about promotions via email newsletters rather than social media notifications

  • Using email is a great way to build a direct relationship with your customer

  • When starting your business, creating a mailing list is the quickest and simplest way to capture potential leads

  • Newsletters are an effective tactic to exclusively share your knowledge i.e. distributing a short email course to engage and educate your readers

  • In the future, we’ll see a continued trend of email marketing integrating with social media channels to consolidate marketing messages and increase sales and drive growth