Over the past couple of days we have looked at email marketing for business. In this post, the last in the series, we will look at what the future might hold for email marketing.
There is no denying that Social Networking has reduced the effectiveness of email marketing. Jupiter Research recently reported that 22 percent of email users say they now use social networking to communicate rather than email. Here in the UK, Hitwise estimates that social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and BeBo now receive more internet traffic than dedicated email sites such as Hotmail, Yahoo! and Googlemail (Gmail).
So will email marketing disappear altogether?
Whilst some further long-term decline is inevitable most online marketing experts agree that email marketing will not disappear anytime soon. Email Marketing is simply too valuable a marketing resource to disappear and respected industry analyst Forrester Research is predicting that email marketing will actually grow further up to 2012.
The new technologies currently being developed will combine all the advantages of email marketing in terms of being measurable, affordable and having good quality reporting with the benefits of having your message going ‘viral’ throughout the social networks.
A few companies are now making it easier for email recipients and visitors to their website or blog to post messages on their social media sites. This new technology will allow business to engage and communicate with customers, friend of customers and friends of friends of customers!
New Technology Implications
Recently, Silverpop developed new technology that will bridge any gap between email marketing and social media marketing; using links within emails recipients can quickly post messages to their profile pages on Facebook and other social networking sites. When these ‘social emails’ are posted, everyone connected with the original recipient is able to see the message, make a comment οr re-post the message to their own profile page.
So a practical example of this might be when the local Golf Pro sends an email to his list about a Pro Shop sale, friends of the recipients will also get to know about it. This Share-to-Social feature will give email marketing a hugely powerful viral effect whilst retaining the ability to track and measure email marketing campaign success.
Email marketing is still one of the most cost effective high conversion marketing tools available to business. By using the segmentation and personalisation strategies covered in our earlier posts you can improve the effectiveness of your email marketing significantly.
Social Media Marketing can and should be integrated with your email marketing efforts to create an effective ‘joined up’ online marketing strategy.