Of course, email has been around for a long time (since 1971 in fact) and has never really gone away. Today, email remains the primary reason that individuals go online at home, at the office, or with their mobile devices. Email is widely used by companies as well. Many organizations send out regular newsletters and promotional offers. Businesses use their mailing lists to do direct selling and marketing. In fact, online retailers and direct marketers have come to realize that email is the most effective channel there is for generating repeat sales from their customer lists.
In a sense, the wide spread use of email hides a paradox. While everybody seems to be already using it, email remains an under exploited channel, and not many businesses are using its full potential. In the coming month and years, we will learn to use email as far more than a cheap and effective way to do marketing and promotion. Forward-thinking companies will make email a linchpin of their marketing and community management strategies.
Since the required technology, knowledge and time-investment involved in setting up a strategic email marketing campaign is daunting to most marketing managers, it can be highly effective to use the services of professional email marketing companies. These companies have the knowledge and infrastructure to help business plan a tailor-made campaign to reach (niche) marketsas well as create a low-tech interface for employees at these businesses to use.
Inspiring examples of fast-growing companies are Blinker (www.blinker.nl), one of whose possible roles besides organising targeted email is to function as an extension of a business’ internal marketing knowledge and tools. Emailvision (www.emailvision.com) is a mature player in the field, who in 2009 delivered more than 24 billion messages on behalf of 2,000 clients and achieved a 96.5 per cent delivery rate. Both companies offer software thatenables integration of email marketing and social media, or ‘social sharing’.
A mid there cent buzz about social sites, Facebook and Twitter in particular, some seem to feel that email will diminish in importance in the coming years. Many people wonder whether the “pull” of social media would replace the “push” of email. Rather, the emergence of social marketing will make effective use of email more vital, as the best organizations find innovative ways to use the two channels in harmony.
Written by Esther with the material from the forthcoming book of John Sadowsky.