Think Email is Boring? Our New Research Might Make You Think Again!

You May Think Emails are Boring – But Here’s Why They Could Make You a Lot of Money…

By Haydn Rowe

The exciting things to be running with today are usually social – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and so on.

But our new research is sobering.

And a timely reality check.

Yes social media is exciting, and for some niche markets IT IS lucrative, and it will become increasingly important in the future (especially Google+).

However, the number one rule of great marketing is to TARGET your customers.

That is, to aim your messages at people who find them relevant, helpful and compelling. And who engage and respond!

Changing your targeting DRAMATICALLY changes your results – even online!

A big part of this is your choice of marketing medium. Are the people who buy from you engaged with the medium or mediums you choose?

We have just completed an up to date survey of global engagement with online marketing.

The results are shocking.

Our first graph shows the number of accounts and sites by medium.

NumberOfAccounts

From this you can see that despite the overwhelming attention paid by marketers to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, Email is still by far and away the most popular way of communicating online when measured by number of accounts.

Our second graph is even more shocking as it shows actual USE of the accounts as expressed by daily activity…

DailyActvity
View Data Source

This shows that email is still the most actively used and engaged with online medium BY FAR!

And actual use is far more important to us as marketers than number of accounts as it shows where people are paying attention.

To illustrate this, in the CEO workshops that I conduct I ask participants a couple of questions after the mid-workshop break (during which almost everyone has fired up their iPad or Smart Phone).

I ask – who posted to or checked their Facebook or LinkedIn account during the break? Who just tweeted or checked their Twitter feed? And I occasionally get a few hands going up.

Often there are none.

I then ask, who checked and read their emails during the break? Almost all the hands go up!

The reality is, that if this demographic (CEO’s) is your target market then the best way to reach them online is still by far and away the humble (boring) old email.

Email is how they stay in touch, it’s what gets their attention and it is where they spend most of their time online.

The lesson is that you ignore Email Marketing at your peril.

There are some other realities that I freely acknowledge.

One is, if the room was full of 18 to 24 year olds – the balance of responses in all likelihood would have been completely different. This target market is more highly represented in the social media mediums.

Also, if the product or service that I am selling is more consumer targeted the chances are that social media may also be productive, although plenty of highly successful B2C businesses are prolific email marketers (sign up to www.Made.com, www.HotelChocolat.co.uk and www.JohnLewis.com to see what I mean).

And, there is growing evidence that social media is moving from a nice to have to a must have in a couple of key areas – Facebook pay-per-click advertising is becoming a serious and very lucrative medium for some businesses and Google+ is going to become essential to future SEO results.

A clear Email Marketing Plan is a MUST!

However, for today, having a clear plan for how your business builds an opt in email list, communicates with prospects (and clients) and exploits the massive revenues available from this incredibly cheap, fast, measurable, responsive and profitable form of marketing is ESSENTIAL.

You need a clear plan and strategy for email marketing.

Email marketing and broadcasting may be boring, it may be “old school”, it may be way down the “excitement” index when compared with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the like – but it has massive engagement with the largest online audience on the planet.

The message – ignore Email Marketing at your peril!

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