The role of email marketing in the social media day and age (part 1 of 2)

Email marketing is a form of marketing. Marketing is a global and holistic strategy with one final goal: generate revenues. There are many ways of achieving this goal, from direct marketing to branding.

Email marketing is a part of a global marketing strategy. Social media marketing too. Customers are increasingly online. They decide when, where and how they want to connect. And why: to gain information, buy, complain, talk, comment, interact, etc.

Marketing should strive to get a global view on the customer by tracking all online and offline interactions. The goal is to create customer satisfaction.

Satisfied customers are your key to new customers. It has always been like that. It’s called word of mouth. However, with the arrival of Internet and social networking, companies can’t ignore it anymore. Just as they can’t ignore that it’s about conversations and community now. What does this mean for email marketing?

Email marketing has always been seen as the online equivalent of traditional direct marketing with a ‘push’ approach. That has changed. Customers ‘pull’ and choose if they want email or another channel. Furthermore, email marketing has to be, more than ever, a part of a global and integrated marketing approach. Just like social media marketing will, once the hype is over.

What can email marketing do for a business? The same things it used to. But different.
The marketing purposes for which email marketing is used vary from down-to-earth sales purposes over branding to long term customer retention purposes. Customer retention and loyalty are key. They lead to customer satisfaction and word of mouth. No wonder that, today, most email marketers put customer retention and loyalty purposes on top of their priority lists.

The integration of email marketing, social media marketing, etc. enables them to take this a step further. It’s all about word of mouth, community and sharing relevant content.

Does this mean in the future email marketing will only be about customer satisfaction? Forget it. Let’s get real. Email marketing will be used for other purposes too. Conversations, community and word of mouth are extremely important as is the willingness of companies to engage in conversations with people.

However, the reality is that there still are much more people that don’t want to interact and simply ‘consume’ some content without feeling the urge to respond, comment or share it with the rest of the world. Want proof ? Visit the average blog that displays the number of reads, number of comments and number of forwards or retweets…

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