The Wedding of the Century: Email Marketing & Social Marketing

The Wedding of the Century: Email Marketing & Social MarketingEveryone is talking about this week’s big royal wedding, but the hottest romance for marketers is social and email marketing.

Well, to be honest, these are just two of the channels marketers should be romancing with a multi-channel approach.


According to eCricle’s European Social Media and Email Marketing Study:

  • 95% of the people with an email account check their emails at least once a day.
  • One quarter of email receivers check their emails via a mobile device every day.
  • Most of the social networkers still use their email account for ecommerce (85%).

The online survey was conducted late last year and had just over 1000 European respondents ranging in age from 14 to 69 years.

As you can see from the numbers above, email is still the one channel which seems to reach just about everyone practically every day. In fact, everyone taking part in the survey (and this will likely come as no surprise) uses email.

Older target groups lean towards email and newsletters as the preferred channel, while the 20-49 demographic are best reached via a combination of email and social media marketing.

The numbers keep supporting the conclusion that multi-channel marketing is a must if you want to reach the widest possible audience. Of course, it’s not just about reach! It’s also about choice. Putting the power of choice in the hands of the consumer and allowing them to decide when and where they want to interact with you is one powerfully positive message!

Email and social networks are actually closely linked. You can’t even register for a social network unless you have an email account. The notion that every new communication channel must kill the previous one is rather myopic. Historically, mass communication channels don’t die, they evolve. It’s certainly true that some traditional channels are in trouble, such as print, but it’s not likely they will simply cease to exist anytime soon. There will certainly be a shake out and those who can’t keep up will die, but a mass extinction any time soon is unlikely.

So email marketing has quite a few years of relevance left and in fact, smartphones are likely to invigorate email as people use email along with social and SMS to stay in touch and keep informed. One word of caution, as more and more people become smartphone users, I suspect they will become less and less tolerant of irrelevant information from marketers via this platform. The smartphone is a very personal device and we would all do well to respect the personal space it occupies.

When the survey asked what people use email for, the number one response was to communicate with family, friends and acquaintances. Online ordering and purchasing was second and coming in at number three was notifications from social networks. It appears email and social can live happily ever after or at least shack up and share the rent.

The same survey found that the reason most people are fans or followers of a brand is because they are looking for discounts and special offers. Right behind that was a desire to be informed about company and brand news.

Marketers just can’t rely on one channel anymore. A multi-channel approach where the choice is in the hands of the consumer and you are there when they want to interact is the key to a happy relationship.

Good Deal of Positive News for Daily Deal Email Programs

Groupon Daily deal websites and email campaigns have certainly gotten a lot of attention this past year. With Groupon leading the charge, now other big players such as Google and Facebook are drooling over getting a bite of the pie.

The real question is, have consumers eaten their fill and could more chefs in this soup cause a loss of appetite?

According to research from Yahoo! Mail and Ispos OTX MediaCT, deal overload doesn’t seem to be much of an issue yet. The survey from February 2011 found that at least in the US, adult internet users subscribe to an average of almost three daily or weekly shopping emails or newsletters. More importantly, respondents actually read them! 61% of those who subscribe to at least two of these emails indicated they read all of the messages. They also reported accessing those messages at least once a day.

Frequency with which US internet users access daily deal and shopping emails or e-newsletters

Another bit of good news is that most of those subscribed to daily deal emails pass them along to friends and family, albeit with less frequency. Only a quarter passed them on daily, but almost half (45%) forwarded them on at least once per week.

There seems to be a good deal (pun intended) of positive news for daily deal email programs. Even the enthusiasm doesn’t seem to wane too much among subscribers. Six out of ten said they are subscribed to more of these programs than last year and almost half were still excited enough to say they “can’t wait” for the latest and greatest offering message.

There also seems to be a certain level of trust here with only 27% of respondents admitting they use an email account (other than their main one) for these daily deals. In other words, the vast majority don’t mind getting these in their primary personal account inbox. That seems to suggest that subscribers view them as desirable and relevant.

Speculating on this, I think the perception of these emails for many is about the same as a wrapped present. Part of why we love these daily deal emails is because it promises the potential to reward ourselves. The ribbon on the box is that we can rationalize giving ourselves that treat because we are getting a deal on it.

Fear of Email Overload?

Of course relevancy is the key here for daily deals as it is with any email marketing campaign. If your messages are not relevant people will soon tune out and unsubscribe. I wonder why more brands don’t engage in their own daily or weekly deal emails. Is it because we have become so hung up on the frequency issue (the fear of overloading subscribers) that we just don’t even consider trying it? Or is it just a case of most brands not having the variety of products or services to offer consistent deals? Or is it because we just don’t have the imagination to try such things?

Which is it? Or is it something else or a combination of all of them? I don’t have pat answers for this – you tell me.