By Jeff Kupietzky, CEO, Activepath, Inc., inventor of Activemail
Who can escape the constant chant about the power of social media? It’s as though more traditional marketing never really worked to engage customers’ purchase decisions. Nothing could be further from the truth, especially if you focus on one medium—email. While some marketers began to believe that consumers simply deleted any potential ads or labeled email ads as fodder for the Spam collector, don’t believe everything you hear. Recent articles and studies suggest that social media may not be quite the advertising oasis that so many companies had hoped for. Instead, the action is happening back in the email box.
In fact, email is undergoing a renaissance as technologists and marketers partner to bring new innovation to this proven channel. Perhaps, it was all social media propaganda. An Ipsos research study revealed that e-mail actually surpassed social media as the preferred channel for consumers around the world when it comes to receiving marketing and sales pitches. The study found that, of 19,216 from 24 countries, 85% used the Internet for email while 62% used it for social networking.
Even new businesses are turning to the concept of old-fashioned email as the new “killer app,” such as ActivePath’s ActiveMail, which recently received another round of funding to fuel its new email platform. According to a recent survey by Exact Target on 2012 Channel Preferences – the fact that email is both consumers’ top form of personal written communication and their preferred form of direct marketing puts to rest any proclamation that email is “dying” with consumers. “Evolving – yes. Dying, absolutely not, “according to the report.
In today’s world, audience segmentation, data-driven insights and personally relevant content are must-haves, not nice-to-haves. Other surveys have noted that there is good reason to focus on email for marketing as 75% of all online adults prefer to get marketing messages via email. Even when it comes to the mobile environment, the number one activity on mobile devices is to check email, according to a number of industry studies.
There has been a burst of new activity and innovation in the email sector – focusing on how to bring marketers more tools to engage customers. Email is said to be the uber-social network, connecting 2.8 billion people worldwide with over 4 million entities sending email each day. For more than 15 years, email has proven to be the most effective way to engage customers.
What’s Old is New Again
Besides the statistics about surveys, it’s important to think about why email became so essential to both consumers and marketers. And now, new technologies are engaging generations of email users through all channels. Emails have become an integral part of personal and professional life. Maybe that is why statistics show that nearly 300 billion e-mails are exchanged each day around the world. Email is alive and well. Reminds me a bit of that famous Mark Twain quote, “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”
Most marketers understand email’s power but it may be a missed opportunity for marketers that have jumped on the social media bandwagon without thoroughly analyzing the results. With new email technology that activates the inbox, marketers now have a chance to reconsider it benefits and the lift it gives to marketing efforts.
Technology Ups the Engagement Factor of E-mail
Traditional email has always been easy to measure and a very effective medium to push marketing messages in a tailored way. Additionally, the fact that an opt-in feature is available with e-mail allows consumer to maintain the power and communication. But it has always been thought to be a 1-way communication. Now, with new technology, email can be made into 2-way communication with users directly interacting with marketers. This will allow email marketing to catapult beyond social media by increasing the level of interaction within their email.
In the old paradigm e-mail marketing campaigns have asked consumers to click a link or open a new browser window only to be concerned about security. With new email technology, consumers can do almost anything within email, saving time and alleviating security concerns. Basically, anything you see on a web page can be displayed– flash animations, web games, live product catalogs, surveys, polls, registration forms, and social activity. And they can take theataction right within the inbox.
Welcome back, email!
Jeff Kupietzky is CEO of ActivePath, the inventor of ActiveMail, a revolutionary way for marketers to engage their customers using email. ActiveMail recently achieved a major milestone, celebrating half a million downloads of its email app.
Before ActivePath, Jeff ran Oversee.net, building the world’s largest portfolio of domain names and establishing the company as a leader in Internet real estate. Prior to that, he spent 10 years in executive leadership positions building ASP-businesses that leveraged the power of the Internet as a platform for growth and efficiency. Jeff is the proud father of five children and can often be found most weekends coaching and cheering on the baseball diamond.
Mashable. (2012). “Email More Popular than Social Media.” Retrieved from: http://mashable.com/2012/03/27/email-more-popular-social-media/.
Apogee Results. (2012). “White Paper: 2012 Online Marketing Trends.”
Freeman, Dan. (2011). “Email Marketing: AN Industry Overview.” Marketing Growth Strategies.
Wall Street Journal. (2011). “The Daily Start-up LiveIntent Says Email Still King.” Retrieved from: http://blogs.wsj.com/venturecapital/2011/09/16/the-daily-start-up-liveintent-says-email-still-king/
Exact Target. (2012). “2012 Channel Preference Survey.” Retrieved from: http://www.dmconfidential.com/blogs/column/Marketing.3538