Is email dead?

September 16, 2013 by

  With all the different Social Media sites out there, (Facebook®, Twitter®, Pinterest®, Linkedin®, and others), a big question to ask is:

  Does it still make sense to do email marketing?

  One of the big factors generating this question is email overload. With more and more spam, scams, chain letters, and newsletters filling up our email boxes to overflowing, It’s hard to see how your marketing message can be noticed in the flood. It’s a very valid point, but as we’ll see, the alternative can be significantly worse.

  What most companies don’t really realize is that they don’t really ‘own’ their ‘friends list’ on their respective Social Media site. While it’s a great feeling to have the likes, shares, follows, and friending happening on your page, the big problem is that you don’t actually have complete control over those interactions, which one business found out recently.

    Matt Kruse, the developer behind a browser extension called Social fixer, found out the hard way what this really means. (LINK TO FULL STORY HERE).  On September 1, 2013, he had on his Facebook® page:

·         A support group that had approximately 13,360 members

·         Approximately 338,050 Likes for their main page

·         Approximately 1.47 MILLION followers on their interest list

  I say approximately for all those numbers, because there’s no way to know for sure what the actual final numbers were. On September 2, 2013, when he logged into his administrator page, he found out that his page was unpublished by Facebook® themselves, indicating he had broken some rule. The only recourse he had at that point was to click on the appeal button.

  Fast forward less than 2 week later, on September 11, he was notified that his page was completely removed, his admin and personal accounts were blocked from posting, or even liking, anything on Facebook®. The same was true for all the admins and moderators associated with the page as well. They even went so far as to block his wife’s account.

  In the space of less than 2 weeks, for unknown reasons, 4 plus years of hard work growing a thriving community was destroyed. What’s worse, I’m willing to bet that Mike has no way to contact a good percentage of those followers to tell them what’s going on. As far as those followers are concerned, his business disappeared overnight.

  One has to wonder how many of those followers are going to go through the effort to track down what happened to this developer. Will they take the time to try to find his website, or did he lose them for good because of apathy or another developer that’s still accessible?

  This is why, with all it’s faults, email marketing will never go away. With email marketing, you have a means to collect your prospects and clients contact information easily, and the list you create from this marketing effort is yours to control. Nobody can take it away from you. In addition, if you provide email content like newsletters with material that’s actually helpful to your customers, they’ll get used to receiving and opening it. If you’ve done your job right, they’ll actually be looking forward to it’s arrival.

  If your customers are used to getting email from you that’s truly beneficial to them, when something dire happens, you have a ready means to get the word out as to what happened and to let them know you’re still around.

  Now I’m not saying that you should stop any effort at using Social Media to build your business. What I am saying is, develop a way to capture your visitors contact information, even if it’s just a name and email address. Then provide a regular, consistent form of contact with your customers through email, whether it’s a full blown newsletter, a quick tip, or if you’ve gathered enough information through other avenues, maybe holiday and birthday greetings.

  At the end of the day, your business lives or dies by your ability to communicate with your prospects and customers. If you don’t take advantage of all the different tools available to you that fit your business, you’re only going to hold yourself back. Making email the backbone of that communication system means that you’ll always have a way to talk to them, even if you lose a communication limb or two.

  Do you agree or disagree? Let me what you think in the comments section.

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