According to Mark Zuckerberg, ‘email is dead’ or so he said in 2010.
So, if email is on the way out, what’s coming to replace it?
To Zuckerberg, SMS is the way forward, young people “want something more immediate”. Others suggest that young, hip and cool social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter will replace our old reliable, 41 year old email. However, David Coplin, director of search at Microsoft UK, would agrue that the rise of the SMS and social media does not have to signal the nail in the coffin for email. He refers to it as being ‘the shiny penny syndrome’, when a new technology enters the market, there is the ideology that the old needs must be ushered off the stage to make room. In reality however, this tends not to be the case.
So, taking a look at the situation in Ireland…
In 2011 an online marketing survey carried out by Amas found that within the Irish industry, 67% preferred to use email marketing over other online formats. Evidence would suggest that the appeal of the email is that it is low in cost and high in conversions. In my own experience within the NGO sector, the appeal is obvious;
1. It’s a hell of a lot cheaper
Within the charity sector, it is often required that you work within a shoestring budget for any given campaign. So, to be able to use MailChimp (a free online email marketing solution to send emails and track results) versus the cost of paid advertising is an advantage. Once you have no more than 2,000 subscribers across all lists in your account at any one time, you can send up to 12,000 emails per month.
2. A/B testing is totally groovy
MailChimp offers ‘A/B testing’, allowing you to first test the success rate of you email campaign in relation to; what ‘from name’ you should use, what subject line works best, what day of the week gets you better open rates and what time of day generates the most clicks. This allows you to assess which option works best for optimal results before going ahead with your campaign. Compare this to traditional methods such as direct mailing or billboard advertising which, once out there, they are really out there…
3. It’s waaay easier to track results
MailChimp records opens and clicks and they have Google Analytics integration which gives detailed stats on how your campaign is influencing traffic to your website as well as the ability to analyse ROI, conversion rates and revenue created.
So there you have it, email is still alive and kicking, for now.