Is Email Marketing Dead?

E-mail marketing has been an important part of any internet marketing strategy for quite some time but this latest generation – call them Generation Y, the Millenniums whatever, say that e-mail marketing is dead. Over 40% of college students communicate on social networks, hardly ever using e-mail at all.

This certainly doesn’t mean that e-mail marketing is completely dead, it just means that you have to adapt to be able to communicate with the younger generation. The majority of college students when asked said that e-mail was for serious stuff and that social networks are far more flexible, fun and interesting.

Teenagers tend to check their e-mail accounts less frequently than the older generation does. An e-mail inbox to them is rapidly becoming like a physical mailbox – all they contain these days is junk mail and perhaps the occasional bill. So why do they check their e-mail on these infrequent occasions? If they’re at college they look for e-mails from teachers, if they’re working, they look for e-mails sent by their employers but they all said they look for coupons and special offers from their favorite stores!

This means they are open and interested in receiving promotions, so there’s hope.

Even older people understand that social networking is much more engaging than boring old e-mails. Whereas we might go to social networking site once a day or every couple of days, the younger generation are spending hours on social networking every day.

So what does this mean for your e-mail campaigns? The key here is to mix social networking and e-mail so you can get your brand seen often. If you’re too forceful with your approach on social networking sites you’re not going to impress them, they’re there to communicate with their friends. Only 2% say that they interact with brands on social network but the majority of younger people will “fan” companies they like on Facebook and they will subscribe to their e-mails especially if they can get money-saving coupons.

So this leaves a bit of a dilemma for anyone using email in an internet marketing campaign. It’s a question of how to divide content across social media platforms while still using e-mail effectively. This can be done by actively engaging younger people on social media which then draws them to your e-mail marketing campaign. That means supplementing your e-mail campaigns by adding video, articles, and perhaps contests to social media sites and to e-mail. They are much more likely to visit their e-mail inboxes if they know that your e-mails are also going to be engaging.

The trick is if you’re aiming at the younger generation they’re expecting to get “normal” salesy e-mails. If only one in five of your e-mails actually contain a promotion and you can include useful information and even video for them in the other four they’re more likely to keep coming back to their inboxes.

Younger people are always going to have to have e-mail accounts for all the important stuff so by building an effective e-mail marketing campaign targeted specifically at them you can pretty much guarantee they will open your e-mail before any of the other more businesslike e-mails.

Using a service like AWeber you can include a number of different things within e-mails to make them far more interesting. You can use one of their many snazzy templates to make your e-mails standout from the crowd and include videos and coupons to keep this new generation engaged. I think the older generation would welcome this as well!

Do you have a strategy set up like this, using both social media and e-mail campaigns? Do you have any additional help you can offer so other people can understand the best ways to get the best of both worlds?

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