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Is Email marketing dead?

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I responded to a post on a forum today that suggested email marketing is old hat and possibly dead.

Let me start by saying that I am neither an advocate nor someone that feels it is a negative means of marketing.

I accept that it is primarily a volume exercise and you need to test what works in terms of creative execution and have a strong call to action. I also accept that the quality of the list is paramout. The more personalised the email addresses and the communication the better. And measurement is crucial.

However, there’s no right or wrong here. Email isn’t dead or old hat in the same way as direct mail isn’t dead. It is a case of considering the audience and what that audience responds to. Conventional marketing / advertising wisdom suggests that two things come into play when targeting i.e. coverage and frequency. Simply put, how many of your targets see your communication how many times.

The more of both the better. Therefore, if you can get a bona fide email list with consent (preferably one you’ve built from web or other sign ups) there is no reason why you shouldn’t use it to supplement other forms of marketing communication. Remember relevance. If the email doesn’t hit the spot, people will unsubscribe and you could damage your image.

Also, don’t forget personalised emails after a meeting or ad hoc. I just sent one of my clients an email with a link that I gleaned via twitter. The link relates 100% to what they offer and is pertinent to a current campaign. No-one could argue that my email is unwelcome, not timely and not relevant.


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