Email marketing wins again. In fact, it’s been winning for a long time and it doesn’t look as though this will change any time soon.
Exact Target put out the 14th edition of their annual “Subscribers, Fans and Followers” survey series and the data in favor of email marketing is pretty overwhelming. After asking 1500 online consumers (ages 15 and up) their preferred mode of marketing messages, 77% chose email for their top spot. Direct mail (9%) and text messaging (5%) got the next spots, with social media way down on the list.
It’s amazing to see how the scorching hot social media sector continues to be an elusive “advertiser’s paradise.” While consumers seem to have no trouble following or interacting with brands on Facebook or Twitter, and handing over huge amount of personal data to these social sites, they don’t seem to respond to marketing messages in the same way.
Some of our clients have tried very hard to get results advertising through social media. We always get excited by the possibilities and then are routinely disappointed with the results. “It seemed like such a perfect fit…too bad it converted so little” is a pretty common outcome.
Are consumers simply too good at adapting their behavior to the medium? In some ways, I feel like search and email can be equated to television and radio. They’ve always been filled with marketing messages and we expect it. A good commercial “break” is part of the rhythm, and when we “tune in” we are tuning in to NBC’s content or NPR’s broadcast.
However, social media seems different. It’s the users that create the content. It’s like advertising on the refrigerator door where everyone in the family leaves notes to each other about soccer practice, weddings, and dinner plans. It just feels a bit off.
Email, on the other hand, continues to be the stable, middle-of-the-road solution. It’s controllable for the user (you can delete it quickly), and yet powerful for the advertiser (they can insert themselves into your highly valued attention spam when they want to do so).
What are your thoughts? What is the “next” email marketing?
Photo Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1369148