Email is not dead

For years, many have speculated about the demise of email communication, citing information overload and the rising popularity of more accessible technology like text messages, IMs, and social networking. They were right — sort of.

In a February 2011 report, comScore found that overall email usage declined by 8% in 2010 with the sharpest decline (-54%) occurring among 12-17 year olds. In contrast, email users over 55 showed a notable (+25%) rise in usage.

All this confirms that email is definitely not dead, but the rules of engagement have definitely evolved.

Rule #1: Integrate, don’t eliminate.

Smart professionals have a blog that showcases their thought leadership and builds a community around an area of expertise. Not-so-smart professionals nix their email marketing efforts when they start a blog.

Your blog marketing strategy does not replace your email marketing strategy. It complements and extends it. According to Fred Wilson, email is the secret weapon that supercharges your blogging and social media efforts. Done well, email helps you retain Web visitors who might normally read your latest blog post, and then leave. It actually helps you build engagement over time. How? Well, that’s…

Rule #2: Keep in touch (but don’t be annoying)

You know the adage, “Out of sight is out of mind,” right? Someone who stumbles upon your website or blog may find it interesting in the moment, but once they click off you’re officially in “out of mind” status. But, if they sign up for your email list before they go, you have an opportunity to be top of mind at some point in the future.

Of course, this isn’t an open invitation to overwhelm people with frequent reminders of your special offers, amazing services or other self-promoting muck. Getting someone’s email address is an honor (Truly!) and should be treated that way. Use it to add value, rather than disrupt. This can be done through a regular newsletter or auto-responder series that follows…

Rule #3: Deliver relevant, valuable content.

Every bit of information your produce, including your emails, is considered content. When you produce compelling content, you’re:

  • A trusted advisor people rely on;
  • A recognized expert with an opinion that matters; and
  • An educator with information people need and want.

Remember, when you give clients valuable content, they eventually respond by giving you their business and loyalty. Email is a perfect opportunity to communicate with clients without selling, but by providing useful information they can rely on you to deliver.

How are you using email marketing to attract, engage and convert new clients? Please share in the comments below.

image credit: cambodia4kidsorg

About Michele Richardson

Michele Richardson is a consultant, coach, and speaker who builds irresistible leaders and workplace cultures. She combines the art of communication and the science of organizational behavior to design people strategies that improve performance and achieve business results. Her clients include Boeing, Toyota, CareerBuilder, Sodexo, and KPMG. Catch up with her on LinkedIn, Google+ or Twitter.

Comments & Feedback:

  1. Email is definitely not dead and I couldn’t agree more about treating someone’s email address with respect. In addition to being the moral thing to do, your email campaigns are so much more effective when your contacts know you, know why they are receiving email from you and actually want to receive those emails. When people tell me that their email campaigns aren’t working I ask them how clean and targeted their list is. That is often the root of the problem.

    • I so appreciate your point, “actually want to receive those emails.” You’re so right! Permission-based opt-in helps create that clean, targeted list. Then, it’s about delivering the goods with great content.

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