Email is dead. That’s the claim from many of today’s digital marketers.
They argue that email’s predominance as a marketing tool is no more and that it has now been superseded by social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. But can this really be true? Has email marketing’s day been and gone?
Well, consider this fact before you come to any sort of conclusion.
In 2011 there were 3.2 billion active emails accounts globally, and research from the Radicati group, a Californian-based think tank, suggests that this figure will rise even further, peaking at 3.8 billion in 2014. Now even the most cynical would have to admit that those are pretty impressive numbers, particularly when you consider the fact that Facebook has only managed to attract I billion accounts so far. That hardly paints the picture of a marketing tool that’s dying on its feet, does it? What the figures do raise is an interesting question. If the social media is apparently the golden ticket to the future for business growth and success, then why are more and more people continuing to subscribe to email accounts?
Well, the answer is arguably that email is more than just a simple means of communication: emails let you send and receive communications, but they also allow you to track, manage and organise contacts for both professional and personal reasons. Email is effectively a complete and unified communications tool that is universally recognised and respected. If you want further proof then consider this fact. 99% of people who use the internet have an email account, regardless of whether or not they have a Facebook or Twitter account, but everyone who has a Facebook or Twitter account has an email account. What that tells you in the broadest sense is that email is the common denominator of the digital age.
Because more companies are investing in email, researchers and developers are now developing new and inventive ways to use the application and make it more effective and easier to manage. New tools have been developed like Xobni, Rapportive, Boomerang and Yesware that tap into this surge in interest and give users new and creative ways to use the medium and get the most out of it.
These companies obviously have seen the future and decided that, regardless of the rise of social networking platforms, email will always be the common digital currency.
Businesses too, recognise and accept the universality of the medium.
Most would claim that without email they would find running enterprises almost impossible. How else could they sort through their inboxes, deal with customer enquiries, correspondence, leads, newsletters, personal contacts and social media notifications? Email remains the ultimate and complete business tool. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media platforms are certainly important and have their place in the world of communications, but history tells us that it’s usually best to stick with what you know works best. After all, can 3.2 billion people really be wrong?