If you’ve bought into internet marketing in a big way, then you probably think that email marketing is past its sell-by-date. That’s what most of the ‘experts’ will tell you, and given the rise to prominence of social media and the wall to wall coverage of Facebook and Twitter, you’d be forgiven for agreeing with their stance. Yes, social media is undoubtedly all the rage – that’s a fact even the most curmudgeonly amongst us couldn’t argue with. But has email really had its day? Is it, as claimed, a dinosaur in this digital age?
Well, here’s a fact that may just make you think. In 2010 there were 2.9 billion email accounts worldwide. Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? Well, according to the Californian-based think tank, The Radicati Group, this number will rise in the next 3 years and stand at 3.8 billion by 2014. That rate of increase is every bit as dramatic as that of social media uptake. Maybe the debate isn’t quite as clear cut as we’ve been led to believe. The question is though, if social media is the future and the key to business success and growth, then why are increasing numbers subscribing to email accounts?
Some people might just view email as simply a way to send and receive communications, but it’s actually so much more than that. Email allows you to track, manage and organise contacts for both professional and personal reasons. It’s a complete and unified communications tool that is universally recognised and respected. 99 percent of people who use the internet have an email account, regardless of whether or not they have a Facebook or Twitter account. In a very broad sense, email is the common denominator of the digital age.
More and more companies are investing in email and coming up with new and inventive ways to use the application and make it more effective and easier to manage. These companies have seen the writing on the wall and have accepted that email will always be the common digital currency. 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.
Businesses too, recognise the universality of the medium, and would probably accept that without email they would find running their business difficult. How much time do you spend sorting through your inbox, dealing with customer enquiries, correspondence, leads, newsletters, personal contacts and social media notifications? Many of these businesses would probably tell you they’d find it almost impossible to run their companies without the benefit of email. It’s without a doubt 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 sometimes it’s best to stick to what you know works best. After all, 3.8 billion people can’t be wrong, can they?