In a world of social media, email marketing still reigns supreme

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In a world of social media, email marketing still reigns supreme

  • Alex Jones-Casey
  • Monday 30 October 2017

It’s been 39 years since Gary Thurek sent the world’s first email marketing campaign to 400 recipients. Dubbed the ‘Father of Spam’, Thurek netted around $13 million for Digital Equipment Corporation as a result of the mass marketing email, establishing from the offset the viability of what would soon become the most effective method of mass marketing the internet has ever known.

With the emergence of contemporary techniques such as social media, search engine optimisation and video advertising, the online marketplace has become crowded; but despite the saturation, email marketing still reigns supreme.

Social media in particular has taken the world by storm. An estimated 2.95 billion people will be using platforms like Facebook and Twitter by 2020; around a third of the world’s population! Hell, the President of the United States has all but declared nuclear war using his Twitter account. One can be forgiven for assuming the unmitigated rise of social media has eclipsed email as the most effective mass marketing technique available to businesses in 2017; but that’s not the case.

Facebook boasts over one billion users and Twitter over 250 million. What do every one of these accounts have in common? They all required an email address to sign up with. Projections indicate that around five billion people across the globe use email, that’s the equivalent of every Facebook and Twitter profile combined; multiplied by three!

The figures tell just one side of the story, with the limitations imposed by social media companies on their own sites, driving brands towards their paid services also attributing to the narrative.

In recent years Facebook has adjusted its algorithm to limit the number of times posts appear in newsfeeds, deliberately directing businesses towards the embedded paid advertising service. If you’re looking to promote a product, place or event to your 10,000 Facebook followers through posting a free Facebook update, you can expect around 200 of those 10,000 to see it. However, should you prefer to send out an email campaign to 10,000 subscribers, you can bank on close to 9,000 of your targets seeing your mailshot; making it almost 50x more effective! This is a result of email being an open communication platform exempt from the jurisdiction of one company wielding the power to make sweeping changes to its format. As such, investing time and money into building a strong email list is an asset you own and are capable of leveraging without the threat of someone limiting its effectiveness.

If you aren’t convinced yet, email marketing provides the means of monitoring metrics such as how many people open your message, the number of recipients clicking on its content, whether targets share the email with colleagues or friends and a plethora of other valuable information to a would-be marketer.

We hope you feel suitably equipped to dive into the world of mass email marketing; if you found this article helpful, we’ll be uploading another blog post later in the week that will detail what makes a successful mass marketing campaign.

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