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BizReport : Email Marketing : August 06, 2008

Social media ousting email?

The growing popularity of social media is being seen as responsible for the falling use of email. Such are the findings of a recent JupiterResearch survey.

by Helen Leggatt

jup_logo.gifLast year, just over half of consumers surveyed by JupiterResearch said they had bought at least one item as a result of receiving an email marketing message. That figure dropped to 44% in JupiterResearch’s updated survey, ‘The Social and Portable Inbox: Optimizing E-mail Marketing in the New Era of Communication Tools’ completed in April this year.

High volumes of irrelevant email isn’t the only reason consumers are using alternative methods of communication. Instant messaging and social networks allow consumers to have a more direct, uninterrupted conversation, whereas email is punctuated with spam and untimely marketing messages.

The fall in the use of email may also be attributed to the younger generation’s preference for social media over email. Baby boomers and older generations, on the other hand, are still users of email and many shun social networks, found a recent study by ThirdAge and JWT Boom.

"Marketers need to be aware that consumers are using other forms of communication and must ensure their strategy adapts to consumers' changing behavior," said David Schatsky, President of JupiterResearch, in a recent announcement.

Tags: email marketing, instant messaging, social networks, spam

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  • Email is still a very valuable marketing tool, and continues to have the highest ROI of any direct channel. However, this study and others point out the fact that the bar is ever raising higher for email marketers to focus on the subscriber.

    If your email messages are irrelevant, boring or just come too frequently, then yes - lots of your subscribers will simply ignore you. They will turn to other channels to spend their online hours. I hope that this study will help more email marketers wake up to the fact that generic, "batch and blast" email marketing doesn't work hard enough any longer.

    Frankly, it takes just as much time and energy to send out relevant email that is welcome to subscribers as it does to send out "dumb" email that no one wants. If Linda's inbox was full of messages that spoke to her needs, responded to her behavior and provided meaningful content... then she'd spend more time there - and spend more dollars with those marketers.

    We did a study of email marketers earlier this year that shows just how far some marketers have to go to create relevant programs. No wonder subscribers ignore us. Link to survey:

  • John King

    Linda's right about choice. Social nets are moving up and across age brackets and for many are the preferred activity on line. Texting is real time and much more efficient making email unnecessary for a growing population. Email is so battered and abused. And for companies, they should be making sound decisions regarding lists, favoring quality over quantity, and very careful regarding frequency and value of any communications.



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