Digital Marketing: Why Email Belongs in Your Starting Lineup

Brand marketers have tons to juggle these days. Social media, SEO, mobile, video, metrics, digital this and digital that … all this and more commands non-stop attention. But with so much hogging the limelight, is something important stranded on the sidelines? The reference here is to the fading status of email marketing.

Make no mistake about it. Brand marketers still connect with email. But this form of digital outreach is dwindling in importance. Cutting-edge methods are stealing the thunder, kicking email down the popularity charts. Understandable. Innovation is tempting … especially when it works. Nevertheless, email deserves a spot in the starting lineup … for the simple reason that it, too, works … when properly utilized.

Consider, for instance, the value of email as a customer-acquisition tool. Many a brand marketer expends considerable effort on the process of securing new business. And for this noble and necessary endeavor, email can be gratifyingly effective. Why? Because email automatically provides two-way information flow — forward and backward. This duality allows for very productive interactions between brand and customer.

On the forward channel, brands operate as a kind of delivery service. Possible deliverables include product information, links to high-value content, announcements about discounts and company events, happy birthday greetings, and many other customer touches. All such touches place your brand front and center, and if suitably interesting, keep you top of mind.

But email outreach also flows in the other direction – toward the brand itself. Various forms of incoming data provide a vivid picture of customer preferences and behaviors. Presumably, this info inflow will help shape and improve future marketing efforts.

New email subscribers are one example of information inflow. Their decision to opt-in says loud and clear – ‘you’ve tantalized and dazzled. We want to know more about you. Bring it on!” Savvy brands, of course, will be more than happy to accommodate their wishes.

Equally eloquent is the act of clicking an email link. When a prospect clicks, interest in a subject instantly is established. Brands need only satisfy that interest with follow-up outreach.

On the other side of the fence is the dreaded un-subscribe decision. Rather than fret, brands should cherish the disconnection. The breakaway is a gift … the gift of insight. In effect, the un-subscriber is proclaiming, “something’s wrong. And it’s not me, it’s you. Perhaps you better investigate potential weaknesses.” The sensible goal, thereafter, is brand repair – renovate, reconstruct, and improve where needed.

If you have questions or comments about email marketing, or about any other brand-related topic, feel free to send them our way.