Heart surgeon and social entrepreneur
I joined the discussion on Dr. Mani Sivasubramanian’s blog quite late, but since I gave it some thought, I decided to share my response with you.
In mid November last year Dr. Mani published a list with his predictions about what will be IN and what will be OUT in 2010 (↑).
The first item on his list
1.) Email Is OUT, Social Media Is IN
I am buying the second part of his statement immediately, but “Email OUT”?
I had to think about it a couple of seconds longer than usual, ’cause a couple of respectable experts like Chris Brogan (↑), Warren Whitlock (↑), and Willie Crawford (↑) already had left comments on Dr. Mani’s blog post.
Here is the re-print of my reply:
I don’t think email is OUT in 2010.
I rather would say, we have to use and nurture email marketing differently than in the past.
A strong email list is still an asset, like your website. I hope you have purchased your own domain.
Who owns—and most importantly who has jurisdiction so to speak over—your social media profile?
The inherent benefit of email is it’s independence from any given email marketing service provider on the sender side. Maybe the Google Wave protocol will push email type communication into this century and at a same time allow a merger with social media. I am looking forward to it. Maybe in 2011, 2012.
What’s the deal with email marketing in 2010?
You would be crazy to stop building an email list. But on the same token you would be insane not building your social media presence.
In case you are sitting on the fence and don’t know whether you should put the subject email marketing into the IN or the OUT bucket. Think about why businesses are complaining. You hear two main reasons:
- Low open and response rates resulting in less sales.
- Deliverability problems.
Now ask yourself or your team a couple of questions and revisit the response rate issue. For sure you will find a couple of areas where you can improve.
- Is my aging email list outgrowing my content, my offers?
- Do my offers mature in-sync with my subscribers?
- Am I (trying to) milk my members or am I graduating them?
- Does my offer evolve over time and stay fresh and state-of-the-art that it appeals to new subscribers as well.
- And now probably the most important question: Am I sending brochures, pitches, or am I building a relationship with that person who reads my email message. (Hint: Even outside of internet marketing consumers already can smell automated follow-up messages.)
One kind of email marketing campaigns did especially well in 2009. It’s called customer reactivation. But that is just one tactic that worked.
Maybe your email marketing activities need that sort of a botox treatment. (LoL)
Lots to think about.
Don’t dump your e-mail opt-in box, yet.
John W. Furst
P.S.: [Admittedly I have procrastinated (check out the edutaining video) with this blog post for some time.]
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