The current state of email
It seems as though every time new technology is introduced, people begin to believe it will eliminate our reliance or preference for email. If you Google, “email is dead,” you will be met with one and a half million results. Leading one to believe that while there is speculation as to whether or not email is still the most effective means of communication, it is certainly not dead.
Companies have access to social media, direct mail, and in some cases television, but email still remains the quickest, most direct way to reach the customer. An astonishing 94% of American aged twelve and older, who are active online, say they use email regularly. And 58% of adult Americans check email first thing in the morning. 64% of companies indicate their organizations’ investments in email marketing are expected to increase in 2013, based on recent research.
Long live email
Email is still the preferred method of communication; 77% of consumers reported that they prefer to receive permission-based marketing communications through email. It is also the most preferred method for Millennials. Email also generates nearly two times the return in comparison with other channels; for every dollar spent on email marketing in 2011, there was a $40.56 return.
Email is not dead, it is evolving. It is becoming more engaging. Long gone are the days of sending batch emails to a list of consumers. Marketing emails of today should engage the consumer with these five most common, and most effective, attributes: be trustworthy, use a conversational tone (rather than campaign based), be sure it is relevant, ensure you have coordinated your message across all channels, and be strategic about when you send your messages.
The bottom-line: simply pushing generic, static information to buyers is no longer sufficient. You must shift the ways you engage with customers, consistently, across all your online channels; engaging each prospective customer individually and personally. So perhaps what they mean is: the old way of emailing by means of mass advertising is dead, but email is still very much alive and well, if you know how to use it effectively.