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Some experts say email marketing is dead: true or false?

With the rise of social media and shortened attention spans, some experts claim email marketing is finished, but is that really true?

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email marketing

email marketing

Is email marketing dead?

Some have claimed that email marketing is “dead”; that it’s no longer an effective marketing tool. In reality, email marketing is anything but dead. It’s alive and well and produces great results if planned and executed properly.

Key benefits of email marketing

Email marketing has several benefits over other marketing channels such as direct mail. One big one is cost.

An email campaign may cost anywhere from $20 to $50 per month if sent to up to 1,000 contacts using a CRM or dedicated email marketing system. Direct mail on the other hand costs anywhere from fifty cents to five dollars or more per piece/ contact. Using the most conservative estimate, direct mail at fifty cents sent to 1,000 contacts once a month would cost $500, significantly more than the $20 to $50 for email.

Another key benefit is speed and efficiency. While an email campaign can be planned, written, and sent out right away, direct mail takes a whole lot longer – often weeks or months from planning to final delivery. Because email is fast, you’re able to reach out to people with messages that are timely and relevant.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of email marketing is that it makes it easy to track and measure the success of your campaign and to identify your hot leads. You can view graphs and charts and see hard numbers on open rate, click-through rate, and forward rate. You’ll also know who opened your emails, clicked on the links, etc.

If certain messages are not working, you’ll know and can improve your email communications moving forward. If you find that a small group of people just read an email you sent out multiple times and forwarded it, those people are perhaps hot leads that you could call up or further engage with in some way.

Where does direct mail fit in?

Direct mail still has an important place in the marketing mix because it can be very effective in resonating with people. When your clients receive a beautiful newsletter or flyer from you, for instance, it shows them that you care enough about them to invest significant time and money in keeping in touch with them.

It’s much rarer to receive something in the mail these days than to receive an email which is why a good direct mail piece can really make you stand out and get noticed. I recommend that you send direct mail to your very best clients and use email marketing for your prospects and the rest of your clientele.

The bottom line

The bottom line is that email marketing is fast, inexpensive, and highly effective. It also provides people with instant gratification (“Click on this link now to contact me!”).

When it comes to keeping in touch with past clients over time, this is easy with email marketing. You can assign your clients to drip email campaigns where personalized, targeted, and useful emails automatically get delivered to your clients’ inbox at various time intervals.

It’s important that you use a good, industry-specific CRM system, which will make drip marketing campaigns, personalized and targeted mass emails, and email campaign reporting possible. Look for a system that’s easy to learn and use and has robust contact management and email marketing aspects to it.
It’s essential that you find your balance when it comes to keeping in touch with your clients and prospects and the channels you use to do so. But remember, email marketing is definitely not dead!

Matthew Collis is part of the Sales and Marketing Team at IXACT Contact Solutions Inc., a leading North American real estate CRM firm. In addition to overseeing many of IXACT Contact’s key sales and marketing programs, Matthew works with REALTORS® to help them achieve their real estate goals through effective contact management and relationship marketing. IXACT Contact is a web-based real estate contact management and marketing system that helps REALTORS® better manage and grow their business. The system includes powerful email marketing capabilities and a professionally designed and written monthly e-Newsletter.

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Cheryljns

    July 19, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    All I can say is, I sure hope it is dead!  I’d love to have a little less stuff overflowing out of my email inbox!

  2. richfournier

    July 24, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    @Market_Leader Email Marketing is not dead. Use it wisely and it is a cost effective way to stay in touch with everyone.

    • Market_Leader

      July 24, 2012 at 6:40 pm

      @richfournier definitely agree with that. I thought most #realtors would disagree with it being ineffective!

      • richfournier

        July 24, 2012 at 6:52 pm

        @Market_Leader #realtors most realtors are lazy, have no faith and no vision. We must act boldly knowing that our outcome is assured.

        • Market_Leader

          July 24, 2012 at 6:55 pm

          @richfournier definitely. A little extra effort goes a long way.

        • richfournier

          July 24, 2012 at 6:59 pm

          @Market_Leader I know I sound harsh but being authentic is the best way to be. I know my coaching clients would agree.

        • Market_Leader

          July 24, 2012 at 7:02 pm

          @richfournier not harsh, just honest. I think people know when there’s a lack of authenticity and it’s a turn off from a deal.

  3. Market_Leader

    July 25, 2012 at 11:22 am

    @bostonhomeloans thanks for all the retweets :]

  4. mailermailer

    August 3, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    @IXACTContact False! Email is alive and well https://t.co/WoL4Kv4m

    • IXACTContact

      August 3, 2012 at 4:41 pm

      @mailermailer We agree! 🙂

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Business Marketing

Influencer marketing isn’t new, it’s actually centuries old

(MARKETING) You may roll your eyes at sexy strangers hawking snake oil on social media, but influencer marketing is nothing new…

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Influencer marketing people taking video on a smart phone to record dances.

Influencer marketing is now one of those buzzword phrases that you can’t go a few days without hearing. In fact, it’s become such a popular term that it was officially added to the English Dictionary in 2019.

While this is a recent change, the concept of an influencer is nothing new. For years, people have looked to friends and family (as well as high-profile people like celebrities) to be influenced (intentionally or unintentionally) about what to buy, what to do, and where to go.

Social Media Today notes that influencers date back centuries.

One of the first “influencer” collaborations dates back to 1760, when a potter by the name Wedgwood made a tea set for the Queen of England,” writes Brooks. “Since the monarchy were the influencers of their time, his forward-thinking decision to market his brand as Royal-approved afforded it the luxury status the brand still enjoys today”

Now, influencers are known as people blowing up your Instagram feed with recommendations of what to wear and stomach flattening teas to buy. Influencers are basically anyone who has the ability to cultivate a following and, from there, give advice on how followers should spend their money.

After the 1760 tea set influencer, influencers were found in the forms of fashion icons (like Coco Chanel in the 1920s, and Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s), celebrity endorsements (for example, all of the money Nike made in the ‘80s after signing Michael Jordan to be their spokesperson – I wonder if Hanes is raking in the same bucks as Nike…), TV stars endorsing products (like Jennifer Aniston when she was at the height of “The Rachel” cut and became the face of L’Oreal Elvive; now she’s the face of Aveeno).

Then in the mid-2000s, blogs became a space where “everyday” people could use their voice with influence. This trend has continued and has shifted into social media, usually with a blog counterpart.

Now, blogging and influencing is an industry in and of itself with influencer marketing being a key form of comms. According to the HypeAuditor report, the influencer industry will be worth $22 billion by 2025. Where can I sign up?

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Business Marketing

The use of offline marketing can still be advantageous in a digital world

(BUSINESS) Offline marketing is usually skipped over nowadays for the sparkly, shining ‘digital’ marketing strategies, but don’t forget the roots.

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offline marketing billboard

Everywhere you look, people want to talk about digital marketing. In fact, if you don’t have a digital marketing strategy in today’s business world, you’re not going to last long. But just because digital marketing is popular, don’t assume that offline marketing no longer yields value.

When used together, these strategies can produce significant returns.

“Some people will argue that traditional marketing is dead, but there are several benefits to including offline advertising in your overall marketing campaign,” sales expert Larry Myler admits. “Combining both offline and online campaigns can help boost your brand’s visibility, and help it stand out amongst competitors who may be busy flooding the digital space.”

How do you use offline marketing in a manner that’s both cost-effective and high in exposure? While your business will dictate how you should proceed, here are a few offline marketing methods that still return considerable value in today’s marketplace.

1. Yard signs

When most people think about yard signs, their minds immediately go to political signs that you see posted everywhere during campaign season. However, yard signs have a lot more utility and value beyond campaigning. They’re actually an extremely cost-effective form of offline advertising.

The great thing about yard signs is that you can print your own custom designs for just dollars and, when properly stored, they last for years. They’re also free to place, assuming you have access to property where it’s legal to advertise. This makes them a practical addition to a low-budget marketing campaign.

2. Billboards

The fact that you notice billboards when driving down an interstate or highway is a testament to the reality that other people are also being exposed to these valuable advertisements. If you’ve never considered implementing billboards into your marketing strategy, now’s a good time to think about it.

With billboard advertising, you have to be really careful with design, structure, and execution. “Considering we’re on the move when we read billboards, we don’t have a lot of time to take them in. Six seconds has been touted as the industry average for reading a billboard,” copywriter Paul Suggett explains. “So, around six words is all you should use to get the message across.”

3. Promotional giveaways

It’s the tangible nature of physical marketing that makes it so valuable. Yard signs and billboards are great, but make sure you’re also taking advantage of promotional giveaways as a way of getting something into the hands of your customers.

Promotional giveaways, no matter how simple, generally produce a healthy return on investment. They increase brand awareness and recall, while giving customers positive associations with your brand. (Who doesn’t love getting something for free?)

4. Local event sponsorships

One aspect of offline marketing businesses frequently forget about is local event sponsorships. These sponsorships are usually cost-effective and tend to offer great returns in terms of audience engagement.

Local event sponsorships can usually be found simply by checking the calendar of events in your city. Any time there’s a public event, farmer’s market, parade, sporting event, concert, or fundraiser, there’s an opportunity for you to get your name out there. Look for events where you feel like your target audience is most likely to attend.

Offline marketing is anything but dead.

If your goal is to stand out in a crowded marketplace where all your competitors are investing heavily in social media, SEO, PPC advertising, and blogging, then it’s certainly worth supplementing your existing digital strategy with traditional offline marketing methods that reach your audience at multiple touchpoints.

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Business Marketing

What you can learn from Ulta Beauty’s marketing mix up with Kate Spade

(MARKETING) Ulta Beauty’s insensitive marketing email surrounding the Kate Spade brand can be a lesson: Be cautious and respond to crisis appropriately.

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Woman typing on computer representing the Ulta Beauty and Kate Spade email scandal

Last week in an email sent to subscribers, Ulta Beauty made light of designer Kate Spade’s suicide. Ulta said the lighthearted connection to Spade’s death was unintentional. The email sparked anger across social media and some national news outlets picked up the story. In an emailed response to the New York Post, Ulta apologized to their customers, their Kate Spade corporate partners, and Kate Spade’s family. They ended by saying they will strive to do better.

Words matter. Messaging matters. Hopefully, we can all learn a lesson from this painful mistake.

Check your tone. It’s one of the early things we teach writing students. The tone should match the content. If the icon you’re using to sell a product ended their own life, perhaps light and fun isn’t the tone you should embrace. Ever. But most businesses won’t be dealing with well-known people whose stories have been shared with millions. It’s up to business owners and those who write their copy to ensure the tone matches the message.

Always have a second pair of eyes look over words going out to the public. Or even a third and fourth. Often those in the creative room are brainstorming messages, reworking copy, and looking for the perfect pitch. And they get it. It sounds good, looks good, is easy to say and share, and, best of all, it will lead to sales. Having a multi-person system in place to check the copy and someone separate to give final approval can help catch the oh-my-God-no great words, but absolutely not pieces of sales copy.

Listen to your customer base and have a system in place to listen quickly. All businesses need systems for immediate customer response in play. Ulta caught their so-called oversight quickly.  But they’re a huge brand and Kate Spade was a beloved fashion icon. The negative response went viral and they had a giant mess to clean up. Companies make messes with their words often, messes that don’t immediately go viral but lead to real pain for consumers. When customers ask you to stop a message, listen to them and act.

Apologies don’t make excuses. If you’re caught in a messaging mess of your own making, I’m sorry goes a long way. If needed, follow that apology up with a plan to show you’re serious about “doing better” and making sure this never happens again.

If you find yourself in a place where a public apology is necessary, consider hiring a crisis manager to help with that plan as well.

Part of business today is constant communication with consumers. Try to have systems in place so you don’t find yourself in a “learning to do better” moment like Ulta. Words aren’t just about sales. They have power. Remember that.

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