Tag Archives: email

5 reasons why email is still a great B2B marketing tool

I want your email The glory days of outbound marketing are slowly drawing to a close, and are being replaced with a new form of marketing called inbound marketing. Instead of pushing sales pitches at the customer, savvy marketers are now using compelling content to draw customers toward them. Experts argue the latter is more effective and less intrusive.

Caught up in the middle is the fate of email as a marketing tool. When drawing up a comparison between outbound and inbound marketing, email is often lumped into the mass communication, spam category of outbound marketing. For the following reasons, this is a flawed conclusion I would urge CMOs to reconsider:

1. Just like social media, email is an “opt-in” channel

If a person wants to access your tweets on Twitter, they follow you. If a person would like to read your LinkedIn updates, they connect with you. If a person would like to view your Facebook posts, they Friend you. Similarly, if a person wants to receive email newsletters or updates, they subscribe to your channel.

The difference between social platforms and email is that you can send an email without receiving prior permission, and this is why email communication has been tainted. The solution, however, is not to kill email; it is to apply an opt-in strategy to your email marketing program.

2. Every channel is a mass communication channel

Each one of the channels mentioned above is a one-to-many communication platform. You can argue that Twitter enables mass messaging, and the same goes with Facebook and LinkedIn. All have content streams that have to be monitored and checked for information, just like you have to check your email inbox.

In this regard, email is no different than the channels that support inbound marketing.

3. Spam isn’t where you think it is

Here’s the Wikipedia definition of spamming:

Electronic spamming is the use of electronic messaging systems to send unsolicited bulk messages (spam), especially advertising, indiscriminately.

With promoted updates now being introduced across all social platforms, you are going to receive unsolicited messages – spam, some might call it – amidst new inbound marketing content.

But here’s the rub: people with well-managed inboxes will receive less spam, because they have a number of services preventing spam from entering their inbox. For them, spam is blocked at the Internet Service Provider, blocked by their company firewall, or sent directly to the junk mail folder on their computer.

4. If you ask permission, you will enjoy more success

If you provide an email subscription service that enables prospects and clients to provide optional information – such as their company, job title, seniority level, country, desired communication frequency and other interests – you will be able to give customers what they want and when they want.

People crave information, if it is relevant, useful and well-timed. By collecting and respecting personal preferences, your organisation builds credibility, trust and confidence.

The important thing is not to abuse this channel.

5. Email is still the preferred channel

Progressive marketers are moving to inbound marketing models because they work well, but many of your clients and prospects are not moving as quickly.

We have conducted research with existing clients and prospects, most of whom were senior managers and executives within our target market. We were surprised to find that over 90% of these individuals still preferred a personalised, weekly email. They favoured a short, skimmable introduction to the content we were introducing, with a link to download or read more.

Final words…

Abuse has given email a bad name, but – managed correctly – email is still a viable and often-preferred marketing channel.

Let’s not forget that every single social and blogging platform still uses email to contact their respective users to bring them back to their platforms.

David Graham is the Digital Engagement Leader at Deloitte Africa. He focuses on B2B digital marketing, relationship marketing and content marketing. You can email him at davgraham@deloitte.co.za

Image: 28 Dreams/Flickr

Stop wasting time and money on bad social media marketing

This article was posted on Memeburn this morning.  Please post any comments on Memeburn. The link is Stop wasting time and money on bad social media marketing.

Stop wasting time and money on bad social media marketing

The concept of “Social Media” was inspired by a bunch of very clever people who understood that if people were provided with an environment that enabled them to connect and share information easily, that it would proliferate like wild-fire in a relatively short space of time.

Popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+ are given away for free to anyone willing to go online and register on these social networks. Anyone hoping to “monetise” these platforms spends a lot of time and money promoting and marketing the benefits to the general public, and memberships are increasing at a phenomenal rate. This is all well and good, but here is the catch:

Bad information spreads quicker than good information

It is a known fact that bad information spreads quicker than good information because people in their very nature prefer sharing bad news than good. Look at the media. If you turn on the news or pick up a newspaper, you are bombarded with news headlines detailing bombings, murders, rapes and the list goes on. People love bad news.

What does this mean for a business? When a customer has a good experience, they will tell their story and it will be heard by some people. If a customer has a bad experience, it will be heard by all. There was the Mc Donald’s debacle where it created a hashtag and encouraged people to share the “good” Mickey D experience. That turned out to be a disaster because the exact opposite occurred!

You are at the mercy of the public’s fickleness

When I was in my 20s we had our favourite watering hole we would frequent on a Friday evening. Everyone would be there and the establishment in question thrived, however, it was short-lived. As soon as a better pub restaurant opened down the road, everyone was gone! People are not loyal and as soon as someone moves, everyone eventually follows.

What does this mean for your business? You invest all your marketing dollars and effort into a particular social network and a new social network is created and marketed aggressively. Before long, the demographic you are targeting are no longer there!

Do not ever believe the “numbers”

It amazes me about how people are swayed by exaggerated numbers. If the benefits of email were to be marketed right now, you would be presented by an astounding statistic in terms of how many people use email and how many emails are sent in one second. What you will not hear is how many email accounts are dormant, how any email accounts are owned by the same person and how many emails sent are spam.

What does this mean for your business? If you use any one of the multitude of social networks that are available out there, it will not take long before you realise that it is not as simple as creating “content”, sharing it and expecting wonderful results. If you are using Twitter, for example, the majority of Twitter accounts are not even owned by people. Many of the accounts that start following you are not doing so because they want to buy something from you. They are waiting for the reciprocal follow so they can start bombarding you with “spam” tweets. As with email, there are millions of dormant accounts, more one way broadcasts than conversations taking place and a heck of a lot of spam!

What is the bottom line?

Social media can work for your business but take heed of the points mentioned above. Remember that everyone is in it to make money and this includes the stakeholders of all the social networks (they didn’t develop these for the greater good of mankind). Social media specialists, purveyors of reputation management applications and the millions of people out there selling everything under the sun. Find a seasoned social media marketing specialist that has been around for a while who can take you on a positive social media marketing journey. With the right planning, preparation and execution, you may not necessarily waste your time and money of social media, if you do it properly.