Over the years, various media commentators have proclaimed the death of email, yet its usage continues to grow year-on-year. While many of email's potential challengers (including instant messaging, social networks, microblogging, VoIP, SMS and collaboration software) have also flourished, none of them have killed email off, or even taken its crown.
Based on a study done by eMarketer
, email was the number one preferred way for people to share content online. The survey showed that 86% of internet users used email as a regular way of sharing. Which is why we believe that there are a number of reasons why email marketing is still just as popular as ever!
- It's universal. Just about everyone who's online has an email account. Email works internationally and across cultures. Though Facebook now has some 600 million users, there are about 1.9 billion email users worldwide and that number is expected to reach 2.5 billion by the year 2014.
- It's asynchronous. Unlike IM, where both parties need to be online for it to work, emails are stored until the receiver is able to deal with them.
- There is no competition with email. Consumers receive thousands of messages daily. Direct email straight to the desired recipient leaves no room for competitive messaging.
- It's controllable. Individuals and businesses can run their own email servers. You don't need to rely on a third party to provide your messaging service.
- It has few constraints. Unlike some other communication tools, email enables you to send very rich messages and you can simultaneously email a bunch of people, include as much information as you like, use HTML to add formatting, and easily attach supporting documentation or files.
- Social Media users also use email: A Nielsen study found that the more people use social media, the more they also use email. The "low social media consumers" spent the least amount of minutes consuming email, compared with the "high social media consumers" consuming the most email. Think about it - Facebook sends messages to your inbox every time someone comments on your posting or something you've participated in.
- You need an email address to set up online accounts. You need an email address to open an account on a social networking site. Plus, more and more people use the internet for shopping, entertainment, paying bills and making phone calls more than ever. All these services require email accounts, as it remains the most popular unique identifier.
- Email is still evolving. It is the one digital medium that is a precursor to the internet, yet is still the most widely used. By staying relevant it has outlasted many applications that have come and gone in a short space of time.
- Email is a way to get in direct contact with your consumers. Having a customer's personal email address allows you to send them specifically tailored messages/offers as opposed to the typical social media-marketing route, which is to blast it out and see if people pick it up.
- Email is easy. With a high turnaround time and universal template almost anyone in the world can understand how to use and design for email. To aid you in the email campaign development process, you can download the Email Design Bible on the Demographica website.
A study by Epsilon and ROI Research also found that 84% of recipients liked receiving email from companies with whom they've subscribed to their e-newsletters.
If anything, email is re-inventing itself as the killer app in the emerging 3.0 world of multi-platform digital communication. Though some tech gurus and analysts have declared email dead, many communicators say it will remain essential, even as social media grows. Further reading at Survey: Email still outpaces social media