Email's Evolving Role in a Social World
With all of the talk surrounding social and mobile, it would to be easy to overlook the role email plays — and will continue to play — in cross-channel marketing campaigns. But doing so would be a mistake. That was the key takeaway from an hour-long session on the topic at the recent Online Marketing Summit in San Diego.
Joining moderator Karen Talavera, founder and principal of integrated marketing and advertising agency Synchronicity Marketing, were three email marketers — Matthew Pham, associate creative director, Responsys; Barry Berkowitz, vice president of digital marketing solutions, Yesmail; and Ryan Phelan, vice president of strategic services, BlueHornet — along with Laurie Beasley, president of direct and interactive marketing agency Beasley Direct Marketing. Here are some highlights from the session:
Email isn't going anywhere. All the talk about the death of email is just that — talk. In fact, email is still the hub of all consumer touchpoints, even with the expansion of social media, claimed Beasley. Certain types of communications — namely transactional and registration — are most appropriate for email, said Berkowitz. Adding to Berkowitz's thought, Phelan noted that email must also be an engagement channel if it wants to survive; it can't just be a transactional channel.
Optimize your emails for the device your subscriber is going to be viewing it on. Consumers jump back and forth between their mobile device and desktop to manage their inbox, said Beasley. Therefore, optimize emails for mobile that you know (or strongly believe) will be viewed on a mobile device — e.g., app purchases, mobile coupons, mobile engagement with the iPad. When a consumer signs up for your email program, ask them if they want to receive your emails on their mobile device, Phelan advised. Segment those that do in your database.