Middle School Marketing Recap: The State of Email Marketing

Doug Kushin, Former Viget

Article Category: #Strategy

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Is email the “digital glue” that holds our online lives together?  Will email remain the dominant form of communication, or will it be replaced by new means of online communication such as Facebook, Twitter, Wikis, etc.?  How do so-called “Millennials” view email?

These were just some of the questions that were batted around during the May edition of the Middle School Marketing (MSM) meeting here at Viget Labs. Nikki Schiavone and Amy Garland of Blue Sky Factory kicked off our time together by soliciting the group’s thoughts on the state and future of email marketing and by asking the overarching question “is email dying?” While the consensus was a resounding “no”, the discussion moved into an examination of how Millennials use and view email. While both reports and experience show a decline in the use of email by Millennials, email continues to be the web’s killer app and primary source of identity with almost every social service (requiring an email address at sign-up). Furthermore, businesses will continue to rely heavily on email, resulting in increased adoption by Millennials upon entering the workforce.

Another reason email marketing is alive and well is its maturity. Many email service providers (ESPs) utilize data rich targeting and reporting tools that enable email to be one of the most measurable and efficient means of marketing on the web. Email continues to have a sizable advantage over social media marketing due to marketers’ ability to effectively measure results. Similarly, ESPs are experimenting with allowing subscribers to share email content with various social networks. When given permission to do so, organizations may soon be able to build and sustain relationships by providing messages in the places (inbox, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) subscribers most like to receive them. As the methods for delivering a message online expand it’s important to remember that email remains a valuable and measurable tool in the marketer’s shed for the foreseeable future.

Thanks to everyone who came out.  We’re looking forward to next month’s MSM!

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