Which is the ‘best’ form of digital marketing?

The answer to this question is likely to be ‘it depends’ – on:

  • The company
  • The product
  • the characteristics of the target market
  • The purpose of the marketing/campaign (awareness? information? purchase?); and
  • The budget.

However I went searching for an ‘absolute’ answer (because we all like absolutes!). Look what I found:

Source: Marketing Charts Online
Source: Marketing Charts Online

In other words, businesses generally perceive email as being not only the most effective form of digital marketing, but also the easiest! So why then do companies pour so many millions of dollars into sophisticated social media campaigns – especially when they are perceived as not only significantly less effective, but also more than FOUR TIMES more difficult than email?

Well, consider a company sending out an email. First they need a database of email addresses – where does this come from? I guess they could buy a list – but with the increasing sophistication and wariness of internet users, how many emails would reach the intended audience? When was the last time YOU opened an unsolicited email? I’d like to bet that most companies find email most effective because they are using a self-generated database – in other words, they have created their OWN list of customers and potential customers, and are emailing people likely to be receptive to what they have to say. I wonder if the companies surveyed considered the difficulty of creating a list of emails when evaluating the difficulty of email?

So I guess this is where social media comes in – to help create a database of customers and potential customers that are likely to at least be receptive enough to an email to open it.

There are a number of tactics companies use to create email lists – the most common one I’ve noticed is when you visit a website, a pop-up screen offers a discount if you sign up for their newsletter. It’s relatively non-disruptive – usually only requiring your email and no further information – and offers an incentive in the form of a discount. Clever!

Over to you – have you noticed any other tactics companies use online to get you to hand over your email address? Did it bother you? Did you do it?


12 thoughts on “Which is the ‘best’ form of digital marketing?

  1. Such a good point! I agree that often companies forget there needs to be an objective when engaging in social media marketing – one of those objectives can be – to grow your email list. Perhaps writing a really good newsletter should be the number one priority, then focus on social media to promote the content therein. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think that email marketing works beautifully when the consumer has a vested interest in the product or brand.. e.g.. I love getting emails from Mimco, and most times I will click through to the website to have a look at their new arrivals.. and then occasionally get sucked in and purchase something. Which means they’re obviously doing something right.

    I usually get sucked into signing up to an email list when i’m purchasing something in a store (not online) and they offer a discount at POS, providing that you provide your email address… Very clever tactic, as who says no to a discount?!

    I think the worst part about marketing through email is how annoying it is to unsubscribe to some of them!! I had to go through about three different processes to unsubscribe from an annoying clothing label that sent emails at least three times a day… and they STILL manage to pop up in my junk mail every now and then. It’s beyond the point of annoying.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Tom actually signed me up to their loyalty program “Mimcollective” when he bought me a gift from there, so I’m not too sure if he got any incentives or if it was just part of processing the sale…
        Because they don’t want you to unsubscribe 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Having to make an account using your email when you make an online order is another way. But I think with this way you are allowed to opt out of annoying subscription emails by just unticking a box. Some places let you check out as a ‘guest’ which doesn’t require much or check out through Paypal itself – which is even better!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Qantas is one of those brands that abused my email the most!! After signing up for their frequent flyer membership my mail got bombard with emails left right and centre. After trying to unsubscribe from their frequent flyer emails I found out Qantas’s tactic, by signing up for one part of their business I was signed up for emails from all aspects of the Qantas’s brand such as Qantas hotel, Qantas cash, Qantas travel insider. 8 unsubscriptions later and I was finally free!


    1. What a nuisance! It might have been in the fine print… I’m getting better at reading that, and clicking unsubscribe wherever possible. Another sneaky tactic is the requirement to ‘opt out’ – they automatically tick the ‘sign up for emails’ and you have to UN-tick it to avoid an email avalanche! It almost comes across as a bit desperate, doesn’t it? Although I’m guessing that might be how Qantas has been feeling for the last few years…


      1. Hahaha agreed, I reckon the pressure is finally getting to them! I’m the same now though with reading the fine print and searching for the opt-out boxes, definitely don’t want a repeat of the Qantas situation

        Liked by 1 person

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