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:
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?