Email Marketing = Social Network?

I came across a fabulous article from Econsultancy today entitled: “Email: the Forgotten Social Network.”  I’ve always felt that the email channel was a feeder to or promoter of traditional (did I just say that?) social media networks — but I never thought of it as a social network all unto itself.  However, the article makes some excellent points:

Successful email marketing and the network of sites and applications that make up what we today call social media rely on three important elements:

  • Engaging content.
  • Accompanying and relevant links.
  • The ability to share information.

Hellooooo . . .  email marketing is a social network!  And here I’d always thought it was a direct marketing channel.

The article points to some other excellent points . . . like:

  • There are 2.9bn email accounts worldwide (The Radicati Group, Inc. Releases Email Statistics Report, 2010-2014).
  • Email is still one of the most popular online activities: 92% of U.S. adults online use email (Pew Research Center 08/09/2011).
  • 86% of people 18 and over share content via email (Marketing Profs October 2010).
  • Email is the preferred method of commercial communication by 74% of all online adults (Merkle View From the Digital Inbox 2011).
  • 58% of people in the U.S. start their online day by reading their email (ExactTarget ìEmail X-Factor Study 2010).
  • U.S. internet users engage with an average of 11.8 brands via Email, compared to 9.4 brands via Facebook and 7.9 brands via Twitter (ExactTarget Subscribers, Fans, and Followers: The Social Profile 2010).

Email marketing is such a powerful tool — but obviously, you have to do it correctly.  Many of us are absolutely addicted to our smart-phones.  And more and more people are responding to emails on mobile devices, so response rates are continuing to increase — even as more email campaigns are deployed.  As usual, the more relevant, targeted and compelling the offer is, the more success you will have.

So, use our newest social network . . . . email . . . for your upcoming campaigns.  Don’t forget you can also use it to promote your Twitter and Facebook pages, too (old-school social networks). : )


3 Responses

  1. Excellent post! I think the key statement, simply is ” you have to do it correctly”. So many who use email don’t take the time to learn the basics and are subsequently frustrated when they don’t achieve the results that had hoped for.

    • Totally agree — its like any other direct marketing or social channel. If it isn’t relevant, targeted and interesting, it will get ignored.

      Thank you for your comment!

  2. What an intriguing perspective… email marketing as a social network. Email marketing has the potential to enhance community, a unifying aspect of all social networks. As you point out, email marketing enables us to forge stronger connections by the channel’s ability to share engaging content, relevant links, and timely information, with the overall goal of a successful conversion.

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