Written Posts

Social Surpasses email usage – A guest post from Duncan Alney

0 Comments 14 April 2010

This isn’t about bashing email. Because we’ve been seeing some great results in the last few months with email. Specifically, better open rates, better click throughs, and better conversions into sales.  Although this isn’t always trackable for every situation, we have been tracking it with some projects. One clear take away is that email works best when it is integrated with social and mobile. While the year of mobile hasn’t arrived yet (and I doubt that 2010 is the year either), for work that we’ve done recently mobile works well with the early adopter demographic.

When I look at these numbers it isn’t hard to see the truth, even in the behavior of people I know.  I can connect with people easier on Facebook, via direct message, or chat than I can via email, or phone, or text message. Social does offer so many platforms with lots of content, and it has an organic feel that email never came close to.

We’re not ditching email. In fact, we’re doing more. But it makes budgeting more for social easier. 😉

Now I know there are risks.

1. There’s the possibility of bad ratings and reviews. I believe people used email to convey that stuff as well, and I know that they’re going to rate you regardless of whether you play in the social space.

2. It’s a waste of time. Really? Did you say that about the phone, I mean email? Its a communication paradigm. If you ignore it you might be hanging out with dinosaurs soon in “Jurassic Park”.

3. I can’t afford content. Sure you can. Change your marketing mix. Ditch things that don’t work and that you can’t measure. Yes, that reads, “paper newsletters and print ads”.

4. I don’t have the right people. Simple question. Why not? Maybe it’s you and not them.

5. It will never scale. You’re not Ford. So stop acting like you are. It will scale. Before you worry about running a marathon, try running a mile.

Then there’s the upside. There’s this pond called social. It’s stocked with the best fish. They’re not there to be caught (show me a fish that wants to get caught and I’ll cook it for you), but engagement with hooks is part of being a fish and swimming in waters where people fish. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling like I want a big fat piece of Halibut blackened Cajun style. You in?

Duncan is the President of Firebelly Marketing, a social media marketing firm that focuses on content, conversation and community.

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