The Death of Email Marketing
I spoke to my friend Andrea York today about a new eulogy we have to write—a eulogy for a form of marketing that was brand new not so long ago.
It seems so recently that we all began to collect names on our sites. We started e-newsletters and sent them off, jam-packed with value, to our burgeoning lists. This was the beginning of permission-based marketing, where our audience would give us the OK to sell to them, as long as we provided enormous value along with our solicitations—information, tips, how-tos, practical value.
Only a few years ago social media came along. Permission-based marketing began to morph into trust-based marketing—the recommendations of friends, their likes and updates and retweets providing the medium through which our messages were transmitted.
With the rapid growth of mobile, Andrea reports, the old days of sending a newsletter with four or five topics for our audiences to enjoy are officially over.
Andrea markets for a prestigious spa in Lancaster, Massachusetts. She’s got so much useful material to provide her audience—tips for diet, daily and seasonal routines, exercise and herbs and aromas and teas—she can hardly cram everything into her updates.
Instead, she finds herself having to create smaller and smaller bites of information, each with higher and higher impact. With everyone opening the mailings on their mobile devices, if the message isn’t delivered in the first line, it’s all over. You’ve lost them.
“It’s like we’ve outpaced ourselves,” Andrea reports from the front lines of spa marketing. “We go faster and faster. A new means of communication is kicking in, and marketers have to be awake for that.”
The new communication is mobile, and of course we’ve all been gearing up for that. Andrea’s point, though, is that we need to take it a step further. We’re not just layering mobile into our existing marketing approaches—mobile is rendering those approaches obsolete. Whether you sent that message to a phone or a computer, chances are increasingly high it’s being opened on a phone or mobile device. That means that the reader-on-the-go, with the tiny screen, will give you about one tweet to make your point. Better make it quick.
Can you make a great sales pitch inclusive of benefit and call to action, contact information, and link to more information in just 140 characters? Of course you can. It’s like haiku—the essence distilled in a few well-chosen words.
And actually, maybe we don’t have to bury the e-newsletter right away. There is still time and room in life for practical value, for elaboration, for depth.
We just have to lead with the tweet.
Linda Ruth, as president of PSCS Consulting (www.PSCSConsulting.com), offers communication companies worldwide the keys to magazine launches, search engine optimization and audience development online and at retail. She is a pioneer in the fields of Online Audience Optimization (OAO) and gamification for content publishers. Her books, "Internet Marketing for Magazine Publishers" ; "How to Market your Newsstand Magazine"; and "Secrets of SEO for Publishers" can be found on Amazon. Find her online at Google Plus, Magazine Dojo, LinkedIn, and Twitter @Linda_Ruth.