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Thursday, 18 October 2012 08:13

If you want to engage with your customers Email is still the best medium

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Australians prefer to engage with brands via email far more than any other medium, according to the Digital Down Under report from Exact Target.

While social media continues to hog the spotlight, email marketing continues to deliver the results.

As an online marketing strategy for a business engaging with fans, email can’t be beat. Email remains the preferred medium for contact between customers and brands across all age groups.

In total, 96% of email users will engage with a brand, while only 55% will do so on Facebook and a paltry 6% will do so on Twitter.

How Australian Consumers Engage with Brands

What’s more 71% of Australians check their emails first thing in the morning while only 17% check their Facebook pages and almost no-one 0.4% check their Twitter feed.

These findings are consistent with many previous articles about email marketing's effectiveness: "How top business Generate New Leads today in 2012", and "Email is still the untouchable force in online marketing".  As such it allows business owners to put social media into perspective and prioritise  their online marketing strategy.

While there is some variation in usage of the different media across age groups, email is still the clear winner in each group.

More Email Now Viewed on Smartphones

What is also of note is that: “More Australian consumers (43%) are now viewing emails on their smartphones.“

This means businesses really need to optimise their email designs to be read and function on such devices as well as adjust their online marketing strategy to accommodate consumers changing behavior..

Why People Subscribe

To Bribe or Not to Bribe Your Customers

The other interesting stat from the report is that the main reason people subscribe via email, like or follow a company via social media is to get discounts and free stuff.

This presents several problems.

  • 1: As the old marketing saying goes, once you start offering discounts you’re training your customers to accept bribes to do business with you.  No bribe, no customer or business. Long term it’s not a profitable strategy, especially just for an email address or a like.
  • 2: If they are expecting something free, you better damn well give them something or they will feel cheated, and that brings up feelings of distrust.
  • 3: If you are going to resist offering potential customers bribes, then you should manage the expectations built up on your website or digital marketing campaigns. That is, make it very clear what they will be getting (or not getting) in exchange for their email address.

How You Can Use this Information

If you haven’t already done so, then make sure you have a structured email marketing campaign strategy in place.

This should consist of the following:

  • 1: A name and email capture process on your website and all social media pages.
  • 2: A planned email marketing and delivery strategy for the next 12 months. Itemised and listing what topic each email will be about and when it will be sent.
  • 3: A list management and segmentation process.
  • 4: A systematic testing process to determine what offers, campaigns, subjects, calls to action, subject lines etc work best for your customers.
  • 5: An editorial schedule tied in with your blogging and social media.
  • 6: A detailed content creation and online marketing strategy.
  • 7: A proper analytics and tracking solution to measure the results.

If you haven’t got these in place, then perhaps you should postpone social media as part of your online marketing strategy until you have.

Need help with your email marketing? Contact us
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