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Bleak times ahead for email according to Gartner, which is predicting that social networks will claim a growing share of communication among business users.
Seems plausible enough, though any reports of the death of email are somewhat premature. But can social networking sites claim the communications crown before this decade is out?
Cue much head shaking among the email services providers at TFM&A this week. I asked a few of them to fight their corner, and to provide an alternative view on the future of email.
A new study of online retailers in the UK suggests that, thanks to the ability to offer a 'seamless and consistent' customer experience both online and offline, multichannel retailers have the edge over pure plays.
In the eDigital Research Benchmark study, which used mystery shoppers to look at 58 UK e-commerce sites, found that multichannel retailers dominate the top 20, with only three spots occupied by pure plays.
So why is this?
It seems that the UK's political parties have a lot to learn about email marketing, with all making some basic errors in their campaigns.
As demonstrated by Barack Obama, email can be a powerful tool in political campaigning; allowing parties to build up a profile of their subscribers, and to bypass the media and open a direct channel of communication with potential voters.
However, according to my own research so far, the email marketing strategies of the three main UK parties could be improved...
A couple of weeks ago I posted a piece on the rules of email engagement, very much laying out fairly broad thoughts on the subject.
Now I want to follow up with a more pointed ‘plan’ that, if followed, will ensure a virtuous spiral of engagement and increased ROI...
Americans are suffering from "email fatigue." At least that's the take away from a new study from marketing service provider Implix, which found that Americans are one of the least likely groups to open emails worldwide.
Due to its newness, social media is fast gaining ground with marketers as a way to reach out and build relationships with consumers. But a turn away from email messages could also make social media the go to for marketers trying to reach customers and grow revenue.
39% of UK consumers claim that the marketing emails they receive are less relevant than they were 12 months ago, which suggests that brands need to improve to keep customers engaged.
According to an e-Dialog E-mail Attitudes Report, which surveyed 2,000 UK adults, there is a 34% increase in the number of people who are finding emails irrelevant to them, compared to the 2009 report.
According to a report released last week, the 100 top online retailers in the US sent an average of 132 promotional emails to each of their subscribers.
Perhaps this is a tactic that is working for some of these retailers, but surely by sending so many emails, retailers run the risk of damaging the relationship built up with a customer...
Bulk email is dead. OK, some people might still be doing it, but does that mean it works as well as it could? Just look in your own junk folder to find the many emails you have opted into but no longer reach your inbox.
So why is bulk email on the way out? Well, let’s consider what the top three email ISPs have to say...
Reach for your ecommerce buzzword bingo card and you'll see 'website optimisation' and 'conversion analysis' bang in the middle. Behind the industry buzz there is a genuine commercial challenge:how do you turn your visitors into customers and increase the profitability of your web channel? Retargeting is one technique to help deliver results.
Retargeting is the process by which a website owner contacts a customer who has abandoned their conversion (whatever that conversion might be) in order to continue the communication and encourage that customer to take further action. Retargeting is more popular in the US than the UK. However, UK companies are starting to wake up to the commercial value that retargeting via email can play in their website optimisation.
Having had the opportunity to work with and learn from the brains behind SeeWhy, I asked founder and conversion optimisation blogger Charles Nicholls to share his expertise on the value of retargeting for UK web owners.
If you're an online retailer, offering email customer care is a best practice that few ignore. And many, myself included, believe that providing customer care by phone is very desirable. Anecdotally, I have a good friend who runs an e-commerce website and he claims that his orders dropped significantly when he (temporarily) stopped taking orders and providing assistance by phone.
But be that as it may, a new study conducted by Loudhouse Research for CRM provider RightNow Technologies suggests that when it comes to customer care in online retail leading up to a purchase, both email and phone are overrated.
Nerves kick in as I weave my way past rows of fat people munching on fried chicken and simultaneously shoving coins into slot machines. I’m looking for Caesar’s Palace Conference Center but all I can see is a giant bust of Nero and rows of busy blackjack tables. It’s 8am.
At 9am, having eaten my own way through a Vegas breakfast buffet the length of a tube carriage, I’m ready to present six hours of brand new material onhow to write cost-effective customer care copy at Jakob Nielsen’s Usability Week.
The Wall Street Journal may have declared "The End of the Email Era" this week, but that obituary went live far too soon.
Email is still alive and kicking. Beyond the fact that email usage still continues to grow, it is also a key factor in all of the more recent social tools that are seeing explosive growth. And according to a new study by Pontiflex, marketers are finding consumers much more willing to share information via email than social media, meaning that email is still an integral tool in marketing campaigns.