Social media is everyone’s new favorite shiny object, so much so that people like Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, are ready to start throwing handfuls of dirt on top of email’s coffin. But wait…a new study from Econsultancy shows that not only is email not dead, it’s actually more effective at grabbing customers’ attention than social media.
In a post on Search Engine Watch that summed up the study’s findings, Stefan Tornquist, Econsultancy’s US Research Director, made the following comments:
“Despite the current hype surrounding social media, social network adoption and its influence on e-commerce is far from maturity. More than a third of consumers (37%) do not use a social networking site, while those who have recently become a ‘fan’ or ‘friend’ of a company or brand online are still in the minority. Although a variety of media are competing for consumer attention, email continues to be the desired channel for many types of commercial communication.”
The study stresses that emails need to be relevant and timely, but as long as marketers don’t make pests of themselves, it seems that most customers are more than happy to invite them into their inboxes.
But that doesn’t mean that marketers can afford to ignore social media, either. Even if 37% of consumers don’t use social networking sites, that means that 63% of consumers DO use these sites, and more are joining all the time. Plus, social media offers an unparalleled opportunity to foster word-of-mouth, as status updates, posts and videos can quickly go viral.
As they try to grab a piece of the thought leadership pie, some marketers and social media professionals are ignoring the fact that email and social media are not necessarily mortal enemies. They can play nice. You don’t have to choose one or the other. For example, why not let your customers share the offers you send them via social media? Or use social media’s viral nature to help build a killer email list?
Fortunately, most marketers understand this. In fact, a recent study by e-Marketer showed that two-thirds of marketers have begun integrating social media with their email marketing efforts.