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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.
Specifically, the study found that only 12% of online adults said they’d be willing to provide social media information (like a Twitter handle or Facebook name) to markers online, while 96% of those surveyed had provided their email to brands to receive special promotions or more information.
Those numbers may be more in keeping with the fact that email sorting tools make it more easily accepted to accept branding info, but it still highlights the fact that social media is an imperfect tool for all digital marketing needs.
The Harris study surveyed 2,064 adults age 18 and older and found that just 17% of online adults aged 18-34, 8% of adults 35-44 and 7% of users 45-54 were OK with sharing social networking information with brands.
Combined with a few other numbers, that makes a good case for email as a marketing tool:
- 68% of online adults are more likely to trust a brand they hear from often and that offers them personalized deals or information online
- 78% of online adults said they dislike having to leave their destination when they click on a banner ad
- 47% of online adults said they have intentionally clicked on ads on a website
According to Pontiflex CEO Zephrin Lasker: "Building a relationship in the social networking space is not very different from building a relationship in the real world. Once marketers have built relationships and trust through e-mail, they then engage consumers in relevant ways on social networking sites."
And there's a lot behind that theory. For starters, fully 1/3 of Twitter users have never used the service. Considering that the majority of tweets are still written by a small percentage of microbloggers, email is still a failsafe for getting ahold of people. And pointing them to your brand.
And while real time messaging is on everyone's mind lately, it has plenty of drawbacks. For starters, iif you aren't in front of a screen around the time a Twitter message goes out, you're likely to miss it. Or get annoyed if you didn't miss it and then have to deal with repetitive messaging when brands want to reach eyeballs.
Email is much more tailored to opt-in messaging. And it can point people toward what's going on in social. Especially those users who still don't quite get social media.
Even the Wall Street Journal article that pronounced email's death admits that usage of the service continues to grow. Services like Twitter, Facebook and instant messenger are growing at a faster pace, but they have a lot further to go to reach email usage rates. And the day email is officially "dead" is still far off on the horizon.