Is Email Marketing Dead?
Some of you found this article through an email list. So no, it’s not dead. Or at least, not yet. I think the question is more, is email marketing dying a slow death?
First, let’s talk about the importance of list building. I’ll even summon it up for you in one sentence. If social media flopped today, all you would have left is your list. Actually, all social media has to do is to change their algorithm and all that work you’ve done in the past is for nothing if you didn’t build a list while you built your following.
Now that we know how important list building is, let’s ponder the subject, is email marketing dead? My answer is, depends on how you use it. The other day I got an ad on Facebook for swimsuits. Turns out I need new swimsuit after 25 years of use from my previous one. I took my family to the hot springs for a weekend trip, and when we came home, all our swimsuits were missing. I blame the little leprechaun that steals your Tupperware lids and matching socks. Long story short, I needed swimsuits and those were cute. I click the link that takes me to the website. Once I got there, I couldn’t browse, couldn’t do anything except sign up for their email list!
They made it a requirement to sign up to their email list to be able to browse their website.
Naturally I hit the back button and purchased my swimsuit elsewhere. Forcing people to sign up for your email list is the wrong way to do it, and methods like these are what is killing email marketing. When you purchase a product, you are put on their email lists. If you still shop on location, they will ask you for your email at the register (at least here in US). Enough is enough. We are getting too much spam in our inbox. When something works, marketers take it to the extreme and milk it for all that it’s worth, and that’s why small business owners have to ponder, is email marketing dead? Have the big marketers killed it?
You cannot replicate big marketers methods as a small business owner
Big marketers are still getting return with this method, so it’s not likely to go down anytime soon. It is on the other hand hindering small business owners who can’t offer 70% off their products to lure you in. Heck, a lot of us don’t even discount our service. There is a big difference in big and small businesses and our capability to market. Most small business owners don’t have hundreds of thousands or million people on their list. Once you have a large number, it’s easier to send out an email every day and just work the odds.
Small business owners, especially those of us that are in the service industry have to work a lot harder at it. We have to focus on building relationships and value to our audience. You cannot compete with a corporation with a million-dollar marketing budget nor replicate their methods. They are trying to reach many, while you should focus on reaching the few.
But, I want a big email list, why reach the few?
Of course, you want a big list. You can’t build a community without a list, you can’t sell online courses without a list, frankly, building a list is essential for your business, so why am I telling you to reach the few?
If you don’t focus on the individual, you have no way of building a relationship with them. For small business owners, that is our key strength. That ability is the envy to big corporations. You, the business owner, can build relationships with your audience on a much deeper level than any large corporation can. AND, that’s what people want.
People trust people, they don’t trust brands anymore.
If you focus on giving your email list value and you don’t “spam” your list, then no, email marketing isn’t dead. As long as you make your mailing list interesting and engaging, you will get return from your list. You need to play at your leveling field.
I don’t even suggest sending out an automation email that goes out every day to your list once they sign up. Space it out. Above all, you need to watch out for email fatigue. At this point, I would space it out to every 3-7 days. Keeping a little bit of a distance can be a good thing.
Let’s look at numbers
Mailchimp tells us that national average opening rate for emails is 20%, That means if you have 100 people on your list, at least 20 people should be opening it. If you have a lower opening rate than that, you need to rethink your strategy. Go back now and look at your numbers. What emails got bigger opening rate than others? Which ones got lower? What was the headline? Then look at your click rate, how did that compare?
Knowing your numbers helps you understand what your audience wants. It isn’t always what we think it is. Listen to what they have to say through your metrics.
Why are we asking if Email marketing is dead?
We ask this question as there is a new method that has popped up. As a matter of fact, it’s not that new, it’s been around for a few years. It’s just new to small business owners. I’m talking about messenger bots.
Ugh, now you are talking robots, my audience doesn’t do big technology! Sound excuse, not valid, but sound. Messenger bots pop up in Facebook messenger, and guess what? Your audience has been using Facebook messenger for years! There is no big tech going on here. It’s just another way to reach your audience, and it’s new for us!
Remember when I told you national opening rate for emails is 20%? When email marketing started out, it was between 80-90% opening rate. Messenger bots are exactly there right now, between 80-90% opening rate!
Are you trustworthy?
Small business owners adapt slowly to new things. There is still way too many that are purchasing lists to cold call, sending out mailers and even knocking on doors totally ignoring signs of no trespassing, or beware of the dog!
A few years back we had a nasty hailstorm here in the Denver area. Our car got thousands of dollars of damage, roofs on homes around us got damaged and our local mall was obliterated. Every day for the next 2 months after, we had someone knocking on our door wanting to look at our roof and fix it. I probably don’t have to tell you how annoying it was. Some other neighbors started to call the police for trespassing as sometimes they were knocking on our doors at night, after dark. That’s just plain creepy!
As a small business, you need to earn your clients trust. I called a friend within my business group who owns a roofing business and asked him to check our roof. I trusted him, I knew he would be frank with me as….I had no intention on going up there to inspect the damage if that was going to be reported to me to make sure I’m not being lied to. I needed someone I trusted.
That’s how your audience feels. Whatever your business is, you need to earn their trust. Knocking on my door, sending me a mailer and spamming my email inbox will only make me mad, not trust you. Unfortunately, I’m not the only one who feels that way. People are tired of being sold to.
Why are messenger bots different?
When you send a message through your chatbot, it goes into their notification on their device. It is much more invasive and it’s much more personal. The way you use Facebook messenger is to chat privately with your friends. When it comes to businesses, it’s also used to chat with a salesperson or customer support. Let’s face it, nobody talks on the phone these days, either you text or you chat. For those of us old enough to remember, it’s like IM back in the day.
Messenger bots are an amazing marketing tool with incredibly high opening and click rate. They are easy to use both for you as the business owner and the consumer. All they have to do is to click a few times and they got your freebie. No typing, no confirming email, no waiting for the email to send….it’s all in one spot. Click yes, I want your freebie, click to confirm and open your freebie. All without ever leaving your messenger.
This is also the reason why you need to use messenger bots with great care and respect for your audience. You absolutely cannot spam them. Facebook even has a rule that you can’t sell through messenger bots. And before I lose a lot of you right here, you shouldn’t sell through messenger bots or emails anyway!!
Your email list and messenger list are tools to show your audience how much you value them. When you use either of those as part of a bigger and better marketing strategy, your organic closing rate will skyrocket!
What’s the verdict then, is Email marketing dead?
The verdict is, not yet. It’s not nearly as effective and you should be looking at new ways to build a list. I always tell my clients, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. You should be building an email list AND a messenger bot list. Believe me, in a year from now, you’ll thank me that you did!
If you want to know how messenger bots work, you are welcome to join my list and get a note in your Facebook messenger whenever I write a new article (which frankly happens about once a month or every other month) or if I host an educational webinar. All you need to do is to click right here and opt in with clicking get started!