With a constant avalanche of digital spec on everything from social media platforms to mobile device growth, it’s no wonder that even the most seasoned email marketer questions whether they’re doing things right. Unfortunately, thanks to this dizzying swirl of projection and prediction, even the most tried and tested email marketing rules are being questioned—and sometimes discarded.
If you’re unsure about anything related to your email campaigns, it’s time to get back to basics and re-chart your path based on old rules and a few new questions. Here’s a list of five different misconceptions to avoid when living in the email marketing now.
1. You should wait & see if Google+ succeeds
It’s been about as easy to win some lotteries as it has been to get a working invitation to Google+ and they’ve still managed to rack up 10 million users in just a few days. Google’s social networking Facebook Twitter Skype Whatever hybrid may still be in the embryonic stage, but it has already displayed the potential to become the social network, eventually relegating Mr. Zuckerberg’s brainchild to MySpace passé non-status.
Any business involved in email or any form of online marketing should have their Google+ presence on their drawing boards now, ready to jump in with both feet. The early adopters will be able to establish beachheads on what may soon become the most valuable online real estate on the planet.
2. Email & Social Media are separate
The two primary means of online promotional communications are only as separate as two sides of the same coin. As social networks continue to hybridize and display information in an ever more integrated format, the already tenuous line between email and social media marketing will completely vanish.
Emails will become Lernaean Hydras with different heads presenting varying formats to suit conventional email clients, smartphone browsers, and social media posts all at the same time, and the inbox will undergo a metamorphosis to an Incoming Communication Hub where messages from any source are homogenously accessible. Email marketers should consider preparing their communications for such multiplexing… starting right now.
3. Legislation can squash spam
Hax0rs violate major corporations and the Pentagon with utter impunity, so there is very little chance that CAN-SPAM’s opt-out or the EU’s opt-in models of legislation are going to make a dent in the torrent of C1a|i$ & [email protected] junk. Spam will be around as long as we have online communications so the best philosophy legitimate email marketers can adopt is to keep reinforcing their online reputations and upholding email best practices. Squash with spam does sound like a tasty Hawaiian dish, though.
4. You can never send too many emails
Some recent surveys have shown that a number of retailers report considerable success with a frequency which exceeds three email newsletters per week. Although this approach could be sustainable in the case of highly specialised and swiftly flowing technological issues, many subscribers will sooner or later be asking themselves why they need every second day updates on the state of toasters.
Pedal to the metal email newsletter frequency can turn out to be counter-productive in the longer run, wearing out readers who realise that there really isn’t much “new” in that newsletter.
5. The market for tablets is unlimited
Until such time in the future when voice recognition is able to accurately interpret words spoken in the presence of normal background noises, we’re all stuck with the 19th century issue QWERTY keyboard. Although the displayed tablet keyboards are ok for pecking out a shopping list, the absence of tactile feedback derails most touchtypers.
Only a masochist would even remotely consider writing a novel, essay, or technical report on a tablet when even replying to an email becomes painful. The keyboards that plug into tablets are just plain silly since they’re actually less convenient than carrying a laptop around. Once the novelty of tablet tech wears off, an inordinate number of people will be asking themselves: “Why the heck did I lug this thing to the mall anyway?”
There will always be a need for email marketers to ensure that their templates are suitable for a variety of inputs and display properly on a wide variety of screens from 27″ LCD desktop monitors to the tiniest smartphones, but it is important to note that “pinch & swoop” tablets are not going to replace the “keyboard with perpendicular viewscreen” paradigm anytime in the foreseeable future.
We all live knee-deep in hype, but the ability to see through the obfuscation into the reality within marks a truly competent email marketer. Keep a healthy sense of scepticism on hand for new predictions on social media, online marketing and tech, but use Murphy’s Law-like rules as a solid foundation for all your email newsletter campaigns.
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