Is e-mail marketing dead?

16 replies
Ok before you get to banging on your keyboard about how e-mail is here to stay - forever. Let me say first that I agree that e-mail is "not going anywhere." It'll just be used less by the most savage internet marketers out there.

I used to operate in a niche where I would gather their e-mail address with a very thin value prop; "give me your e-mail for future info." It worked great as it relates to conversions, a steady 40%. I didn't have to give anything "valuable" away for free, and got opt-ins.

From there, I'd follow up with "value" and ultimately an offer. Things were going ok...

Then, earlier this year I figured "I'm done with this niche so no reason to keep grinding on growing an e-mail list." I decided to simply upload content to YouTube and put a link to the offer page in the comments and description. I was doing it with the spirit of "I'm taking my ball and going home." I expected the residual sale here and there but the first video I uploaded where I did that BLEW UP and sales exploded. People were making fun of people for being too cheap to buy my stuff, it was great.

I decided to "keep the business open" to get another bag (slang for another pile of cash) and I did it on successive videos... it kept working... I filed this away in the back of my head... I figured I would make this approach useful later on.

Then I stumble into a big IM guy with the initials of FK and what he's doing. What he's doing makes total sense TO ME because I saw the method work with free traffic. So, naturally it should work with paid traffic.

What he's doing is simple; he's putting 3 VALUABLE videos in front of you on social (FB and IG). Then, he's retargeting you based on your retention (did you watch the videos), with an offer later.

In the process you're saving time and money. The process goes from:
  1. Push traffic to a free offer.
  2. Get the opt-in.
  3. Deliver value.
  4. Pray they consume the value.
  5. Then deliver offer.

Now it's...
  1. Put great content in front of a TARGETED audience.
  2. Retarget those who consumed the content with offers.

To me this makes so much sense that I'm not going to gather e-mails unless they've bought something. I do believe this to be the future of IM as todays' high schoolers don't use e-mail like I did in high school. I feel like this approach allows people to scale proper content companies because you are able to more rapidly get through testing products / approaches.

The "hard" part is making the 3 videos valuable while also "conditioning" them to want to buy from you later. Those who are charismatic and who possess the ability to make their 3 "bond building videos" excellent, will prosper.

Are any of you guys experimenting with this approach? Have you tested just pushing traffic directly from valuable content straight to a paid offer without asking for an e-mail first?

Exciting times!
#dead #email #marketing
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    IMO, email marketing is not dead.


    The basic principles of online marketing remain intact. You find an audience of like-minded people and offer to help them or fulfill a desire and you get paid according to your ability to keep them happy.


    Marketing via email is simply one tactic, one method, one strategy of building and forming a relationship with your audience. There are many other ways to communicate including via videos.


    As always, a marketer should test, track and optimize to find what marketing strategies work best for him/her in their particular niche. You have found that videos work best for what you're doing - wonderful! Keep doing it! Keep testing and optimizing.


    To declare a strategy that is not working for you as being dead ... I think you're putting blinders on. For others with different business models, a different audience, and different business missions, they will find that email marketing is still the best approach for them.


    Do whatever works best in your own situation. Remember "the 3 Ts": test, track, and tweak. Your optimal marketing approach will always be different from someone elses.


    Steve
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    Steve Browne, online business strategies, tips, guidance, and resources
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    • Profile picture of the author TheBigBee
      Hey Steve,

      I appreciate your passion! I should have definitely framed this as more of a glimpse into the future vs. going for the "click bait" title as it seems to have caused confusion. My bad!

      As I type this, I am keenly aware that many many millions of dollars are being earned via e-mail across all niches as we speak. I still drum up B2B consulting calls through plain old fashioned B2B e-mails. In fact, I used to teach guys in the merchant cash advance business how to crush it with e-mail... E-mail has been very very very good to me my friend.

      Now that we agree that we all love e-mail and it's here to stay...

      We can all agree that building rapport with an audience leads to far superior results than just sending ice cold traffic to an offer right? We agree that there are many ways you can go about building rapport right? Webinars, eBooks, emails, YouTube vids, etc. Ok, agreed. Now, can we agree that it's important for business owners to shorten the sales cycle and spend less on customer acquisition when the opportunity presents itself?

      If we agree on these things then the approach I outlined amounts to a compelling math problem. Any serious business owner is obligated to run some experiments with the approach to either quickly validate, or invalidate it's effectiveness? The only reason I say that is because the approach saves time and actual money for an crazy combo that can lead to all sorts of oppty's to scale.

      Now, taken that all into account this post is more about math and process optimization vs. e-mail dying. I have to stress that. E-mail is past it's prime but it's not dead.

      Seeing is believing... try this out.

      Take your phone from your pocket. Open your e-mail app. How many e-mails appear on your screen? What's your process for selecting which one to click on? How do you respond to calls to action embedded in certain e-mails?

      Now, open a social app like Facebook or Instagram. What's the first thing you see? How many of that item (posts or images) do you see in the same screen area without scrolling? Which seems more interesting? The video with an intriguing title playing in your feed or figuring out which e-mails to open, and what to do with them after opening them?

      Immerse yourself into that experience for a moment. Then ask why on earth would you want to subject potential customers to the whole e-mail thing when it's a better experience and more engaging to put content in front of them on social? ESPECIALLY, since it costs you less time and significantly less money?

      GRANTED... this approach hasn't been tested across ALL niches like e-mail has at this point so no one knows if it "will work for their niche," unless they try it. If anyone doing 6 figures in their business has any rational argument why this approach is not worth trying I'd like to know. You don't even have to disrupt your main business, pull something off the shelf of "ideas" or "future products" and just test.

      Lastly you said: "...they will find that email marketing is still the best approach..." I agree and disagree. Anything is the "best" approach when you're not willing to try anything new. Most people are set in their ways and will talk themselves out of being curious about anything. It's human nature.


      Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

      IMO, email marketing is not dead.

      To declare a strategy that is not working for you as being dead ... I think you're putting blinders on. For others with different business models, a different audience, and different business missions, they will find that email marketing is still the best approach for them.


      Steve
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      FILL IN THE BLANKS!
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    I don't believe it's dead, I just think it's evolving along with everything else.

    The challenge these days with email is everyone is getting hammered with more and more emails, you need to work that much extra hard to get people to open and take action.
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    • Profile picture of the author TheBigBee
      Originally Posted by ChrisBa View Post

      you need to work that much extra hard to get people to open and take action.
      Disagree. No need to swim against the current when you don't have to. I'd rather work a lot less hard, and spend a lot less money to build a bond strong enough for me to start making offers.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Alive and well as long as you solve problems through emails.

    Ryan
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    Ryan Biddulph, Blogger, Author, World Traveling Digital Nomad
    If you want to become a full time blogger you can buy my eBook here
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    • Profile picture of the author TheBigBee
      It's definitely alive and will not totally die.

      However margins will thin out for marketers that don't adapt as:
      1. 52% of all web traffic comes from mobile. Twenty years ago, that was 0%.
      2. People spend more time on social than in their e-mail boxes.
      3. Video will represent 70% of all content consumed online by 2020. Think about that, 20 years ago it was nearly 0%.
      4. Human attention spans are dwindling... Sad but true.
      5. Communities are forming like Telegram and Slack groups by savvy marketers looking to keep in touch. Being a part of community where the community leader posts value and / or offers is proving to be more effective than e-mailing value for many marketers.

      So, I'm inclined to want to align my marketing with the data / trends vs. closing my eyes and hoping the overall effectiveness of e-mail doesn't diminish. It seems that some on this thread don't quite see the opportunity and the money to be made by reducing dependence on e-mail and aligning marketing with data / trends.

      That aside, much of this is market dependent.. If your market is older ladies who enjoy cooking like my mom, then e-mail is great. E-mail is about as technical as my mom gets. She won't be in any slack group or telegram group. She doesn't use Facebook. Just e-mail her a link to the cookbook.

      Originally Posted by ryanbiddulph View Post

      Alive and well as long as you solve problems through emails.

      Ryan
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      FILL IN THE BLANKS!
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      • Profile picture of the author Michael Meaney
        Originally Posted by TheBigBee View Post

        ItCommunities are forming like Telegram and Slack groups by savvy marketers looking to keep in touch.
        What happens to your audience if you break the ToS, or the service closes your account?

        You're still building on someone else's land.

        With email you're protected, the database is always yours. If Aweber gets pissed off with you, you can take your leads with you.
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        • Profile picture of the author TheBigBee
          I'm not too concerned about TOS violations personally. However, the primary risk factor to me is NOT being in control of my messaging.

          You can't just facilitate these communities without constantly monitoring what's going on because the instant you start making offers, it's the instant you start offending people who don't want to buy anything... "I can't believe he's charging $997 for this!" "If anyone buys this crap they're stupid!" Etc.

          It's is one of the reasons I only facilitate these communities for PAYING customers.

          Takes a lot of skill to keep a "herd" of prospective customers positive and in line. Some hire full time mods...

          However, the REAL opportunity lies in always putting yourself in a position to deliver exactly what the market wants by using these rooms as an R&D tool. Just watching how convos unfold, folks will tell you what they want implicitly.

          I've been camping out in all sorts of communities for a niche I'm entering and without ever typing "hello" I've learned a lot as it relates to not only refining the upcoming launch, but the messaging.

          Originally Posted by Michael Meaney View Post

          What happens to your audience if you break the ToS, or the service closes your account?

          You're still building on someone else's land.

          With email you're protected, the database is always yours. If Aweber gets pissed off with you, you can take your leads with you.
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          FILL IN THE BLANKS!
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  • Profile picture of the author spartan14
    Its not dead but i think it becomes harder and harder everyday as people become more experienced with emails and they filter spamy emaisl and decide to consumes emails from people who deliver great value to them
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  • Profile picture of the author newton
    It's not dead and will be around for many years to come. But there are other ways to contact your following for sure. Messenger marketing is getting very popular, although you're relying on the third party website so it's not in your control. Same with YouTube, build a following and get your message out there. But not in your control again.


    At least you own an email list, so it's always a vital asset.


    Even with retargeting, you're relying on FB, Adroll or whoever and you can be booted at any time.


    So an email list and a central hub that you control (like a blog) gives more stability.
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  • not exactly, but its down . so many new social media options we have today. so everyone using those, mostly no one preferred emails..
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  • Profile picture of the author Kelly Mathue
    Email marketing is here to stay!

    Let's be clear: The stats show that email isn't going anywhere.

    Did you know that we send more than 74 trillion emails every year? And the numbers keep going up, with 1.8 million more emails sent in 2017 than in 2016, according to the Communicator Email Benchmark Report 2017.

    In 2018, the numbers will be even higher, as the latest Radicati Group Email Statistics Report shows.
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    • Profile picture of the author TheBigBee
      You might be on to something. The sheer and never ending volume of e-mails is causing folks to become more and more desensitized to e-mail. That's why it's becoming cheaper in terms of dollars and cents, and faster to build the bond with customers through means outside of e-mail.

      I receive more e-mail every day, and read less and less of it.

      E-mail is destined to be a tool in the drawer, but not THE tool. If you have a power drill for bolting doors together, chances are you have a screwdriver in case your drill breaks. I view e-mail as that screwdriver. Screwdrivers have been around for probably well over 100 years but people use power drills because they get the job done faster.

      Originally Posted by Kelly Mathue View Post

      Email marketing is here to stay!

      Let's be clear: The stats show that email isn't going anywhere.

      Did you know that we send more than 74 trillion emails every year? And the numbers keep going up, with 1.8 million more emails sent in 2017 than in 2016, according to the Communicator Email Benchmark Report 2017.

      In 2018, the numbers will be even higher, as the latest Radicati Group Email Statistics Report shows.
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  • Profile picture of the author Renatas Budrys
    Email marketing will stay as long there is such thing as email, maybe in 20 years there will be a futuristic alternative then marketers will have to adjust to it
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    • Profile picture of the author TheBigBee
      100%. E-mail is going no where. It just will get more and more expensive to acquire customers via e-mail because people are receiving more e-mail than ever, but spending less time in their inboxes than ever as well.

      Smart marketers are responding by trying to be ahead of the pack through rapid experimentation, so as to find the cheapest and fastest route to building a bond strong enough to make offers.

      Originally Posted by Renatas Budrys View Post

      Email marketing will stay as long there is such thing as email, maybe in 20 years there will be a futuristic alternative then marketers will have to adjust to it
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  • Profile picture of the author farenexus 1
    I don't think email marketing is dead. It is still there if someone shares effective and good content, that will increase customers.
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