When people say “email is dead” or that “email is no longer effective” it sounds like classic kill-the-messenger tactics. You wouldn’t permanently abandon your automobile, even though it consistently fails to perform when you enter the expressway at 5pm.
Same with email. You don’t abandon it because you get junk. In fact, consumers prefer to engage with email more than social media when it comes to learning about and shopping for products.
According to Milward Brown’s study of 1,209 internet users, only 7.6% respondents said they never visit a retail site after clicking on the retailer’s email. More than 77% said they do some of the time, with the remaining 15% saying they often or always go to the retailer’s site. 46% of respondents said they never use social media for shopping.
Email’s trump over social media, at least in the retail space, comes down to one thing; personalization. Years ago, I conducted focus groups around the United States on loyalty. When asked, “why are you loyal to your favorite retailers?” people in five cities across America consistently ranked “because they know me” as their number one answer.
In the digital relationship, this attribute isn’t quite as personal as a human being saying “Hello, Richard .. nice to see you again” when I enter the physical store, but it underscores the most prominent feature of today’s successful marketing: recognition of the customer as an individual versus a faceless member of some larger customer segment.
Read the full report, Retail Marketing, from AdAge, which contains key findings from the Milward Brown Digital study.
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