E-mail will be the target marketing tool of preference for companies that push their products and services online. Its growth in use will even surpass that of social media and search.
E-marketer reports that business executives worldwide expect their advertising tactics using e-mail will increase 65% in 2011. Social media is supposed to be the new age way to reach people, but its increase will only be by 57%.
The news shows how the old can become new again. The wide spread use of e-mail is fifteen years old. It was a foundation, and still is, of services which include Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO), AOL NYSE: AOL), MSN, and, more recently Google (NASDAQ: GOOG). It is not an accident that Facebook will release its own e-mail service.
Marketers have realized once again that nearly everyone uses e-mail while it is only nearly everyone who uses search and social networks. The ubiquity of e-mail is what makes it such a powerful way to reach people.
There will probably be a backlash to the increase of marketing via e-mail. There almost always is when people who view a free service as one that is suddenly meant to make a profit for its provider. Social networks have been through the same backlash. Users had supposed that Facebook and MySpace use were free and private. Recently those users have discovered that the social network firms need to make money to stay in business and support lofty valuations among investors. Advertising on Facebook is so widespread that it now sells 25% of all online display units in the US.
One of the most powerful reasons that e-mail is useful is that people are reluctant to give up their services. Many users have had their current e-mail addresses for years. The difficulty of a change would be significant.
There is one weapon e-mail users can employee to avoid advertising. They can delete messages, unless, of course, those run in the margins of their e-mail screens and not in the e-mails themselves. Marketer are clever that way.
Douglas A. McIntyre