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Email Marketing is Dead

email-deadAsk me if I thought this two days ago when I was frantically searching for an HTML form that would work with WordPress.  I didn’t.

It was today, 09-09-09, that I realized email marketing was dead.  I can even tell you how…and why.  I was researching an earlier post on local SEO and I was examining a site with a critical eye.  Everything was looking pretty good, until I saw the call to action was a newsletter signup.

This business was expending effort with SEO and perhaps PPC to get an email address.  When I saw it, it seemed absurd to me.  Why would I give up my email address for a bombardment of stupid stuff, when I could read a blog, or subscribe to a feed or follow a twitterer or get a referral from a friend on Facebook for something I was actually interested in?  I wouldn’t and neither will anyone else.

I’ll admit, I have signed up for email lists and newsletters.  I’ve written newsletters.  In today’s world, a monthly newsletter is pretty much useless.  Unless you’re the editor of Snails Quarterly, your job description needs to change.

Competition demands near instantaneous output and feedback.  Today’s technology delivers that capability.

We’re moving from a spam approach – whatever will stick, will stick – to a laser targeted focus on our customers.  Someone who will sign up for my blog, Twitter or Facebook page is someone interested in me or my company or what I have to say.  Why would I try to market to someone who isn’t?

The shift in marketing has to be from that of blasting a static message to everyone, to custom tailoring a message to those who are ready and willing to hear it.  TV does not provide that avenue.  Neither does radio, or print or any traditional method of advertising.  The only medium that provides this capability is the Internet.  PPC, SEO and social media.

Imagine if your customer is searching for a product you sell and hears a message that appeals to them.  How much likely are they to buy based on one exposure to your product?  How much more are you willing to pay for a one visit close?

That’s the power we have in our hands today.  Email and spam marketing is dead.  It’s a painful loss, but we need to move on.


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