Is Social Replacing Email? Here’s How You Can Make Sure it Doesn’t

Lately there’s been a lot of speculation around whether or not social media networks are replacing email marketing as a channel for nurturing customers. Both are excellent ways to keep your customers interested in you and coming back for more services. However, several email-marketers are convinced that social is superior because users are now spending more and more time on social media and less time on their email accounts. It’s true—according to a Nielsen survey by BBC News, one in every 11 minutes of a web user’s time is spent on social networking sites and blogs. Does that mean social is replacing email? Absolutely not.

It simply means that as a digital marketer, you must work even harder to deliver email messages that are effective and engaging.

Yes, perhaps consumers are spending more time on their social accounts than their email accounts, but that doesn’t necessarily mean social is more effective at driving conversions, leads, and ROI…especially in the B2B sector. Email is still the dominating form of communication for businesses. Many companies in the B2B sector find that email is far more effective and generates more traffic than social media does. In fact, an email marketing census by Econsultancy reported that 70% of responding companies found that email was excellent for ROI.

The problem with email marketing is not social media—it’s poor execution. Users are constantly bombarded with messages from marketers, and most get deleted before they are even opened. Why? Because the volume of messages being received is simply overwhelming. You must make your emails stand out from the sea of offers in our inboxes.

Here are some tips to make sure your emails get opened:

1.  Send Your Messages in the Afternoon

What’s the first thing you do when you get to work? My assumption is that after you’ve settled into your office desk with coffee and maybe breakfast, you turn on your computer and check your email. Every marketer is anticipating this, and therefore most emails are sent out in the morning. As a result, users are greeted with a massive list of emails that they must sort through. This is the time when users are most selective—they keep what they need and delete what they don’t. Send your emails after lunch. By now, their inboxes are sorted and your message is more likely to be opened.

2. Offer Exclusive Benefits for Opening your Message

Give your customers a reason to continue to open your emails. Offer exclusive benefits that can’t be found on social sites. Whether it’s a coupon, discount code, or pass to your next event, make sure you reward your customers for being loyal to your email campaign.

3. Quality Over Quantity

Sending an email every day is a sure way to encourage unsubscibes. Instead of sending out as many email messages as you can, try condensing your emails into one high-quality, informative newsletter that will provide much more worth to your customers. Remember, consumers are receiving emails from businesses every day. Focus your efforts on creating a solid engaging newsletter that your customers will look forward to every week. Keep your emails fresh with new offers, quick tips, and helpful articles that your customers will find useful.

4. Don’t Send Messages on Monday

In HubSpot’s The Science of Email Marketing, researchers found that people are most likely to unsubscribe from email lists on Monday and Tuesday…it would make sense then, that the click through rate of an email is high on Wednesday and on the weekends. Why might that be? One can only speculate, but I’m willing to bet that most people unsubscribe on Mondays for the same reason they delete messages in the morning. Countless marketers are expecting consumers to open their inboxes on Monday morning when they get to work, and they want their email to be the first one opened. Instead, consumers are met with piles of emails…and they decide that it’s time to clean up their subscriptions.

5. Be on the Offense

Unsubscribes are a part of life. Consumers might be loyal readers one minute and the next they’ve found a newer, hotter newsletter to subscribe to.  My advice is not to waste energy trying to get them back (unless of course you have the energy and money). Instead, take an offensive approach. Always focus efforts on drawing in new subscribers. Promote your email newsletters through an integrated campaign. Encourage subscriptions through your Facebook and Twitter, be sure to have a subscription button on your website, and ask for emails from attendees at company events.

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