Why do we need email marketing if we have social media?

Posted by
Mike Lyon
Date
 September 3, 2009
Comments
7 comments

email_campaignMany of you are squeezing social media so hard that you have forgotten about the “old-fashioned” email marketing campaign. Are you thinking, “With all of these status updates, tweets, article postings, video sharing, and more — we just don’t need the email campaigns like we used to.”?

Lately, I have received an increase in requests to speak to home builders about using social media to generate new home sales. It’s the topic du jour. In my presentations, I always start with this thought:

“Even though we are here to talk about social media and how you can leverage that network, the bottom line is, home buyers are not going out to search for a home on Facebook. You must have a solid foundation and a bullet-proof online sales program, before you invest all of your time and effort building a social media campaign.”

One of the key Internet marketing tools in your Online Sales Program is your email marketing. If you aren’t sending out monthly campaigns to potential customers, realtor, and past customers – you are missing valuable opportunities.

“But Mike, we have 1,000 followers on Twitter and 400 Facebook fans. They all see our stuff,” is the response I get. But does your post stick around? No, which is why email campaigns are so great.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of this traditional form of marketing (funny that email campaigns are now considered “traditional”).

  • Email campaigns are targeted. Unlike a tweet. you can guarantee that email recipients almost always see the subject line. Your challenge is to make that subject line engaging enough for the recipient to want to open it.
  • Email campaigns are more permanent. When the email is in someone’s inbox, they have to delete it to get rid of it. A Facebook status update or an article will disappear on its own. So, in this case, an email “lives” until the recipient takes action.
  • Email campaigns have more real estate. Emails offer more space to talk about your message link to other information, and add enticing images, which is much more powerful than the 140 characters allowed by Twitter.
  • You can track effectiveness with email campaigns. Tracking an email’s effectiveness is easier and less time-consuming than tracking the ROI of social media.
  • You can take action with email campaigns. With a targeted email message, you can actually see who opens and clicks through to the specific link. When you drill down into that data, you can then pick up the phone, call the prospect or realtor and talk about the subject immediately. Very powerful stuff!

If you really want to go old school, look at direct mail. When done correctly, it can still be very effective. Like a diverse portfolio, you must always keep your marketing program well-rounded. Just because there is a great new technology or a new advertising medium, it doesn’t mean the old method is useless. You always have to look at the return on time and investment to determine its value for you or your company. What “old school” methods still work for you?

  • Hi Mike,

    Good article. Recently I’ve seen a few articles with statistics to back it up highlighting the following trends:

    1.) Use of email is no longer the #1 online activity, use of Social Media took its crown
    2.) There are a number of websites that now get more traffic sent to it from Facebook than Google

    Both of these facts are very interesting and definitely noteworthy.

    Folks are staying in touch with friends and family via Facebook and Facebook’s internal email system more and more over traditional online email apps like Gmail or Hotmail.

    Also, people are starting to use “real-time” or “social” search more and more. Instead of doing a search in Google for info, they are searching Twitter and/or Facebook or just pinging their friends and family via these tools for info.

    However, as you noted in your article, this does not mean that email marketing and SEO are dead, not by a long shot. I definitely agree with you that these “traditional” strategies are still as important today as ever.

    People are often quick to see stats like I referenced and jump to knee-jerk conclusions such as “email is dead” or “seo isn’t important any more”. This is definitely not the case … at least not quite yet.

    • Great comment Josh – you are right on all those points! thanks for the feedback.

  • Hi Mike,

    Good article. Recently I’ve seen a few articles with statistics to back it up highlighting the following trends:

    1.) Use of email is no longer the #1 online activity, use of Social Media took its crown
    2.) There are a number of websites that now get more traffic sent to it from Facebook than Google

    Both of these facts are very interesting and definitely noteworthy.

    Folks are staying in touch with friends and family via Facebook and Facebook’s internal email system more and more over traditional online email apps like Gmail or Hotmail.

    Also, people are starting to use “real-time” or “social” search more and more. Instead of doing a search in Google for info, they are searching Twitter and/or Facebook or just pinging their friends and family via these tools for info.

    However, as you noted in your article, this does not mean that email marketing and SEO are dead, not by a long shot. I definitely agree with you that these “traditional” strategies are still as important today as ever.

    People are often quick to see stats like I referenced and jump to knee-jerk conclusions such as “email is dead” or “seo isn’t important any more”. This is definitely not the case … at least not quite yet.

  • Hi Mike,

    Good article. Recently I’ve seen a few articles with statistics to back it up highlighting the following trends:

    1.) Use of email is no longer the #1 online activity, use of Social Media took its crown
    2.) There are a number of websites that now get more traffic sent to it from Facebook than Google

    Both of these facts are very interesting and definitely noteworthy.

    Folks are staying in touch with friends and family via Facebook and Facebook’s internal email system more and more over traditional online email apps like Gmail or Hotmail.

    Also, people are starting to use “real-time” or “social” search more and more. Instead of doing a search in Google for info, they are searching Twitter and/or Facebook or just pinging their friends and family via these tools for info.

    However, as you noted in your article, this does not mean that email marketing and SEO are dead, not by a long shot. I definitely agree with you that these “traditional” strategies are still as important today as ever.

    People are often quick to see stats like I referenced and jump to knee-jerk conclusions such as “email is dead” or “seo isn’t important any more”. This is definitely not the case … at least not quite yet.

    • Great comment Josh – you are right on all those points! thanks for the feedback.

  • Mike,

    Great article. You are right in saying that you should not being paying too much attention to any one medium – everything in moderation. It will be interesting to see if or how any or all of these divergent systems start playing together in the future to increase an agent’s or listing’s overall exposure.

    You also mention that tracking effectiveness is easier with email. But some systems now are taking that raw data and providing analysis to it that suggests that a buyer might in fact be getting serious and not just looking. Of course the agent is the final piece to the puzzle, but ever little bit that can be automated helps.

    Paul

  • Mike,

    Great article. You are right in saying that you should not being paying too much attention to any one medium – everything in moderation. It will be interesting to see if or how any or all of these divergent systems start playing together in the future to increase an agent’s or listing’s overall exposure.

    You also mention that tracking effectiveness is easier with email. But some systems now are taking that raw data and providing analysis to it that suggests that a buyer might in fact be getting serious and not just looking. Of course the agent is the final piece to the puzzle, but ever little bit that can be automated helps.

    Paul