Email is dead. Long live email.

"Funny Internet Spam for eMail and Websites is Spicy" by epSos.de

“Funny Internet Spam for eMail and Websites is Spicy” by epSos.de

After killing Google Reader (and joking about killing YouTube, which would have been funnier had it not come so close on the heels of their announcement of Reader’s demise), every blogger in the known universe jumped on the “subscribe to our email newsletter” bandwagon in an attempt to keep people’s attention and continue to be able to effectively hawk their wares or smarts.

I felt like I was the lone voice saying “oh great, more crap to sift through in my email inbox.” After reading Michael Farrell’s piece in the Boston Globe a week ago, I realized my mistake: apparently I care too much about my email inbox. Oh, and apparently, marketers all over the world are wrong about email too.

Now anybody who has waited for a reply from me or actually seen my inbox — which is more “inbox 10,000” than “inbox zero” — might assume that I don’t care about my email at all. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I perhaps place too much import on email. I complain endlessly of our misuse of the technology as it’s morphed from a replacement for the office memo and formal correspondence to a news aggregation platform and instant messaging alternative. (Please don’t send me emails asking if I’m there from around the corner.)

Growth in B2B Digital Marketing Tactics by eMarketerAnd I’m not the only person who cares about email. It’s still one of the most effective marketing tools out there, and according to a January survey by BtoB Magazine (right), more email marketing budgets are growing than social media budgets. (Of course, that same survey shows mobile budget growth in last place, which makes me question the survey data just a little.)

I’m sorry to break this to you, but just because teens aren’t using email doesn’t mean they’re not going to use it when they get to college, or when they get to the workforce.

Now I agree with Dmitri Gunn, Anna Rosenman and anyone else who says that email is broken. It’s been horribly misappropriated. But it’s far from dead, and marketers and users alike are responding to the limitations and challenges posed by our modern email-centric business world.

According to a recent Pardot survey, “70% of B2B marketers do not consider email marketing to be a primary lead generation tactic.” Instead, they’re using it for lead nurturing, targeted messaging and message testing. According to the same survey, “58% of respondents test to see what type of content results in the best click-through-rates; 57% test for a correlation between subject lines and open rates; and 46% test to see how open rates are affected by time of day.” Highly targeted digital marketing is so much easier to do via email than any social channel.

Marketers have heeded the advice of many and widely adopted permission marketing. With this change and the improvements in spam filtering, my inbox is almost manageable these days. On most days at least. Still, if anyone’s written an autoresponder that fires off an email letting people know how behind I am on email, though, let me know, okay? Oh, wait, that’s just one more email…

I’ll close with one more Monty Python reference (you did know of course that spam is a Monty Python reference?):

About Todd Van Hoosear

Todd’s love of technology started as a child, when his dad would bring home chips and switches from his work in the electronics industry that would feed his imagination for years. Combining a stint as an IT guy with his education in PR and communication, Todd has helped clients in the engineering, mobile, cloud, networking, consumer technology and consulting spaces bring new ideas – and new takes on old ideas – to the market.

Learn more about Todd

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