If you are serious about online marketing,
chances are that email marketing is one of your staple tactics. If
so, you will already have grappled with falling conversion rates as
recipients have become ever more selective about the messages they
are receptive to. If you are successful at email marketing, you
will know that long-term success is achieved not by sending out
more email, it is achieved by constantly reviewing your delivery
success and open rates, increasing relevance to your recipients and
refining conversion performance.
However, no matter how thoroughly you refine
your email strategy and prune your house list, there is a worrying
new trend that email marketers need to face up to that is whittling
away at the earning potential of your house list; email usage in
certain age groups is dropping, and for some age-groups, dropping
like a stone.
Comscore recently released findings from their
latest study on year on year change in use of email by age group in
the US. This showed significant drops in usage in all age groups
under the age of 55, except for the 18-24 age range who largely
need an email account for job hunting, banking or other coming of
age activities. The drop was described as ‘catastrophic’ in the
12-17 years age range which showed a 59% fall.
The continued surge in Social Media usage has
largely been attributed to this trend and it is not just isolated
to the US. Recent surveys of UK internet traffic estimate
interaction with social networks amounting to as much as 25% of all
page views. Facebook is currently responsible for the majority of
those interactions. This is coupled with an average visit at
Facebook of over 20 minutes. There is also a hard-core of social
network users who leave one social network, only to visit another.
It is therefore no wonder that we are seeing lower usage of email
as a knock-on effect. Many younger internet users communicate
solely through the messaging services of these social networks,
seeing no need for an ‘old-school’ email account.
In short, these are more compelling reasons
why organisations need to take a strategic approach to Social
Media. We have already been told that social signals are starting
to affect search engines algorithms. With internet users spending
increasing time within social networks and migrating from
traditional technologies such as email, we need to understand how
to engage with our audience in a relevant way, translate this
engagement to our business objectives and reduce our reliance on
tactics that may be less profitable. For some marketers, managing
that house-list might soon be a thing of the past.
Authored by Ian