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What if email were to die? (part one)

You can probably find a blog every month on how email isn’t dead and is, instead, thriving. What if it were to die though? What do marketers have at their disposal to fill the void?

The real question is, can they fill the void?

Social Media

Social media is the playground in which companies can chat and market to over 2 billion people (2015); there is no better way of achieving this potential reach and, as a brand, you want to be able to tap into this.

Social media platforms let companies become a person, by putting their brand voice at the fingertips of employees the brand becomes an individual, chatting with customers who are complaining, promoting or joking about the product. The use of social media also presents a potentially cheaper form of marketing – with the opportunity for the brand to identify and promote itself in an expanding and seemingly boundless environment.

Social media also allows for paid advertisements to find their way to accounts who may not already ‘follow’ the brand. This lets the marketer choose the cost, location and target audience of the campaign.

It is also the closest to email in interaction: it is viewed both at work and at home, as well as on your desktop and your phone.

The Flaw: Despite the reach potential, deliverability is poor. Facebook posts only reach about 2% of its intended audience, whereas email finds its intended inbox 90% of the time. Engagement is also an issue, with Twitter suggesting an average of only 1.5% but what they consider ‘engagement’ is not all too helpful to a marketer – placed alongside an ‘Open’, for email engagement, it sits 12.4% lower than emails from the lowest engaged industry (Daily Deals/E-coupons).


Even with the rise of social media we still send about 23 billion text messages every day. That is about 6 times the number of impressions the 2016 Oscars received on Twitter – which included 440,000 tweets per minute based solely on Di Caprio’s win.

SMS steals the show against email open rate too, with a staggering 98% open rate – in comparison to email’s 20%.

With mobiles ever becoming the go-to device for viewing emails it would surely make sense to market to a customer’s pocket, where your campaign can be read within 5 seconds. The numbers speak for themselves right?

The Flaw(s):  It’s a one-way street. Phones are used for conversation but, unlike social media, they are private and when you can’t reply to the only other person in the conversation you lose any chance at forging a brand voice.

Customer trust. Okay, this one may change should email fall to a grizzly death but trust in this marketing method is a big step to overcome. Only 36% of people in 2015 said they trusted text ads on mobile phones, that’s the lowest of 19 different advertising streams (10% less than social and 20% less than email).

So far, the outlook shows we would be a lot worse off without email, but what happens when we compare it to more traditional channels? Discover the results in part two of this blog.

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