Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Email Marketing VS Twitter: My Experience (Part I)

Since the latest algorithm brouhaha by cyberspace dictator- Google, a lot has been said as regards some normal and routine marketing tactics that were hitherto used in the past to generate high lead conversions and even in contemporary times like we have now.

But as more and more dramatic and very hurtful changes in algo continue to characterize today’s web marketing space, the question on the lips of everyone is this; where are we headed?

Do we change things overnight or will what we already know and do suffice?
 
Amongst this is the recent quest to go social on everything. Leaving you to answer the question-

Is email marketing really dead, obsolete or still in vogue via-à-vis the new rave of the social media world Twitter?

From experience, I will say both marketing techniques can still bring in the much needed conversions.



However, for a person with no list like me (yes I don’t even have a list) - I’m kinda wondering if I’m even qualified to write or comment on this topic.

But having being on the sidelines watching as these two web marketing paradigm continue to fight for domination, I feel I can lend my own little idea or opinion especially in a rapidly changing cyberspace where even white hat faithfuls are being victimized and taunted for being white hat, and the grey and black hats are having a field day doing what they know best (spam distribution): until maybe their luck runs out and Google pulls the rug under their smelly feet.

So back to our discourse, email marketing and Twitter marketing, who is the BIG BROTHER?

I’ll look at this two web marketing techniques from personal experiences, at the end of this discourse I might have somehow answered this rhetorical question or posed even bigger questions, so whichever way the pendulum swings, I’ll do my best to bring to the fore all the necessary arguments to harmony.

Email Marketing:
Right from the days when we had everything in analogue, this marketing style has been in vogue, the only difference is change in nomenclature.

Then it was regarded as mail order. Formerly companies marketed to their various customers through sending them mail orders of their latest products. Most of the mail orders were either solicited or non-solicited (spam).

Now to the dot.com era, where digital revolution takes center stage- enter electronic mailing or email!

With this new revolution, reaching out to prospects or what we call now leads in email marketing parlance became much easier since you don’t get to knock on the doors of your prospects and risks having them rudely slam their doors in your face.

So how did marketers made good use of this?

Since List building became the norm, many marketers will tell you “the money is in the list” (that is if this assertion still holds true at all); many methods were employed in building a versatile and effective list. Below is a summary of the various techniques used-
  1. Giving away free niche based eBooks: this is the number one method many list builders used and still use. When I was attempting to build a list then, I scribbled a few pages based on my blog theme and attempted to get leads. Though I will tell you the truth here, I did not do it right; because I used virtually freebies all through: like a free auto responder account that had its limits, I based my eBook on a very extraneous topic that was all but exhausted. Then I was still naïve and did not even understand what I was doing. Now for you to do it right like the masters, one will require a good auto responder service- getresponse and aweber are currently the best two; just shelve a few dollars and pay for their premium service (remember I’m still learning the ropes). When all this is in place, it’s time to reason and do things like the masters which is doling high quality information to their subscribers and as a reward for their hard work they get compensated with more emails addresses and inadvertently more sales. But today, building a list via this method can be very daunting, as many netizens have become very wise as nobody will like to leave their contact details to just anybody with a freebie in form of some badly written eBook. I still remember this, I wrote a particular book I thought will generate the much needed leads, posted it on one of the many eBook directories, I was lucky to get about four subscribers, that was about it. So what I’m saying here is that you need to prove that your eBook is worth reading before you get people to leave their email contact with you. So this is a major setback for those who have the intention of marketing via this method, but on the contrary, if properly done, generating leads via free eBook giveaways is still working regardless of what the social media sites like Facebook and the social-media site of the Hour –Twitter is doing.
  2. Article Submission: various top internet marketers generated their many leads through writing and submitting articles to article directories. But after Google unleashed its big foot panda on unsuspecting cyber citizens including yours truly, building a list through this very powerful method is now completely in doubt. The panda update specifically targeted article directories, with top directories like ezinearticles.com losing their web traffic. Again this is another setback to email marketing, though most of the sites affected like Hubpages.com, suite101 etc have sanitized their house and business ethics, it is still yet to be seen how one can grow a list through this method like it was in the past, if you have any idea please don’t fail to drop your suggestions through comments as I’ m open to any idea good or even stupid, most times stupid might even be the opening needed.
  3. SEO and Search Engine Traffic to their highly trafficked squeeze pages: to an Internet marketer, understanding the basic of simple SEO practices was rudimentary and a prerequisite to success. This is a very important skill he must aquire while building squeeze pages or capture pages for list building. This is how top marketers like Yanik got to where they currently are. They understood how essential it was to optimize their squeeze pages for effective list building.
Problems currently posing a danger to email Marketing:

Having taken into cognizance some of the methods employed to build list for marketing purposes; it will be proper to say that email marketing though controversial still brings in the coins one way or the other.

However, I’ve noticed a very worrying trend that is developing at present that many email marketers are subsequently confronted with- which is spam.

Spam mails from time past were considered a pariah to marketing. With this negative development on the horizon, numerous top internet marketers have noticed an increase in opt-out and a decrease in opt-in, which can be attributed to spam.

One bad thing with this is that many people are now scared of opening their inbox or risk been confronted with MAIL Glut all over their email.

I get so many mails every day from the many e-zines subscriptions I unknowingly or purposely subscribed to, the only problem here is that I can’t even differentiate which is which, this has resulted to having me delete the mails as they come.

This is one problem that many ezine and newsletter publishers are battling with, as I’m writing this, I have well over 500 mails in my inbox all from email subscriptions from many internet marketing gurus: the funny thing here is I can’t even fathom their niche and my purpose for subscribing to their list.

So if this trend is not checked, then we are naively burying this wonderful marketing method. How can a newsletter publisher send out so many email campaigns at the same time and clogging up the inbox of his subscribers? A question I’ll like to see them answer.

Another worrisome issue that most people ask and want to know is this why must your email always sell something to me?

An additional problem I see with email marketing is that many of the so called mails are always a call to action on one offer or the other. Remember people are tired of being told of one get rich quick scheme or the other; or one weight lose regime that can transform a sumo wrestler into a runway model overnight.

What I want to read is some hardcore information that will add more value to my life. Though I still get cool reads via email, but lately my inbox have become inundated with so many email marketing messages that I fear opening my inbox.
Imagine being saddled with messages like- “…HURRY NOW AS THE OFFER ENDS MIDNIGHT TODAY...”
or another one that says “…WHY YOU CAN GET THOSE ABS JUST LIKE 50!” and so many mails with varying captions of this pedigree.

I believe this is one major setback to marketing via email these days. I wonder why many marketers have failed to notice this; maybe it is still working for them this is what I’m yet to investigate.

But it befuddles me how most of them send these kind of emails every day and minute. Some even go as far as sending promotional messages twice or even thrice to their subscriber’s inbox in a day. This is the bane to email marketing, especially considering today’s realities where the online world is becoming heavily reliant on social medias, a cyberspace where people feel more secured with what a Facebook friend or twitter follower suggested than some self-professed guru.

What did you say is still working?
Considering variables like the frequent algorithm changes, changing web demographics and social media revolution: there are four things that I think that can keep email marketing at brace with social media marketing specifically the social media phenomenon-TWITTER.
  1. Email Messages with VIDEOS embedded in it: with the web becoming more mobile oriented, most email marketing messages now come with a YouTube video embedded within the message that a subscriber with any mobile device with access to video streaming can easily watch. From personal experience, I get sucked into the message once I notice a video promotional. Most top internet marketers and gurus can attest to this; remember I don’t even have a list. personally I don’t get easily stirred into responding to an offer via email, however with video messages I find myself toying with the idea of subscribing, buying or window shopping just after seeing a video within the message. It is a well-known and established fact that people respond more to visual streaming ad messages than static ones. This is why ad marketing companies introduced electronic billboards with video messages; this is to delve into the visual psyche of those watching the messages making them to respond to the call of the message they are viewing.
  2.  Blog Article Snippets: I feel obliged to click-through to a blog article with a very cool caption that catches my fancy. Evidently, many conversions and sales realized via email marketing was somehow connected to a well written blog article or review sent in as an email message to subscribers, especially a well written review for an interesting product or service. Top companies like eBay and Amazon know this; and for this sole purpose recruit thousands of niche based bloggers as Affiliates and product reviewers to help them make more sales to their prospects and leads.
  3. Free Webinar Promotional: who wouldn’t love a free webinar from a web marketing Guru like Yanik Silver or Darren Rowse on the latest web marketing trends? I for one won’t hesitate to subscribe, this is one other method I’ve noticed that is still working. Though if badly handled can boomerang. As I’ve noticed a surge in online webinars and the thing with some of the messages carrying these promotional is that they are from other marketers who rented a list from an e-zine owner: For me I find it quite bogus to get myself involved with somebody I don’t really know a thing about. But like I said, if this is properly done, it converts real-quick. And doing it right will involve the owner of the e-zine sending out the messages him/herself like the pot-pie girl does. 
  4. Messages sent out to Belibers, Gaga-yans and Oprah-nians not forgetting Obama-nians: this might sound funny, but this is very true. Email messages that come with some sort of touch from this group of people or celebrities in general tend to do well and somehow avoid the trash can. Just imagine a message from Oprah herself via an ezine you are subscribed to conveying some cool message or Justin Beiber to fellow Beliebers? You can expatiate further. 

So how does Twitter for example substitute email as a marketing tool?

Like I posited earlier, email marketing has come to stay and I don’t see it going away that easily. Rather I foresee a situation where only those who understand the nitty-gritty of building a list and marketing with emails will be the ones who’ll remain in this fight.

Nonetheless, Google Plus and Twitter especially are setting a dangerous precedence that might put those who rely solely on their list in potent danger of being matched out of the web marketing setting.

How?

The web is transcending from an anonymous space to an environment where the faces behind a brand matter more. Twitter has undergone a sort of meteoric transformation that still befuddles many pundits like me.

The algorithm changes-
Firstly, when Google decided to fire its algo-cannon that disrupted commonly accepted SEO practices, it also introduced a funny dimension to getting ranked on their SERP (Search Engine Result Pages).

Panda for example disregarded links originating from article directories, link exchange sites, back-links that looked solicited and keyword stuffed sites. But contrary to all of this, it considered social metrics like Facebook likes, re-tweets, pluses, re-blogged articles and lastly re-pins.

What this suggests is that search bots now looked at contents with better social metrics as high quality and useful info since more Facebook users and most especially Twitter users deem it necessary to share such content, then such content had its weight in gold (or silver?)
Remember as more and more re-tweets in this case are recorded, it invariably brings in more followers. People are more secure getting to follow a person being followed by another social friend of theirs. But the reverse is the case with emails where many folks delete unsolicited mails forwarded to them by even persons they know.

This is one huge booster for Twitter thanks to the algorithm change instituted by Google that treated contents with better social metrics with preferential treatment. What matters now is getting more re-tweets and followers than more leads who unsubscribe the moment they get the freebie you promised to give out to them for subscribing.

In the concluding part of this discussion, I’ll take a full dive into social media marketing phenomenon Twitter via-à-vis email marketing. The comparisons, current trends and which could be considered best in engaging today’s web marketing culture.

 

2 comments:

  1. Companies are starting to realize the benefits of utilizing social media tools such as Twitter, but many haven’t considered how this fits into an overall strategy with regards to email. Each method of communication has its strengths and weaknesses, but until now I hadn’t considered putting the two ideas against each other for a direct comparison. But I'm pretty sure that both of them has a big impact in business.

    Pinterest marketing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks Takeshi for your comments; like you rightly pointed out each tool has its strenght and weaknesses with Social Media like Twitter in this case becoming a phenomen in today;s online marketing practices.

      Thanks for stopping by

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