Saturday, May 11, 2013

Email Marketing VS Twitter: My Experience (Part II)



who's the boss?
This is the concluding part of this series, you can read the part I of the series to follow through on this discussion.

In the first part of this series we looked at the development of email marketing since the emergence of the internet; the way in which marketers have utilized email to gain useful and profitable leads for their various products and services, the importance of email and the problems encountered by info-preneurs in making the most of email marketing and more.

Today we will be taking a more streetwise view on the social Media tool Twitter in many ways than one; subsequently, we’ll also be taking a closer look on how this social media network has virtually become an integral part of our marketing plans and decisions, then finally we’ll be looking at plausible reasons why it (Twitter) could overtake email as a marketing tool in the nearest future.

What is Twitter?

Well this discussion would not be taking or dwelling on any history lessons as regards the story behind Twitter; however I’ll just list some important facts about Twitter that makes it a must and sure destination for every savvy thinking internet marketer and content creator;

·         #Twitter Facts: (culled from MediaBistro.com Article [50 Twitter Fun Facts]):

a.      Has over 500 million registered users

b.      About 1/4th of this users are active

c.       It takes only one week at most to get over a billion tweets as at what it was three years ago

d.      The average twitter user has tweeted 307 times at least

e.      32% of internet users are using Twitter as of last year 2012, and almost 1 million Twitter accounts were added every day in 2012 too (can you beat that!)

f.        64% of consumers have made one purchase decision based on Twitter

g.      91% of 18-34 year olds using Twitter are talking about brands.

h.      16% of US internet users are on Twitter

i.        60% of Twitter users are female

These are some of the facts that we need to look at, especially as we make comparisons between Twitter and email.

Now for us to make an informed decision on the best marketing tool as it is today, we also need to look at some interesting facts about email as it correlates to Twitter;

·         #Email Facts: (culled from masstransit.com [13 Amazing facts about email])

a.       More than 294 billion emails are sent everyday

b.      Over 100 trillion email are sent per year

c.       90% of these trillion email messages are spam

d.      Spam costs many businesses and companies over $20 billion in decreased productivity

e.      Average email campaign volumes increased by 20% in 2012

f.        2012 open rates are down by 2%- meaning that more emails were sent to the trash can in 2012

g.       77% of people at some point want to get an email every day from varied sources.

h.      According to Radicati Group study from 2009, there are approximately 1.9 Billion email users.

With these facts in hand, we can make a more theoretical comparison and see how these two marketing apparels stand.

The above facts (Twitter and Email), will be picked randomly in other for us to spot out the obvious differences and most importantly glean from this data the extent of superiority one has over the other (Twitter or Email).

Let the Games begin…

From the above Twitter facts, it was recorded that over 60% of purchases were made via a social media decision and average email open rate decreased by 2%: this is a big plus not for Twitter alone but every other Social Media giant.

So what does this imply?

If 60% of purchase decisions was reached via a tweet or any other social Media metric, and most of the marketing emails sent by companies to their leads recorded a decrease in opening and reading; this implies that most people rely more on social Media conversations than a marketing advice or tip from an anonymous or faceless ezine publication or email marketing message for them (leads) to act.

As a writer and infopreneur, making more social efforts might pay off in the long run, though it was recorded from survey that 77% of us want to get marketing messages via email- meaning that ignoring email marketing will result into a devastating marketing decision for you even if 90% representing an average of 264 billion emails are regarded as spam, the remaining 10% can mean a great deal for you income if you know how.

What this really means here is that out of the 1.9 billion global email users, 77% of this number which is approximately 1.46 billion; wants some form of email message.

The question here is this- can you ignore this number (1.46 billion)?

Well I don’t need as answer because I already know what it will be. And this once again stipulates the power of the email even in a cyber-world becoming heavily dominated by social media networks.

Let’s continue; we can also glean from the above facts that 1/4th Twitter users are active, meaning that about 120 million Twitter users tweet , re-tweet and reply to tweets every day, from this number- over 1 billion tweets were shared amongst them.

While over 294 billion emails are sent every day; however, out of this number, 90% representing an average of 264 billion emails are spam. The irony here is that more emails are deleted, rerouted to the spam folder, ignored or not even seen at all, while almost every Tweet on your timeline is read, and some even get a re-tweet and more: (remember, an average Twitterer spends at least 21 minutes or more on Twitter every day).

So what more can you say as regards this pre-conceived dominance of Twitter over email?

340 million tweets are sent every day and about 92% of these Tweets gets a re-tweet, but from above we deduced that over 264 billion emails are spam; the implication of the above facts and findings is that people are more likely to receive and retweet, while 1.9 billion email users get to send about 264 billion of emails to the trash can; but it was also on record that in 2012, email click-through-rate (CTR), increased by at least 1%- meaning that out of the remaining 30 billion emails (subtracting 294 billion from 264 billion spam mails), 300 million emails were opened and read by the receivers.

So should we be happy then for email?

Citing the above, we can rightly say that if 300,000,000 (3 million) emails were clicked-through, then this is one method that is not going into oblivion any time soon.

On the other hand, 340 million tweets of articles from personal blogs, news sites and more gets about 832% chances of a re-tweet- this is very interesting fact for any aspiring content creator because the positive side of this finding is that a well written article that is tweeted, gets about 832% chances of going viral, and in marketing parlance- the word “viral” literally means a lot of dollars.

Then which is better- twitter or email?

We are still deep in our comparisons and it is still very early to make assumptions on which of the tool is better. So let’s continue with the facts and the contextual comparisons of these two powerful marketing tools.

Then what more can be said on these two cyber titans?

It was reported that most purchase decisions made by consumers to the tune of 64% was influenced by a social media interactions (in this case Twitter); while roughly 20% increase was recorded in email campaigns in 2012.

Now remember, about 30 billion of the emails received are not spam, then out of this number, 300 million was read, and only a meager 2% of this leads responded. Mathematically this number (2%) of 300,000 yielded about 60 million responses.

Furthermore, there are approximately 2.27 billion internet users worldwide, with the United States alone accounting for 245 million of this number. We can also garner from this assertion that 1.9 billion emails were sent and received amongst these active users.

Not forgetting that at least 77% of 1.9 billion wish to receive an email either personal or non-personal notwithstanding; the implication of this is that a total of 1.46 billion emails which were solicited (77% of 1.9 billion). The revelation here is that ignoring this number (77% emails users wishing for an email message), could be a big marketing blunder which should be avoided at all cost.

Should we then assume that email is literally gaining more grounds here?

Now from what we have above (#Twitter Facts), 32% of internet users are on twitter- mathematically this represents an average of about 500 million of 2.27 billion active internet users; and an average of 340 million tweets were generated daily between these active users.

More so, 60 million email leads responded to marketing messages sent to their inboxes, representing 2% of estimated click through rate (CTR), so the likes of Yanik Silver, Dan Kennedy and every other top and successful ezine publishers whose combined email leads can make up 1/4th of the total CTR recorded, got at least 15 million leads responding to their email marketing messages. This is a clear indication that email marketing is still as strong as ever and ignoring this method is tantamount to failure.

From the above calculations, we can hypothetically say that 500 million users out of 2.27 billion total internet users replied to about 832% of the tweets sent, and 2% of 300 million real email messages got about 60 million responses; meaning that as many as 304 tweets sent, 60 million email messages where clicked through.

So disregarding the 60 million estimated responses, to cling to 32% Twitter active users who generate about 304 tweets a day which gets about 832% response will be detrimental to the infopreneur. On the flipside, 832% is great and ideal if this number generated about 64% purchase decisions. So this is even more conflicting as we can see here, because the more you ignore one of the methods (email or Twitter), the more loses you’ll be recording from doing so.

Then what can we do to embrace both methods?

Well I can’t for sure, but one thing I know is this- email marketing is not going anywhere but would only keep evolving and bringing its survival tactics to the cyber marketing world even in a social media dominated cyberspace.

Yes I know, but I still need to know how to make the most of both tools, so how?

Both tools can be effectively employed through the following ways carefully listed below;

1.      Understand the ABC of list building and use this method to get more followers on Twitter and make your timeline more interactive and healthy

2.      Look for third party apps like FeedBurner for delivering your messages as feed delivered to your subscribers then look at a third party Twitter app like Twitterfeed.com to help enhance your twitter updates especially by getting it synced with your blog for more exposure and traffic. The punch line here is- don’t forget third party apps because they not only make your life easier but they also rock your world!

3.      Don’t forget to include “email this”  as part of the social media icon in your blog post, articles, videos and any web content you authored or produced, this is so because most people (especially those within the 40’s age bracket) would prefer using the email this icon than a Tweet-this icon. Bearing in mind that 77% email users solicit for an email message either from a friend, colleague or family member.

4.      Make your email messages sound more like Tweets (though I don’t even have a list), this will elicit more interest I think.

5.      Include your Twitter handle in your email messages and add your email address to your Twitter profile (don’t forget the role direct messages play).

These are some of the ways you can integrate both Twitter and email as you move forward with your marketing ethics and much more.

But I still have this hunch that Twitter might surpass email in the future, if this feeling is subjective or opinionated is something I’m yet to figure out; you can see the reasons listed below for a more critical view on the matter.

Reasons why I think Twitter might surpass Email Marketing in future

1.       More people respond to tweets than emails

2.       Email messages are ambiguous and always requires the reader to carry out a marketing action, but tweet messages appear social and friendly, making the tweet to record more response than an average email sent.

3.       Email subscribers tend to opt-out more than opt in, but Twitter followers keep following a Twitter account for as long as the owner of the account meets their social standings and cravings.

4.       More young people interact and spend at least 21 minutes every day on social medias like Twitter, while more messages even the ones in the inbox are considered spam and are quickly deleted and sent to the trash cans by these young lads (who buy more than the advanced adults) before it is even clicked or opened.

5.       Twitter can boasts of 120 million to 340 million active users and counting, while 264 billion of the 294 billion emails sent every day end up as spam.

6.       A well written Tweet with a powerful message (articles in this case), has about 832% chances of getting a re-tweet, while out of 300 million non-spam emails received, only 2% gets a response.

7.       91% of Twitter users talk about brands in their Tweets, while roughly 50% or more emails received are regarded as spam; and invariably results to about $20 billion in loss resulting to decreased productivity.

But even with the facts stated above, email remains sacrosanct, see the reasons below:

1.       Remains the only method that survived the panda, penguin, EMD and every other pluausible algorithm change instituted by Google in the past few years

2.       The email is as seamless and transitory to the extent that messages are sent effectively to its destination with a more defined and stipulated motive.

3.       Still very cheap and can save cost, especially in large firms where the need to cost overhead costs is quite necessary

4.       Can never be replaced by any social media gimmick, especially with Twitter’s new resume service Twi-sume, remember you can never send a detailed resume or CV in 140 words, but you can send a limitless byte in the form an an email attachment to any destination without fear of distortion.

5.       Remains quaint and contemporary especially to the more elderly netizens

6.       Has more users and more uses than an average Social Media account and in this case Twitter.

Conclusion:

Be it Twitter or email, none of these two methods seem to have outwitted each other going by the stats and demographics recorded so far. However, the web is heavily relying on social metrics and demography making it most likely for Twitter to take the lead in this case.

For email- it remains the only tool since the emergence of the internet that has not been affected negatively by the deluge of changes and web 2.0 or is it 3.0 impacts recorded since the dotcom bubble bust.

Recently Google instituted an algorithm change that will go down in history as the most devastating of all changes, yet the email as we know it came out blazing hot and surprisingly unscathed.

As for Twitter, it was noted that Google Plus surpassed it in user average and interactions last year 2012, but it still remains the marketer’s destination because an average of 14,000 users follow big brands and companies and respond to Tweet messages sent by these big brands and fortune 1000 companies.

Between Twitter and email; I’d say that there is no winner (looks like Twitter had it though); all that matters is comparing these facts and figures, then carefully bringing these facts as they enhance or affect your marketing decisions as a writer, content creator vis-a-vis  infopreneur.

Just be wise and make the most of these tools to your very advantage as you sublimely employ each to your writing and marketing success!

 

 

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