Everyone seems to be real quick to throw dirt on email marketing’s grave these days. Why? Because it’s not social media.
Well, not to sound blunt (although it will), that’s stupid.
If you need more evidence that email is indeed alive and well you should consider what HubSpot (a Marketing Pilgrim sponsor of our inbound marketing channel) has added to their suite of, you guessed it, e-mail. OK, so if a company that has managed to get over $65 million in VC backing (included in that is Google Ventures) and currently boasts just shy of 7,000 users of their inbound marketing tools decides to incorporate email into its offerings can it be that dead?
When Cambridge [MA] marketing software firm HubSpot Inc. launched in 2006, e-mail pitching was considered old-fashioned and spam-riddled. Consumers struggling with e-mail overload were often not receptive to more electronic clutter. HubSpot didn’t even build e-mail marketing products.
That changes on Tuesday, when HubSpot will at last offer its own tools to manage, create, and track e-mail marketing campaigns in its standard menu of services. It’s a mark of how much life the company thinks is left in the old Internet standby.
“A lot of people think that e-mail marketing is dead,’’ said HubSpot marketing manager Jessica Meher, “but we think it still has a lot of power if it’s done right.”
Ok, so to say that HubSpot has its pulse on everything that is correct is a bit presumptuous. I get that. But why would a company that has already grown at a dizzying rate with a new concept (inbound marketing) and momentum in the marketplace use resources to build something into its platform that is failing?
Email marketing is not what it used to be and that’s why it is more effective than ever. I personally have undervalued email marketing and I am kicking myself for it. It can be dangerous to buy into conventional (or crowd) wisdom about things. With everyone barking that spam and phishing had ruined email it almost become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The difference with email marketing today is that now that there is SO much noise in the online space, it is actually a way to step away from that fray (which I liken to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange where everyone is screaming at the top of their lungs but somehow business still gets done) and be set apart from the craziness that is social media.
HubSpot had their epiphany of sorts pretty recently
HubSpot’s Meher said the company began to seriously consider adding e-mail marketing services last year after it purchased Cambridge start-up Performable, which had been developing analytical tools to measure the effectiveness of online campaigns. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but Performable’s 18-person team moved over to HubSpot.
One of the team’s first projects, according to Meher, was to develop an e-mail marketing platform that was tightly integrated with the rest of HubSpot’s offerings. “We weren’t interested in e-mail marketing as a silo,’’ Meher said.
It’s this tight integration with other areas of a company’s marketing efforts that is the key. Email, just like any other single marketing technique or tactic, is not the only thing that will win the day. In fact, what may be happening is that rather than the “buy a list and hope someone responds” days we are simply looking at a more mature approach to email marketing. That maturity shows itself in more direct campaigns with very specific goals that go to only the right people for the right reasons. In the process it can promote all the other marketing activities (blogs, social and more) that a company is engaged in to reach their target market where they are rather than where the marketer thinks they should be.
Where are you on email marketing? We are seeing more and more talk about its effectiveness in light of the social and mobile Internet age. Are you? Are you using it strategically? Are you finding how it dovetails with the rest of your marketing campaigns and thus becomes truly effective?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments. Also, would you like to see email from us here at Marketing Pilgrim?