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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Email Marketing's Inferiority Complex

Not a single day goes by without some industry "expert" predicting the death of email. If you took what they said to heart, email should be been dead 10+ years ago - but it's not. As a matter a fact it's healthy than ever...It is perhaps the single most pervasive application in existence, perhaps only eclipsed by the browser. According to data from Pingdom, there are 2.4B internet users and 2.2B email users. That's some serious penetration right there! But scale, ROI and the overall effectiveness of the channel doesn't seem to earn it any goodwill, EVER. It's just taken for granted time and time again and kicked to the curb as soon as something sexier walks through the door.

This abuse has lead an entire industry to suffer from what I'm calling "Email Inferiority Complex". Which is the perpetual feeling of inadequacy as compared to other digital marketing channels. This complex has lead many of us within the email space to lash out every time someone speaks poorly about our beloved email or predicts our collective demise. We continue to show proof, that dollar for dollar email has the highest ROI of any other digital marketing's king of the hill. Each time we shout a bit louder and comeback to the table with even better data, showcasing email's dominance but no matter...the attacks keep coming.

So it is high time we take these challengers head on...we need to issue a simple, yet effective challenge to all those who tell us "email is dead" and this is:

Remove email marketing from your mix for the next 30 days.

That's it...pretty simple no? If you really think email is dead and you've got all the answers on what's going to replace it - then just simply do so. Take all of the resources you were going to apply towards your email efforts and dedicate them somewhere else. This should help us get to the bottom of things REALLY fast. Time for all the pundits, experts, analysts put their money where their mouth is.

We can use the Hash #EmailChallenge to see who's up for it and track the results. However I suspect all of us email folks already know the answer but as you can probably tell, we're kinda sick and tired of being told we're irrelevant or will be in the near future. As my man Axl Rose would say - "get in the ring..."