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#MarTechFest Dial Up: Steven Bartlett Explains Why Email Still Works

Subject line: Wait, what, email still works?!  But, but...how can I post a bunch of comics that are only funny for three people? How can I make a TikTok that no-one but my mum will watch? Hashtag help me!

Comedy Central Mail GIF by Workaholics

If you caught our #MarTechFest Dial Up sesh with Steven Bartlett, Ol' S.B gave us a run down on his top five B2B  predictions for 2022. Among these was a big reveal: traditional social media is dead.

Now, you might think the idea of traditional social media is an oxymoron, and you'd be wrong, boomer. Steven wants marketers to move away from 'old' social media. 

He doesn't recommend a Facebook page, nor an Instagram page. And when he launches his new businesses, he plans on using bespoke, inward-facing community sites. 

“We’re launching on Discord. We’re launching on Telegram. We’re going to do a load of things on LinkedIn. The Twitter page will be a bit of an afterthought. That’s the future.”

But Steven isn’t just looking forward, he’s looking backwards.

Email Marketing: it's better than ever

Email still works. Which is pretty phenomenal”

So, this is where we're focusing our attention today - what would be called the second coming of email, if email had ever died in the first place. 

Email has gotten more important in the last three or four years, than it was 4-10 years ago. When social reach was reduced, marketers took communications into their own hands. A link between the more decentralised social approach of Discord and Telegram, possibly.

“Having a million followers doesn’t mean you can reach a million people.”

Cue the rise of the newsletter. “How many people have a newsletter now? Everyone has a newsletter; everyone has a podcast or a newsletter now. But they didn’t 15 years ago”

This is where email has re-emerged as an industry fave. And it's just become easier, and easier, to do well. 

Spam filters improved, newsletters have become higher quality, and loss of organic reach on social became the norm. Plus, there’s a desire to actually reach the people you want to reach, without the interference of an algorithm.

“I hold email in high regard. It’s a crazy thing for a social media CEO to say – don’t make a Facebook page, or Instagram page. But make an email newsletter”

Mailjet reports that good marketing newsletters can “guarantee constant website traffic, [signups to] webinars, other event registrations, and product sales.” However, this only works when the newsletters do.

A newsletter is used by businesses to share relevant information with their network of customers, prospects, and subscribers. It gives an organisation direct access to their audience's inbox, putting useful content in front of their eyeballs in an easily consumable format.

A double act

If done well, email and social media can work as a pretty successful duo. As a pair, the two techniques can drive leads and build loyalty. A little definition of the two:

Social media marketing involves promoting content on your social media channels; Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube. This content should be tailored to each channel, in order to improve brand awareness.

Email marketing leads prospects down the sales funnel by sending content and messaging directly to your subscribers' inboxes. 

You can combine the two by including social media profile links in your marketing emails, providing your clients the opportunity to communicate with you in a variety of ways.

Plus, your emails can encourage readers to check out more of your products. 

You could even give customers a reminder to sign up for your mailing lists on social media. 

so, marketers should use social media to grow their audience, and encourage fans to become email subscribers. Then, your emails will push them down the sales funnel, into paying customers.

But if you thought that was retro, Steven doesn’t stop there.

Let's get direct

It’s gotten to the point where, in a few years’ time, I’m going to start advising mail. Sending physical mail.”

Direct mail creates a novelty, engaging, targeted interaction with a client, giving you the chance to implement some omnichannel coordination and precise targeting.

By integrating data, direct mail can gain qualities only often achieved by digital means, with additional benefits that come with the tangibility and novelty of the medium.

In a USPS survey of 75 marketing decision-makers, respondents saw high 40% conversion rates when they combined direct mail with digital channels. Plus, 42% of direct mail recipients either read or scanned the mail they got. That's pretty high, even compared to email marketing.

Direct mail has a median ROI of 29%, putting it in third, behind email and social media marketing. So, combining all elements makes for a pretty successful campaign.

Every good marketing campaign uses multiple channels. For example, you might choose to use email and direct mail. So, send the letter. Then, a week after it's been received, follow up with an email. For every piece of printed mail, you can send up to four emails.

Don't forget to include a strong call to action in each piece, to create a sense of urgency to respond. Then, you can determine which medium works best for your campaign. This not only figures out your next step, but grabs your clients attention and drives them to action. 

"Our research found that mail drives trust and adds authenticity to communications, with 70% of consumers finding that mail makes them feel valued," says Market Reach's Maria Michael.

Take this example from Google Partners:

Build your own 3D Hologram Prism, Google Partners

Google sent targeted customers this innovative example of direct mail, which came with the instructions and materials to make a prism. Then, they needed to place it over their mobile phone, and watch a video. This video demonstrated a bunch of tips and tricks, to get them up to speed on mobile for the quarter.

As a result, the campaign saw a huge number of views and shares across all social media channels. That means people were engaging across multiple mediums, and multiple touchpoints. Not too shabby for a bit of plastic in an envelope. 

So, Steven clearly wants marketers to think critically about what channels they're using. Don't just use social media because you're supposed to use social media. Think old: email, think new: new social media channels, like Discord. 

Hate to miss out? Well, you can catch marketing legends Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose's sesh on demand, right here! 👈