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Is email marketing dead already?

As I was clearing out my junk folder yet again yesterday, it got me thinking – is email marketing dead already?

Like most major companies at MYOB we’ve found in the past that email marketing can be a simple and effective way to reach our clients ― we’ve certainly had our fair share of “learning’s” in this space and made our fair share of mistakes.   But with so much spam now flooding everyone’s inbox, and some really nasty spammers making everyone more wary, has email  had its day as an effective marketing tool?

Communications technology has provided so many more avenues for direct, rich and responsive ways to speak – and listen – your customer base. But like direct mail before it, I suspect there is still a role for the right kind of email as a persuasive way of engaging your customers.

And, like so many things in business, it all comes down to trust.

Many business owners believe they need to be in their customer’s faces in order to be noticed.  But – as we all know from experience – this can have just the opposite effect.

You want to build a relationship with them and like any relationship you need trust. Would you want to do business with someone who was cluttering up your inbox with constant, completely irrelevant emails?   Me either…

The thing to remember with email marketing is that it’s so easy for people to just click the delete button without even opening your email. It’s so important to have a good reputation ― your aim is for people to see your name as the sender and want to open your email.

And once you’ve built that reputation – and have their permission to communicate by email –you don’t want to waste it by sending your clients anything they won’t want to read.

I know that I only open emails that I feel are targeted at me and are going to offer me something.  Emails that are generic and consistently have nothing relevant for me I just delete without even opening.

So I guess the answer to my first question is no – not yet, but in the hands of the lazy or the unscrupulous, it may be that email marketing is killed off pretty soon.

And that would be a bit of a shame, because, like a skillfully written letter, that right kind of email can be highly effective.

What do you think?

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Julian Smith

Julian Smith

Julian Smith is responsible for MYOB’s corporate affairs, government and public relations in Australia and New Zealand and is also New Zealand general manager. The qualified lawyer has spent much of his career at large multinationals in a range of senior legal, sales, marketing and customer management roles. Julian is a regular keynote speaker and business commentator and sits on a number of government and industry boards and advisory panels. Julian can be found on Twitter <a href="http://www.twitter.com/JulianTSmith">@JulianTSmith</a> or contacted via email Julian.smith@myob.com

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