Is email the silver bullet for multidevice marketing?

By Clint Demeritt

With the rise of multidevice media consumption, marketers have new avenues to communicate with their customers. But there are now many more avenues for those communications to get lost on.


The democratic nature of the World Wide Web has made the Internet a powerful tool but also a very noisy place. A robust chorus of messaging spills out from social media and overcrowded inboxes, making it hard to rise above the noise. And the constantly shifting targets of multidevice data consumption has made it difficult to figure out which forms of communication are effective from the corners of the Internet where your message will be drowned out.


Though that inbox can be a crowded place, email marketing has proved itself again and again as a valuable marketing tool. About 44 percent of email recipients made a purchase last year based on a promotional email, and for every $1 invested in email marketing, an average of $44.25 is returned, according to stats gathered by Salesforce. And though Facebook leads the pack with about 1.55 billion monthly active users, The Radicati Group predicted an estimated 4.3 billion people will be using email in 2016.


Emails also provide a direct link from marketers to audiences. Email is a medium that gives marketers much greater control over the look and feel of their message versus social media. Responsive emails can bridge that multidevice divide since about half of all emails are opened on mobile devices, catching readers wherever they are. Readers tend to be more receptive to email messaging because they sign up for email lists and already have a relationship with the brand.


In their Email Evolution session, Ali Swerdlow, VP of Industry Relations from LiveIntent, and Joe Consedine, director of Marketing for Quibids, ask the question “Is Email The Silver Bullet For Killing The Multidevice Marketing Zombie?”


If email truly is the silver bullet to slay this noisy beast, can marketers rely solely on this form of communication to connect with customers? Unfortunately, email’s greatest strength is also one of its greatest weaknesses, which is the opt-in nature of email lists.


As discussed earlier, the strength of email is its basis on a previous positive interaction with a customer: They have already encountered your brand and have opted to learn more about it by signing up for your email list. But unless you are sending out emails to random addresses or buying email lists (two practices that should be highly discouraged), your email marketing strategy can’t exist in a vacuum.


But the versatility and effectiveness of email marketing make it one of the most powerful weapons to take down this multidevice marketing zombie. It is one of the most transcendent marketing tools, and you can use many methods to gather email contacts both in the real and virtual worlds. Email addresses can be gathered on Facebook pages, driven by calls on Twitter, funneled through your website and even gathered in-person at trade shows or meetings.


So, even though marketers can’t rely solely on email marketing as a silver bullet to drive their message to consumers, it’s still a great method to cut through the noise of the Internet and find consumers no matter what device they are using.

This article is brought to you by the DMA. Click here to register for Email Evolution Conference, March 30 – Apr. 1, 2016, in New Orleans.