For me, Matt Blumberg started the 'email is not dead' cry with his brief but elegant post - but in actuality, the 'email is dead' train started back a couple of years ago - and surprise, surprise - not only is email not dead, but it is going stronger than ever.
Recently a couple of friends also took up the baton of defending email and why is email being picked on so much? - this time around the threat isn't RSS but social media.
I fully support the notion that email is not dead - as Jeanniey Mullen of EEC has said time and time again, email is the backbone of digital marketing and it certainly isn't going away. As I briefly referred to in this post recently; as new technologies come along they cause a bit of excitement - but eventually they all settle down to play their roles in what we know as the 'marketing mix'...RSS is a perfect historical example of this.
The real question I think is not which medium is best - but as marketers, how do we incorporate and take advantage all of these new marketing mediums in order to reach our customers? - not as a replacement to email, but in conjunction with email, so that we reach our clients/subscribers using their currently preferred medium.
One of the main changes in the past couple of years with the internet is the attitude of the digital marketing recipient. Their expectations have changed over the years as they have become very user savvy and so are now accustomed to receiving only relevant, targeted information to be delivered to them - whether it be via search engines, banner ads, email marketing, RSS etc.
Google has recognised this change with their users and so has implemented the adjustable promote/delete options within their search results according to the users preferences. Another example of a digital company taking customer's preferences into account is Facebook's latest redesign - you can now hide the wall posts of people which aren't of interest to you - again the keyword here is preferences.
In email marketing we also understand this and marketing via email has now (or should now) be a matter of thinking of what value can I supply to my client/subscriber rather than what message/product do I want to market. The focus should now be on the client's requirements rather than your own requirements as a marketer.
Assuming customers preferences are taking centre stage in our marketing plans, we now need to look at whether incorporating social media tools such as Facebook, Linked in, Twitter etc into the marketing mix is applicable to our businesses.
The main aim is to be able to provide your client/subscriber base with a valuable offer (whether it be a service, a product, information etc) via the mediums of their choice. It's not about which medium is best, about whether email is dead, or whether social media is the latest and greatest - it is about which mix of mediums are appropriate for your business and client /subscriber base.