Some clippings from a great article on the role of email in a social networking world by Renen Watermeyer:
As brand owners turn to social networking sites and services as a marketing channel, many industry observers are beginning to question the role that email marketing will play in a Web 2.0 world.
In reality, however, email marketing volumes are not declining
email and social networks do not compete with each other for online marketing spend or for end-users' attention. Instead, they complement each other and can be used in an integrated fashion to create better user engagement than either could on its own.
Companies will need to evolve the way that they use email by making better use of transactional and triggered emails that are relevant to the customers, rather than blasting them with untargeted promotional messages.
Perhaps the most important factor of all is to measure one's marketing campaigns in an integrated fashion. This enables marketers to understand how their email and social networking marketing are interacting to drive engagement with their audience.
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