All good things must end, as they say. And so it may be with e-mail marketing.
JupiterResearch, in a new report, revealed that the growing popularity of social networking sites and other forms of communication including text messaging and cell phone use are having an impact on the effectiveness of e-mail marketing.
The report, “The Social and Portable Inbox: Optimizing E-mail Marketing in the New Era of Communication Tools,” said that emerging forms of communication are leading to diminished use of e-mail.
Indeed. Twenty-two percent of e-mail users said they use social networking sites instead of e-mail, with scores more saying they have used instant messaging, text messaging and cell phones instead of e-mail.
The facts, as always, are in the numbers. In 2007, according to Jupiter, 51 percent of e-mail users said e-mail inspired at least one online purchase; 47 percent said the same for off-line purchases.
But look what has happened this year. In 2008, the share of e-mail users fell to 44 percent of online purchases and 41 percent for off-line purchases.
Interestingly, a Jupiter vice president said that the high volume of e-mails people receive plays into this change. Because of the volume, they simply are unable to pay attention to every message, said David Daniels, lead analyst of the Jupiter report.
Thus, Daniels added, “It is so important for marketers to be relevant and succinct when they send messages to consumers’ inboxes.”
A July 21 USA Today article noted that retailers zappos.com and Whole Foods are among businesses with accounts at social networking site Twitter, where messages must be brief — 140 characters or less.
Whole Foods became a “twitterer,” according to the article, in order to hear what people are saying about the store. The CEO of Zappos, who told USA Today he uses it to make himself available to the public, receives about 200 “tweets” a day.
Things change. Fast. Keep up.