Death of an Email Salesman, Rise of the Mobile Superhero

Email has enjoyed a nice run as a powerful marketing vehicle. In fact, many marketers who came of age in the digital era have hinged their careers on it.  Emails became smarter with optimized design, segmentation and personalized offers. We learned how to rapidly grow databases and strategized remarketing practices. Heck, analytics gurus and excel wizards had nothing on us when it came to proving our worth with numbers.

But as with most marketing channels, email marketing (in its current form) has a shelf life. And the expiration date is getting closer and closer.

Email marketing has become another source of noise. So much so in fact, that Google, one of world’s largest email providers, is taking the consumer’s side. In a new update, email is now sorted to push all promotional emails into a separate folder, keeping the email you really want to read (mostly from friends and family) in the top slot. And if you’re not a Gmail user, there is always the often-exercised of striking the delete button.

Rosa Golijan of NBC News sums up this new feature in very simple terms: “It’s a lot easier to ignore stupid promotional emails.”

It’s time for us to stop agonizing over catchy subject lines and click-through rates, and start paying attention to what our consumers want—and need—from us. But because no single company will ever rule the collective product-and-marketing world, we have to make sure we’re offering the most relevant experience, at the most relevant time, for our exact audience.

Enter mobile.

As marketers, mobile challenges us to look at how we talk to and interact with customers.  But most importantly, mobile has put consumers in the driver’s seat—demanding we give them what they need, when they need it.

For consumers, engaging offers and content via mobile means they have consciously chosen your brand. Sure, anyone can create a free email address and use it to fold away all the spam messages they never want to deal with. But a phone number is singular, personal and special. So, it goes without saying, that consumers who selectively choose you, are much more likely to buy from you and engage with you, over and over…and over.

With everyone carrying a mini PC in their pockets and pocketbooks, all day, every day, it’s up us to be smart about our on-the-go offers and ask ourselves four very important questions: Is it relevant?  Is it timely?  Is it special?  Is it distinct?

Because if it’s not, don’t even bother ringing, texting or otherwise alerting my phone.

The beauty of mobile is that any type of campaign can apply: video, audio, coupons, app downloads, donations, gift cards, voting, social media, sweepstakes, local offers, subscriptions, the list goes on.

Email may not ever really die, but the power of mobile can help us break through the noise.