Has E-Mail Marketing Jumped the Shark?

20 07 2010

Last week I decided to actually look at the statistics generated about the email I’ve been receiving lately. I’ve noticed that if I don’t check my email over the weekend, by Monday morning I’m usually greeted with over a thousand emails. I have several email addresses I use. One reserved strictly for clients and is not available to anyone else. I have the venerable Gmail and Yahoo accounts and then there’s my main public email smc@sorrentomesa.com. I’ve used that email address for over 10 years now and over that time period it’s been splashed all over the web as the current level of SPAM can testify to. That is the address I want to talk about -which has just about gone out of control crazy with SPAM. Now, I will be he first one to admit that some of the traffic on this address is of my choosing. I’m now subscribed to 46 various list serves and blogs that send me traffic not to mention the 49 groups on LinkedIn that I’m a member of. Thank heaven for Eudora and all of its filtering and JUNK filter prowess. For a program that hasn’t been updated for more than four years and is now in the hands of the open source community (still waiting for a new version folks…tap tap tap) it hangs pretty tough. For anyone who is a power email user and is a Eudora fanatic like me, well we know which side our bread is buttered on. I could not live without Eudora. There, I said it.

So putting aside all the legit emails and the list server traffic and the LinkedIn traffic in other words: All the email I sign up for, the rest is labeled SPAM/JUNK. And most of that SPAM is from people trying to either sell me stuff, or trying to get my attention so I’ll look at them so they can sell me stuff. In other words E-Mail Marketing. Here are the statistics and they are truly frightening:

For the month of June 2010

Total emails received: 31,290

Total emails  classified as JUNK: 25,750  92%

(This month, July so far its running at 94%)

Accuracy of Junk Filter: >99%

What this tells me is that A. I love Eudora, and B. 25,750 E-Mail marketing messages are not getting through. I’m not ever seeing them and they get dumped tens of thousands at a time into the trash. If you’ve given up on print media marketing and replaced it with email marketing, I’d say you have something to think about. For smc@sorrentomesa.com it’s game over, the spammers have won. I’ll have to eventually start with a new address. Has email marketing Jumped the Shark? I say yes.

I believe E-Mail still has its place but for an online marketing strategy I think social media is where it’s at. I also believe that social media combined with print media are the best bet these days for cutting through the clutter and getting your message read. Email marketing is cheap and it’s easy and you should still use it as part of your overall marketing strategy, but to rely heavily on it while excluding other methods for communicating your message you have to stop and ask yourself if it’s really working. Social Media takes more effort (and time, lots of time) and print media costs more money but in the end it’s results that count. If your marketing strategy is heavily dependent on email marketing, I hope sharing these stats will give you pause and hopefully make you consider all the alternatives as well.

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