In our digitally-crazed world of Twitter, Facebook, SMS and on and on... the preferred method of communicating with a favorite brand for many is via email.
That was yet another very-telling finding from the survey conducted by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and Lithium. I use the word "another" for this is the third post which references the study, the first two being The Major Disconnect Between Brands And Consumers When It Comes To Social Media and Why Brand Marketers Need More Brand Ambassadors, respectively.
It was quite interesting to read not only do consumers say they use email to communicate with their favorite brands but marketers themselves identified email as a consumer's medium of choice. It was interesting for the simple reason of the major disconnect the survey revealed when it comes to consumers and brands and social media, hence the first post mentioned above.
But it was also interesting to see email score so high on the list of possible mediums at their disposal. This after all, is the age of Tweets and posts and text messages not to mention the old standby of simply picking up a phone and calling a 1-800 #.
I would be curious to know how many of the 65% use their mobile phone or smartphone to send that email to their favorite brand... am guessing the number would be rather significant.
In either case, the fact that email is so widely regarded as the platform of choice is, as mentioned previously, very telling for one would have thought Twitter or Facebook would have been the preferred platform. Perhaps the fact that you can a) use more than 140 characters in an email and b) email is much more private than a Tweet or a post to a Facebook Wall are the reasons email scored so high.
In any event, there is an opportunity here for brands and brand managers to engage given the fact that so many folks use email as a means of communication.
It's one thing to send "out" an email newsletter to a group of customers and prospects alike who have opted in to receive it. It's another matter entirely when a customer or prospect initiates the contact. Just as a consumer has more space in an email so do brands.
Now if a consumer sends a nasty complaint-riddled email that may not be the best time to tell them about a new sale or new product.
However if an email arrives and is complimentary or of a querying nature, this is a great time to share with them the latest news about your brand, your company etc.
Even if the person sending the email in is already on your email mailing list and thus may already be aware of what you're telling them, so be it. Remind them again of the new sale or take this opportunity to tell them something that was not in the most recent newsletter.
Position it as a value-added service and above all else... Engage them. Respond to their emails in a timely manner and you know what I mean by timely manner.
Steve Olenski is the Creative Director of Digital Services for The Star Group, a marketing communications firm dedicated to driving engagement with B2B and B2C brands operating in today's hyper-competitive, rapidly evolving digital marketplace.