Stupid Marketer Watch: Firm Abandoning Email
By Ken Magill
And the latest installment of “email-is-dead” stupidity comes from Holiday Brokers, a firm that is abandoning email marketing in favor of social media, according to Travel Weekly.
“Holiday Brokers is preparing for the demise of email marketing by setting up a blog and using social networking sites to communicate with its travel agent partners,” the article began.
Notice the non-bylined article’s lead takes the so-called demise of email as a given. How does this writer communicate with colleagues and superiors? Twitter?
The piece continued: “The bed bank, part of On Holiday Group, expects sites such as Facebook and Twitter to become a more accepted part of business life.”
Sales director Brian Young said sending emails to travel agents was now “out of date,” according to Travel Weekly.
Why? Are they 15?
“We think open rates are dying because it’s not a medium that travel agents are into,” Young said, according to Travel Weekly.
Let’s be clear, kids may not use email—yet; wait until they enter the workforce—but professionals use email. It’s appalling that this point even needs to be made.
Also, Holiday Brokers’ email open rates—the percentage of receiving computers that call for graphics from the sender—aren’t dropping because travel agents aren’t into email. Just a wild guess here, but those open rates are probably dropping because Holiday Brokers’ emails simply aren’t all that compelling.
List hygiene is probably an issue, as well. But like so many in marketing, rather than take a good hard look at what goes on internally, the folks at Holiday Brokers decide to blame the channel and switch.
What’s more, they’re switching from a proven channel that delivers the highest ROI in marketing to one that people still haven’t figured out how to measure.
Consider this: According to a Hotmail representative at the Email Insider Summit in April, a recent survey of Hotmail users revealed that for the first time, managing commercial relationships is the No. 1 reason people have their accounts.
And therein is the problem with claims that email is dead. People are making these pronunciations based on people’s social behavior rather than their professional and commercial behavior.
If we are to believe that people use email these days primarily for professional and commercial reasons, it would seem a little short sighted for a marketer to abandon the channel, no?
Maybe something someday will kill email, but it had better be able to deliver my bank statements, offers from Amazon on books I didn’t know about but am likely to want to read, and those regular specials from Famous Smoke Shop.
Somehow, I don’t see Twitter and Facebook as that replacement.