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Email is the Preferred Method of Receiving Communication from Marketers

Eric Kirby, an email marketing veteran, delivered a keynote address Monday at MediaPost‘s Email Insider Summit, where he dismissed suggestions  that email marketing may be losing steam while urging marketers to carpe diem and capitalize on social media networks.

Email has been the marketing workhorse for a decade, and that’s unlikely to subside, he said. This endorsement, which is supported with hard data, comes as the industry has dealt with suggestions in 2009 that its long-held, top-tier role is fading.

However companies are using some inventive programs with mobile and social media to grow enhance their email efforts that marketers could learn from, he indicated. Outback Steakhouse, for example, offered a free Bloomin’ Onion to the first 500,000 people who became its fans on Facebook. And its list grew by 125,000 between Nov. 16 and 24.

This and other relieving statistics  (including Tiger Woods’ preferred media channel usage) are outlined is this well-delivered and insightful presentation.

Marketing with Social Media 101

Social marketing is on my mind and by the look of things I’m not alone. You can’t get a feed or pick up a trade publication that doesn’t make reference to social media and its applications for marketers.

From traditional media outlets desperately trying to catch up to the most prolific smores (social media whores). They all have a stance, tip, or prediction.

It’s no wonder, as new users flock to social media and its usage rates soar (especially in the business sector), audiences are getting big, fast.

So you’re interested in social media as a marketing tool? Remember this “you get what you give” has never been more true than in this arena.

In direct marketing, advertising, and online marketing it’s all about the push. Direct mail, email, print, SEM. Push push push. That’s not going to change any time soon. Why should it? It works. It’s necessary. But if you’re going to find marketing success in social media you’ve got to pull them in.

Social media users simply will not tolerate pushiness or thinly veiled solicitations. They don’t have to. There are thousands of credible voices out there willing to offer up their feedback, opinions, and recommendations in near real-time.

So what are hungry marketers to do? Try this. Instead of buying that same old media use tools such as Twitter or LinkedIn Groups to surround yourself with your prospects and give. Your time, your feedback, your expertise, your samples.

Are you a consultant? Offer up free advice to those in your target market. Selling a email solution to non-profits? Pro bono a charity that’s close to your heart.

In this world of hyper sharing and distribution you’ll discover that those you help will sing your praises over and again. Choose wisely and they might even be your next, best customer.