Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Note to Association Marketers—E-mail is Dead

Did you know people in their 20’s think e-mail is “old?"

This line from Stephanie Vance’s article Network Your Way to Advocacy Success—Online! Published in the November/December issue of The Association Forum of Chicagoland’s magazine Forum got me thinking.

Outside of work, 99.9% of the email that I get is spam. Granted, I have a couple of websites and domains so my spam bucket is fills daily with hundreds of unsolicited messages. The personal e-mails that were so much a part of my life have dwindled. New, richer communications channels have taken their place.

The messages that reach me, the conversations that I’m interested in, come largely through channels other than e-mail. These channels include social networks, message boards, blog comments, and listservs that I’ve chosen to subscribe to. This is my trusted communication network. I can grow it or reduce it.

Association marketers should pay attention. Marketing plans based on blast e-mails probably aren’t reaching as many customers as you think. There is still a place for traditional marketing activities, but if your association is still primarily cranking out postcards, flyers, and bulk e-mail – well, you are missing the party. And you are leaving money on the table. Associations are uniquely positioned to develop trusted channels and to leverage those channels for revenue through marketing in context and through community. More later.

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