Friday, April 22, 2011

Consumer Use of Email Declines, but Association Deployment Remains Constant

Posted by Princess Eva Angelica at 11:04 AM
In a time when some data indicates that email usage is declining, it appears that the use of email in membership marketing has remained stable this past year.

The 2010 U.S. Digital Year in Review Report showed that “Web-based email is waning: Total usage of web-based email dropped 9% in 2010 with more precipitous declines occurring among younger age groups, particularly teenagers. It’s clear that communication is shifting not only to other platforms, but to other devices. (If you plan to email your kids and you want a response, be sure to send them a text.)”1.

In our 2011 Membership Marketing Benchmarking research, we again asked where email was used in the marketing process. Respondents reported a small increase in using email to build awareness among prospects. They showed little change in using email to engage or onboard new members and support renewal efforts from the previous year. This follows a substantial growth in the use of email from 2009 to 2010.

Obviously, these two studies are drawing from completely different sets of data. However, if the trend line for web-based email is in decline, and since there is such a heavy reliance on email in membership marketing, it may be a warning that alternative channels need to be developed.

For example, the use of somewhat newer online marketing channels is taken advantage of by a minority of membership organizations. Only 13.6% of respondents report that prospective members become aware of their organizations through search engine ads and only 11.9% of respondents used paid advertising on other organizations websites to build awareness.

What results are you seeing in email usage for your organization? Feel free to share.

1. The Top 10 Digital Media Trends of 2010, By Linda Abraham - February 9, 2011

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