The problems with email

Before we kick off with some of the benefits and the good stuff with email marketing, let’s look at some of the challenges and the problem areas. So, the first one that comes to mind is email coding. Now this isn’t a course on email development or HTML coding or anything like that, but just a word to say that email coding is really quite restrictive. In many ways, it’s stuck in the nineties, so you think just plain HTML and CSS. So, you can’t have JavaScript, MP3s and video format. A lot of people get frustrated because you can’t video in email. A workaround to that is having an animated GIF just for a couple of seconds, nothing too heavy in your email. In terms of email coding, it is pretty restrictive and old-fashioned. So, no JavaScript, nothing like that. The other thing is it’s kind of multi-disciplined.

So, with email marketing as an industry, you have lots of different sectors that potentially if you’re professional, you could go into, and work within a particular area. Say email design, email strategy, email development, deliverability. So, I know people who specialise in those areas. Now that’s a great thing if you are trying to pursue a career in that. However, if you are a business looking to do email marketing, to find somebody that has those multi disciplines can be a challenge in itself. So that’s another restriction. So, unlike social, for example, not to downplay social media agencies and experts, but really if you know kind of what to say and the kind of imagery that’s going to get an impact, anyone can post on Facebook, whereas with an email, you’ve got to build the email, know when to send it and all that kind of stuff.

So there are a lot of moving parts to email marketing that there probably aren’t as many to social and search and other marketing disciplines. The other is that if you’re starting from zero, to do social media or to do search, you can place some ads on Google, place some ads on Facebook, set up a page on Facebook or a group or LinkedIn. You can tap into a ready-made audience. Whereas with email, you’re starting from zero. You have to build your email list. Now that can be quite restrictive for people starting out with nothing. So, you’ve got to build a database up and we can touch on a few of those areas and how to do that a bit later on in the course. But that’s another challenge. Because unless you’re coming into email marketing with a database of around 5,000 people upwards, then chances are you know, you’re not going to make that much of an impact.

Whereas with Facebook, millions of people worldwide, if not billions, and you can tap into that audience literally straight away. The last note really is something that I’ve observed, great designers don’t necessarily make great marketers and vice versa. So, you can have a really great graphic designer, but they don’t necessarily understand marketing and vice versa. So, it comes round to what I was saying about a multidiscipline approach. Having one person who understands marketing, who can write decent copy, can design eye-catching graphics, know when to send the email, build the email, it’s a challenge. So, email marketing does have its flaws. It’s a great industry to be in. I wouldn’t be in any other and I guess that’s a benefit in one sense. You know, people outsource their email marketing to us because they don’t have all of those people in house to help manage it. But they are some of the restrictions around email marketing, next we’re going to look at some of the benefits of email marketing.

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