Pre-empting the Death of E-mail Marketing

Comscore just published an omnibus study about e-mail usage, and the study shows that it's declining by something like 6% and fairly substantially among the very young. You can read the results here.  I'm writing to head off the inevitable e-mails and blog posts about the "death of e-mail," a conclusion that would necessarily be bad for our own PatronMail business, and bad for arts marketing overall.

The article actually has some of the most staggering good news for the arts I've read in years — buried later in the report. Referring to e-mail usage: 
In contrast, usage increased among those 55 and over. The number of 55-64 year olds accessing web-based email increased 15 percent with similar gains in engagement, while those age 65+ experienced gains across all three metrics as well. 
So what we're seeing is that now, decades after e-mail hit the scene, the bulk of the traditional arts patron audience is finally catching on!  From a marketer's perspective, these patrons are exhibiting all the traits of "late adopters."  So don't give up on e-mail so quickly — it may only now be moving into its heyday.

"But what about the audience of the future?" I hear you say.  Yes, e-mail usage seems to be declining among those in their 20s and 30s, which is why you need a good social media strategy and great execution. You're not going to win the media-day with 25-year olds with e-mail.  The good news is that with a little bit of work and completely free tools, you can do an awesome job connecting to patrons using social media. (And, in less than a month, the book I've just written with Michelle Paul will be published, in which she provides a roadmap for how to succeed with social media.)

So between e-mail usage increasing among the core arts audience, and social media coming on strong for the younger crowd, there's never been a better time to double-down on your digital marketing. 

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