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Will Mobile Kill the Email Marketing Star?

Video may have conquered radio, but will mobile do the same to email marketing?

On August 1, 1981 the iconic channel MTV was launched, and its first video was the aptly chosen hit, “Video Killed the Radio Star.”

Since then, technology has evolved at a staggering rate, with many tools, systems, and products becoming redundant in its wake.

A large driver of this change has been the smartphone, and the reliance on mobile devices and apps that now influences everything we do.

As a result, marketers have turned to mobile marketing and push notifications to reach today’s consumers, leading some experts to suggest that mobile could replace email marketing in the future.

Is email marketing set to become the next radio, surpassed by a newer, shinier technology? Or will it always hold a critical place in the marketer’s toolkit?

How prevalent is mobile today?

Image by Emily Rudolph on Unsplash

First, let’s examine the popularity of mobile marketing and whether it’s really ready to topple the behemoth that is email marketing.

Currently, 98% of U.S. consumers own a mobile device and 86% access one or more of their email accounts via a mobile device.

Additionally, mobile accounted for 57% of U.S. digital ad spend in 2017 (a 36% increase from 2016).

So it’s a universally adopted technology, we’re already accessing emails on mobile devices, and brands are putting their money on mobile, does email marketing stand a chance?

Mobile vs. email: The next big battle?

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The short answer? You betcha.

A 2018 survey found that 50% of U.S. consumers prefer to hear from brands via email, easily outranking other channels like social media (7%), mobile apps (7%), text messaging (7%), and chatbots (3%).

This flies in the face of arguments that mobile push notifications will eventually replace email marketing. Mobile push notifications are messages that you’re asked to opt into after downloading an app. They’re usually personalized, location-based, or triggered by an action.

Dan Gudema, CTO of Pre-Dating Speed Dating and founder of StartupPOP, believes that push notifications will grow faster than email and text when it comes to marketing to existing customers.

“Eventually people get smart enough to know that push notifications are safer with their data. Email and text have seen their day in the sun. They’re going to be around, but marketing to email and text is not going to get any better for marketers.”

And he has a point, push notifications, by their very nature, are timely, personalized, impossible to ignore, and boast no issues with deliverability.

On the other hand, they provide a disruptive user experience and they still have to walk the fine line between communicating with consumers and pestering them with constant offers.

Deciding when and how you want to communicate with your customers is part of your overall marketing strategy, which has a place for both mobile and email marketing.

As both a communication channel and a marketing method, email isn’t going anywhere. It’s just going to have to share the spotlight with the other emerging, talented players across the marketing industry. Luckily, there’s room for everyone on stage (and screen).

Contact us at if you want to discuss your email marketing strategy, and how we can help you hit your goals.

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