Biggest Threats To Email Marketing? Social Media & Kids Texting [Survey]

email-iconSocial media and kids abandoning email are two of the biggest threats to future success in email marketing, according to the new 2012: Email in Action study from eConsultancy and the Direct Marketing Association.

Conducted in the fourth quarter of 2011, the survey involved more than 450 email marketers in North America.

When asked about the challenges to future success in email marketing, 75 percent of respondents said competition with social media was either “very challenging” or “somewhat challenging.” Sixty-nine percent said “young people abandoning email” was either very or somewhat challening.


Budget concerns, integrating with other marketing channels, and proving ROI were seen as challenging by 65 percent, 61 percent and 59 percent, respectively.

There have been a number of studies and stories over the last few years about how young people are relying more on text messages as their primary communication tool, and not using email. (Here’s a New York Times story from 2010, and a CNET story from 2007.) Email marketing service Aweber surveyed teens last year on this subject, and found that only 44 percent of teens “believe email will live on.” There’s a strong contrarian viewpoint in our previous story/infographic, Infographic: Email Isn’t Dead.

The full eConsultancy/DMA report costs $400, but there’s a free sample with this chart and others that can be downloaded, no contact information required.

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(Stock image via Shutterstock. Used under license.)

Related Topics: Channel: Email Marketing | Email Marketing | Social Media Marketing | Statistics: Email Marketing


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Marketing Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • andrewkordek


    The biggest threat to email is not social and texting as these studies suggest.  The biggest threat to email marketing is email marketing itself.
    Marketers need to find ways for of these channels to work together as people still need and want email so long as there is something in it for them.  Email programs cannot rely on the 5 years ago mentality that everyone wants the same offer/email.  Programs need to become more sophisticated and have the subscriber or people drive the program by their actions.  When companies come to realize that the subscriber is in charge of their email program and execute against that, email will in fact become less relevant.

    Andrew Kordek
    Co-Founder, Trendline Interactive
    An Email Centric Agency.


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