With social media marketing now mainstream – and impacting SEO marketing – brands might easily get caught up in the world of Tweets and Likes, but they shouldn't neglect email […]

With social media marketing now mainstream – and impacting SEO marketing – brands might easily get caught up in the world of Tweets and Likes, but they shouldn't neglect email marketing. ExactTarget figures indicate that sending messages directly to consumers' inboxes is still a viable way to spread the word about a brand.

According to the Subscribers, Fans and Followers report, 93 percent of consumers are subscribers, willingly receiving messages from companies. Gaining email subscribers may be one of the best ways brands can reach consumers, as the majority (58 percent) say their inboxess are the first places they go online each day.

While Tweets and Facebook posts are known to have short life spans, the chances that consumers will read email marketing messages are high. Eighty-three percent of consumers read through all of their emails back to the last time they checked their inboxes.

Plus, email messages are more likely to reach mobile users than other forms of marketing outreach. Twenty-eight percent of non-smartphone consumers say they check their email constantly throughout the day, where nearly half (45 percent) of smartphone owners check their emails several times in a 24-hour period. Checking email is a more common mobile web activity than visiting Facebook or Twitter, performed multiple times per day by just 23 percent and 5 percent of mobile users, respectively.

Marketers looking to build their subscribers should take note that targeted, quality content is needed. More than half of respondents (67 percent) say they will offer an organization their email addresses for discounts and promotional messages, and one-third do so to receive exclusive content.

ExactTarget's study confirms the idea that email marketing reaches online audiences, and other research indicates that these audiences are likely to convert. As Brafton has reported, a survey from Aberdeen Research found that 45 percent of marketers associate emails with high-quality leads, and 38 percent say emails drive revenue gains.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.