Lessons on The Adaptability of Email, From The Nintendo Switch
In case you missed it, video-gaming giant, and elder statesman of the industry, Nintendo, held an event last week showing off their brand new gaming system: Nintendo Switch. The Switch looks to change the narrative of what a home gaming console is, and it appears to have caught the interest of many people. With its ability to dock with a TV for traditional gameplay or turn into a handheld device in seconds, the Switch is a multipurpose device that seems poised to change the way traditional gaming happens. Do you know what else is a multipurpose platform? Yep, Email.
Let’s get the main, easy to identify, utility out of the way: email is a communication medium that reaches your entire mailing list with a message of your choice. The bigger your list, the more people you can reach with a single message; yet, the direct, individual nature of the email makes sure it always feels like a highly personal form of communication, no matter how many people receive that same message. That flexibility is why email as a communication medium is still one of the best tools for converting leads for businesses and the best for talking to your tech savvy grandmother about how great the Steelers are*. While email communication is incredibly important and is an immense tool, it’s also not why you came to this article.
Email is not just a platform for selling your product and digitally peddling your wares…sure, it does that stuff, but email in 2017 is so much more. Email is able to go from a salesman’s best tool for pushing a product, to a tool that can build relationships with your audience and establish yourself as a positive force in their email lives. Email has adapted to become a tool for growing relationships with audience members and followers who gain from your expertise in your field.
Email as an audience development tool allows you to educate your mailing list on the topics that they find interesting, provide information that could enrich their lives, and to build a steady pipeline of content that nurtures the relationship. Over time, this can help turn your regular email list subscribers into an army of educated, dedicated brand followers who know and understand your brand better than anyone. And not to be forgotten, this approach to relationship building also helps on the sales side of things, as a reader of the emails who may not be a target prospect today can be nurtured to blossom into a well-read target tomorrow!
Ahh, that’s an appealing word, isn’t it?
For every business, there is one thing more important than all others, and that is revenue. You want to survive and thrive? You need revenue, and email can help with that. In a world where ad blocking reigns supreme and the future of digital publishing is uncertain, companies are generating less-and-less revenue from their website advertisements than ever before. How can they fill that gap in lowering revenue? By turning to the humble email, an unsung revenue machine.
Using email, companies can send their mailing list the regular emails they usually send (the monthly newsletter, blog digest, or an announcement), but they can utilize these same emails for monetization as well. By including smaller, less intrusive ads in the emails they send out, companies can circumvent the ad blockers that readers use, thus utilizing a revenue stream that recently has been getting beaten down. On top of that, email can also be used more as a focus to nurture casual audiences into loyal, returning visitors. The regular readers who aren’t using ad blockers (which is still the majority of your audience, at least for now) can then be targeted with the traditional advertisements.
Switching Up Your Email Perception
Just as the Nintendo Switch aims to be more than a simple console gaming platform, Email does not have to be a simple medium for pitching your sales or products to your audience. Like the Switch being a console/handheld system, your email platform can be so much more than just some digital messages; email is a platform for relationship building, revenue, and a change in perception. You just need to be willing to Switch it up.**
*Literally the best team ever
**A necessary pun