Stop Telling Me Email Is Broken – Tell Me Why Podcasting Is Better

I’m feeling sassy this morning.

I was running some errands this morning catching up on some Podcasts. As I turned the corner onto the freeway to head home (heading into that line of cars to regulate things) , I heard that #&*$&@* phrase that has done more damage to Podcasting than the Zune ever will:

“Email marketing is dead.”

It’s usually followed by this one

“Traditional online advertising is dead.”

And, then you usually hear the token shoutout to how Google is actually working and hats off to them. Nobody in our industry would ever want to burn a Google bridge.

Of course, Google is traditional online advertising that companies pay huge money for because it’s the best way to collect those email addresses that are supposed to be dead.

Email marketing ain’t dead – and I’m not talking Spam – I’m talking legitimate relationships made with people who ask to be updated by email because that channel works best for them.

Tell Amazon email marketing is dead when then send a blast and do a few million in sales.

Tell Dell email marketing is dead as they track ten thousand skus sold to an email piece that took 20 minutes to produce.

Tell any marketer (online or offline) that the list they’ve collected, that although worth millions, doesn’t count any more – cause they’re not using the sexy new technology to communicate with that list.

Traditional Internet advertising ain’t dead either. Look at Google’s stock.

And here’s the thing – the very people and companies you are trying to sell Podcasting to as the next best thing knows they ain’t dead. They also are wondering what else your hiding when you don’t tell the truth about the very advertising that is paying their bills today. And, if they aren’t wondering what you’ve got up your sleeve – they’re laughing at you behind your back.

Neither option is good.

Stop telling them email is broken because 1) it ain’t and 2) we have a better story to tell.

I have an email list of about 100k opt-ins.

If I had a chance to communicate with any of them via Podcast over email, I’d take it in a heartbeat.

Of course, the true strategy is to do both.

And, for that chunk of my list (and it is still a big chunk) that don’t consume Podcasts, that broken email list is paying my mortgage fine, thank you very much.

DVDs killed cassettes because they were just simply better in every way. It took nearly 20 years.

Email has nearly killed faxing because it is much better. But faxing ain’t dead yet. If you went into an office selling an email strategy starting with “faxing is dead,” you’d probably have a fax arrive right during your speech.

Of course, the very people you’re pitching Podcasting as the email killer to are being buzzed by their Blackberrys as you tell them nobody emails any more.

Podcasting ain’t the “next thing.” Podcasting is the “better thing.” The relationship you can build by getting someone to plug those earbuds into their head and listen to you for 20 minutes is incredibly valuable … it just ain’t the norm yet.

Get your story right, and they’ll stop laughing at you (or checking to make sure their wallets are still there). Once they stop laughing, they’ll be much more likely to buy what it is that you’re selling.

Now, I need to finish this piece – I have some emails to answer.

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