Put a Dollar in the #EmailSwearJar

Email Swear JarEvery other channel wishes they were email. It’s used by nearly everyone. People begin and end their days with it. They carry it with them wherever they go on their smartphones. It’s one-to-one. It can be automated. It’s fairly trackable. People overwhelming prefer to get commercial messages via email than any other channel. And it has the highest ROI of all marketing channels.

So it’s no surprise that over the past decade upstart channels like RSS, social media, and mobile have come along and tried to take a shot at email in order to make a statement. “Email is dead” has been their rallying cry.

You can’t really blame them for declaring themselves heir apparent and they succeeded in putting us on the defensive for a while. But this meme has become silly, hollow, and a transparent cry for attention (and shameless linkbaiting). Email usage is beyond healthy. The emergence of new digital channels has only strengthened email. And email service providers have recently been bought for billions of dollars by the titans of technology. Email continues to climb the evolutionary ladder.

Taking the bait and engaging in the “Email is dead” meme gives it a false feel of validity that is wholly undeserved. So I pledge not to mention this meme again and I hope you will do the same. Think of “Email is dead” as a bad word, and it’s not right to repeat bad words even when someone else said them first.

If you slip up, consider publicly acknowledging your mistake by simply tweeting or posting, “I just put a dollar in the #EmailSwearJar.” No need to confess with any specifics.

The #EmailSwearJar also works when you accidentally perpetuate other falsehoods, misconceptions, and evils about email marketing by saying things like “batch and blast,” “email blast,” “set it and forget it,” and anything related to “buying a list.”

And yes, ironic and sarcastic uses of these phrases count against you, because some people won’t understand that you’re joking and they will get the worst kinds of ideas about email.

If you’re in an office with lots of marketers, feel free to create a real Email Swear Jar. When it fills up, do something with the money that improves email marketing like attending a conference, signing up for a course, buying books for new employees, or supporting a worthy cause.

I hope you’ll join me in raising the level of discourse about our channel and our industry. Stand tall, email marketers!

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