First off, let introduce myself. I am a Sr. Strategist in the Chicago Responsys office and a loyal reader. I am happy that Smith-Harmon has joined forces with Responsys and now I can contribute to this blog on a regular basis!
Email is the online channel of big shoulders, like poet Carl Sandburg's Chicago. Social media may reach your prospects with your brand message, but email needs to be integrated with your plans, toiling, "under the smoke, dust all over his mouth," to perform the heavy lifting of informing the prospect about your brand, helping them become comfortable with the purchase decision and ultimately drive the conversion.
If you still don't believe that social media and email marketing are partners in crime and not adversaries, Facebook is about to make it very easy for brands to collect email addresses from their fans, pages and applications as soon as next month. This functionality is scheduled to go live this year or early in 2010. (The best guess is in mid-to-late January, according to Michael Lazerow's December 8 commentary published on MediaPost.com.)
Emerging channels are not killing email - they're actually making the channel even more dynamic and powerful. Be sure to include a quick sign up on your Facebook brand pages and landing pages for content linked from Twitter, Digg and Delicious, a vanity URL pointing to an email sign-up form at the end of your YouTube videos, LinkedIn groups and profiles, and other social media content to keep your email program "strong and cunning."
As you're wrapping up 2010 marketing plans, don't forget about email. It is there - a "tall bold slugger" working as hard as ever to help you meet your marketing goals. Treat social as a natural extension of your email and lifecycle marketing strategy and harness the power of multichannel marketing in 2010.