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Is Email Marketing Effective?

Sep 1, 2007
Email marketing can be extremely effective - not only in strengthening a brand image, but also in making sales.

Businesses use email marketing both internally and externally to generate new customer leads, create brand recognition and awareness, improve customer relationships, cross and up-sell to existing customers, improve website traffic, educate and support customers, promote events and generate product sales.

When compared to traditional direct mail, the cost benefit alone offers the greatest advantage. Consider the cost of print, postage and other production factors to realize the value gained. To make email marketing even more attractive, email marketing improves the speed of delivery, offers stronger controls over message delivery and measurably converts to sales.

Peter A. Johnson, Ph.D., director and senior economist, Strategic Information Unit in white paper "Preserving The Promise of The E-mail Marketplace: An Economic Assessment of The Proposed Federal DO-NOT-E-Mail Registry" states, "Based on US Census Bureau data for total e-commerce from 2003, DMA research estimates that already some 14% of the $138 billion Internet commerce marketplace for 2003 was driven by commercial e-mail. This translates into an excess of $19 billion spent in response to commercial e-mails in 2003.

Again however, it is important to bear in mind that the Census Bureau E-Stats program has not yet released its first measurements on the value of e-commerce in the vitally important services sector.

Since these purchases include many airline tickets and other forms of travel, hotel accommodation and car rentals, etc., that although initiated by an e-mail advertisement, may have been purchased via 800 number and thus not be categorized as e-commerce by the Census Bureau, it is likely this figure significantly understates the true impact of e-mail marketing."

The numbers, combined with the total cost to run a successful email marketing campaign, is unmatched.

In each relationship nurtured with email marketing, there are two sides - the sender and the receiver. The sender wants to reach the audience and promote the most positive image they can. They also want to reinforce their services or products in a way to increase sales and visibility.

How can they accomplish this? They need to draw up a clear portrait of their consumer. Answer the following questions:

What are the audience demographics - age, education, sex, geography and income?

What are the audience's interests and pastimes?

How busy is the audience and how frequently would they appreciate emails?

What would appeal to the audience - discounts, information, news or product updates?

What value can the business offer the consumer or target audience?

With an understanding of the person behind the email address, marketers may devise a program that appeals to their needs. Then it's recommended companies reevaluate and review success and results of the email marketing program on a regular basis to fine-tune the tactics.

In spite of government regulation, email marketing is growing. According to DoubleClick's Q4 2003 email survey, deliverability and open rates grew one percent, while click-through rates grew five percent year-over-year.

Eric Kirby, vice president and general manager of strategic services at DoubleClick, expects the industry to survive emerging obstacles: "There are two fundamental drivers behind this: 1) Consumers understand and value permission based e-mail relationships and differentiate these from spam and 2) leading companies are evolving their e-mail programs faster than the environment is becoming more difficult. In other words, they are keeping ahead of the challenges in many respects."

To your immediate and lasting small business marketing success!
About the Author
Even The Greatest Business Owners Will Be Broke Without A Constant Stream of New Customers. Kenneth Jr. is the director of The Small Business Marketing Blog. Get The Unknown Secrets To Advertising That Actually Works here: http://www.TheSmallBusinessMarketingBlog.com
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