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[ Why do Email Marketing? ] By Mark Brownlow
People unfamiliar with email marketing often wonder what all the fuss is about. Didn't spam kill email as a marketing vehicle? And if spam didn't kill it, what about web feeds, instant messaging and all the other clever ways we can communicate online? Isn't email outmoded?
Those wondering about the benefits of email marketing in today's ever-changing online and marketing environment will find the answers below.
Businesses engage in email marketing because it works and works well. Here's the proof...
- According to research conducted by the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing generated an ROI of $57.25 for every dollar spent on it in 2005. As such, it outperformed all the other direct marketing channels examined, such as print catalogs.
- A report in mid-2005 from JupiterResearch was more conservative, stating that..."when done right, $1 spent on e-mail can generate a $9 return".
- 47% of marketers surveyed by MarketingSherpa in early 2006 said that their top performing online marketing tactic in 2005 was "email marketing to house lists". The tactic was second only to search marketing in performance.
- In a March 2007 survey of hotel marketers by Hospitality eBusiness Strategies, 58.7% cited email marketing as one of the Internet marketing formats that generate the best results and highest ROI.
- In a March 2007 column, usability guru Jakob Nielsen listed an email newsletter as "probably the single-highest ROI action you can take to improve your Internet presence".
And the money is following the results...
- In February, 2006, a second JupiterResearch report concluded that spending on email marketing will rise from $885 million in 2005 to $1.1 billion in 2010.
- In a survey of marketing managers and marketing directors in the UK, some 98.5% of respondents said their email marketing budgets would increase in 2006 or stay the same.
- In a November 2006 survey of B2B marketers, email came second only to website development in terms of online marketing budget priorities.
- In an October 2006 survey of North American and UK marketing professionals, 81% of respondents intended to increase their email marketing budgets in 2007.
- In a December 2006 survey of marketers by Datran Media, 72.3% of respondents said they would do more email marketing in 2007, and email marketing was cited more often than any other form of marketing as the most important advertising medium the respondent would use in 2007.
Why it works
Email marketing works for a variety of reasons...
- It allows targeting
- It is data driven
- It drives direct sales
- It builds relationships, loyalty and trust
- It supports sales through other channels
Modern email marketing services and solutions support database integration, segmentation and various other tricks and techniques for improving the targeting of outgoing messages. Advanced methods generate on-the-fly emails customized down to an individual recipient basis.
And every email campaign you send out generates a heap of actionable data you can use to refine your approach and messages.
Email promotions and offers generate immediate action: sales, downloads, inquiries, registrations, etc. Informative email newsletters and other emails send people to offline stores and events, prepare the way for catalogs, build awareness, contribute to branding, strengthen relationships, encourage trust and cement loyalty.
All in all, a pretty good way of going about your marketing business. But...
Let's not get carried away
Just like a garden only bear's fruit if managed properly, so it is with email marketing. We know it can work, but you have to get the basics right. The basics of building a list of people who want to hear from you, crafting a message, and ensuring the emails get through to those on that list.
And once you have the basics right, there's a whole spectrum of more sophisticated tactics you can employ to drive further success. Because the metrics show us that there's plenty of room for improvement and plenty of rewards waiting for those who do improve.
For example, one recent report found that "using web analytics to target email campaigns can produce nine times the revenues and eighteen times the profits of broadcast mailings".
At a simpler level, just mailing a small coupon offer to customers who hadn't purchased for a while brought in a tone of extra sales for one retailer.
Convinced? Start the email marketing journey with a look at our articles. If you are looking to get started right away, check out our recommended email marketing solutions - 4emaillists eMail Marketing. 4emaillists as an innovative company provide everything you need to start your email marketing campaign quickly and easily.