Friday, January 7, 2011

E-Mail Marketing: Yea or Nay?

Email marketing is all about creating a channel for meaningful communication between your company and your customers. The best email marketing delivers helpful, actionable messages to customers, resulting in increased brand awareness; enhanced good will; qualified leads; and new - or returning - sales.

A successful program of email marketing can result in a higher average order value; increased sales conversions, or increased repeat sales from existing customers. Email marketing keeps your brand or company in the minds of your customer. For businesses with both an online and bricks-and-mortar presence, email marketing can drive your online customers to make offline purchases from your brick and mortar store.

Is Email Marketing Effective?

Uh, yeah. 89% of retailers listed email as their most successful marketing tactic.

Should Email Marketing Be a Top Priority?

Both analyst firm Forrester and online retail research firm seem to think so, with more than 88% of the retailers surveyed placing email as a "high" priority, largely for retaining their current customers.

Is Email Marketing Growing?

According to email service provider ExactTarget, in 2010, they expect 54% of marketers plan to increase their budgets for email marketing nitiatives.

How Successful is Email Marketing?
  • According to a 2009 study by marketing services provider Epsilon, 67% of email subscribers say they’ve purchased products offline specifically as a result of receiving an email from a retail company
  • A 2007 study by marketing research firm Marketing Sherpa found that consumers who subscribed to email newsletters generated 34% more product sales than those who didn’t
  • Online retail experts found that the average order conversion rate for marketing emails is 6%
  • In 2009, the Direct Marketing Association estimated that, on average, email marketing generated an average Return on Investment of nearly $44 for every dollar spent
Here are some stats from email marketing service provider MailChimp:

Making the leap into email marketing is easy and relatively inexpensive; it can be launched extremely quickly; and it has been documented to be extremely effective. However, launching an email campaign must be done with some caution and common sense... you really don't want to flood your prospects with what might be perceived as unwanted "spam." Doing so can even get your IP address black-listed, and that's definitely not the result you're looking for. There are many reputable email marketing service providers (at all price levels) who can help you with the logistics of launching and managing a campaign. But perhaps the single most important component is the content of your emails... it can be simply informational, or provide an offer of some sort, but you want to make certain that whatever you are sending will be appealing to your target prospects... otherwise, it will be discarded before it's even opened.

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