Ode to Email

Last week, Jackie G. wrote about email’s opportunity to shine in the vastly changed post-September 11 world in which we now live. She mentioned that post offices are closing for anthrax analysis, workers are being tested in the thousands — even bulk business mail has been contaminated. It’s not a happy time, but I encourage you to try to look for the opportunities in the situation. Email marketing can be used to effect change that may allow businesses to survive in these troubled times. That said, now’s the time to pump up your email marketing efforts, right? Right!

Time to roll up your sleeves and get down to it.

Let’s start by looking at the big picture and reminding ourselves why we are doing email marketing in the first place. This may be quite basic for many of you, but I think it bears repeating. After all, it’s often said that repetitio mater studiorum est. Or, repetition is the mother of all learning. (Who said that? I really like that quote!)

Think about this: What’s the first thing you do when you get online? Turn on your browser, or check your email?

You probably said, “Check your email,” right? I’ve done this quick dipstick survey several times, and I’m still waiting to hear someone say, “Turn on your browser.” Let me know if you’re one of “those.”

The following are several reasons why email is the killer app. This list can certainly be expanded, and if you think of more reasons I’d love to know them. Feel free to drop me an email.

Email drives sales.

According to a new DoubleClick study, 88 percent of people have made purchases because of permission-based email.

Plus, email provides quick lead generation!

Email usage translates into lower costs.

Think about it — there are no production, paper, or postage costs. According to New Century Communications, 2001, and AdRelevance, 2001, the average costs per message were as follows:

  • Permission-based direct email: $0.20
  • Telemarketing: $1.00 to $3.00
  • Direct mail: $0.75 to $2.00

Email allows customer dialogue.

As an interactive medium, email lets you establish a dialogue with new and present customers. Regular messages can create brand awareness or elicit continued responses from your customer. Your dialogue with your customer base contains invaluable information that you can mine repeatedly. Plus, email isn’t interruptive!

Email is highly trackable.

See what’s working — and what’s not — with your email campaign. In many cases, you can easily view campaign data, including responses, campaign click-throughs, remove requests, bounced email messages, and much more. Many back-end solutions allow you to view data in graphical and tabular formats or to download for further analysis. Every prospect can be treated as a unique individual so that you can continue to provide personalized, relevant marketing campaigns. You can even drill down to a contact-level view of every online prospect and customer, viewing information such as contact details, profile details, mail sent, and other pertinent data that you’ve collected. Plus, email provides an easy way for consumers to respond, because the prospect is online already.

Email lets you test quickly and inexpensively.

Eighty percent of email marketing messages elicit responses within 48 hours to a week, versus six to eight weeks for a traditional direct mail piece, according to eMarketer.

Email allows you to manage your undeliverable messages in a cost- and time-efficient manner.

Bounces are quickly identified, and you can correct the problem and resend the email inexpensively and painlessly.

Email is a great complement to your current marketing mix.

I think that bears repeating, so humor me and repeat after me: Email is a great complement to your current media mix. (Make that your mantra for today.) Essentially, email can be an adjunct to any media, which helps quickly reinforce messages, product details, and seminar dates or trade show information, to name but a few examples.

Email can become an integral part of the relationship you have with your customer and, therefore, an extension of your brand.

Again, if you have a personal experience with email that affirms these reasons why email is the killer app, I’d love to hear from you. Or if you have more reasons to add to my laundry list, let me know — you can drop me an email.

That’s it from me this week — so long until November 20.

Until then, take care!

–Lynne

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