Ride the Email Wave

Finding cost-effective affiliate advertising is tough. According to eMarketer, online advertising totals reached $3.6 billion dollars in 1999. However, Forrester Research finds that a typical affiliate program only accounts for nine percent of a company’s online marketing budget this year. So many affiliate programs turn to email marketing as an inexpensive solution to effectively leverage their programs.

Forrester reports that in 2000, 25 percent of online marketing budgets were spent on email marketing and ranks it as a highly effective media. Jupiter also reports that by 2004, email marketing will displace 13 percent of traditional direct mail revenues. Clearly, using email as a marketing strategy is a current trend and a smart one.

Key Reasons to Use Email Marketing

  • 70 percent of email users look forward to checking their email (eMarketer).

  • 40 percent say one of the first things they do in the morning is check email (eMarketer).
  • Another 40 percent say they check email right before going to bed (eMarketer).
  • Email is the preferred communication vehicle among business employees (Roper Starch Worldwide Reports, 2000).
  • Email is used in 70 percent of all Internet sessions (Carnegie Mellon University study, 2000).
  • In 45 percent of Internet sessions, email was the only application used (Carnegie Mellon University study, 2000).
  • When email and the web were accessed, email was used first 75 percent of the time (Carnegie Mellon University study, 2000).
  • And finally, there were 97 million email users versus 88 million web users in 1999 (eMarketer).

Is your affiliate program ready to take advantage of the power of email communication? Let’s examine affiliate email strategies to take your program to the next level.

Email Strategies for Affiliates

Let’s take a minute and think about our affiliates. What can we do to guide our affiliates to success besides effective program management? (See “Communication 101 for Affiliate Managers” by Shawn Collins of ClubMom.)

In our communications, we should provide tools to help affiliates build their brand and product awareness through email. Include helpful tips, tricks, and success stories of other affiliates that are leveraging new technology solutions, such as email, to rapidly increase the revenue they generate. Reinforce the power of email to your affiliates.

In a recent study by NFO Interactive and FloNetwork, more than 60 percent of online buyers find information on products and services through email. Another 40 percent claim email influences their recent online purchases. Enable your affiliates with an email strategy, thereby ensuring affiliates join the e-commerce email revolution. barnesandnoble.com does this by offering its affiliates MyB&NLink.

The Power of Retention

Remember the old saying, “It is easier to keep an existing customer than to get a new one”? To drive affiliate loyalty, retention, and ultimately your program’s success, use the power of email. And experience amazing benefits, including:

  • Reduction of defections by 5 percent may boost profits 25 percent or more (Harvard Business School study).

  • U.S. firms lose approximately 10 percent of their customers every year, which is half every five years (Harvard Business School study).
  • Acquiring a new customer costs five times as much as retaining one (Bain Consulting Group).
  • When email is used for retention purposes, CTRs can soar to 10 percent (Forrester).

Your affiliate’s success with email marketing is truly a powerful strategy for retention.

2001 and Beyond

Continue to strengthen your affiliate ties through relationship-building email initiatives. Empower them with tools for success, and your program will also ultimately succeed. As always, keep your ear to the ground in 2001 for exciting trends in communication, such as viral marketing, wireless markets, newsletters, and rich media for email.

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