Email Marketing – Still Going Strong

March 9, 2008 at 5:43 am 2 comments

Although other online marketing tools such as blogs, interactive multimedia, RSS, and others, can be helpful for businesses, email marketing itself is far from dead. Indeed, online marketing for companies can be both useful as well as inexpensive. In fact, a recent Forrester Research Report (“Email Marketing Comes of Age”) found that “despite concerns about declining attitudes toward email marketing, the medium is alive and well. In fact, email lovers are some of marketers’ most valuable customers. They spend more online, buy impulsively, pay for convenience, and tell others about ads and emails they value.”

Email marketing allows companies to converse with a very receptive audience. “Email marketing is still a great tool,” states Alexandre Brabant, President and Search Marketing Specialist of eMarketing101, “especially if you build your own email list. It was historically the very first thing a business would do to keep in touch with their customers. It is still very useful today to retain your customers and maintain the dialogue.”

Carolyn Gartner, Director of e-Marketing Services of Sitebrand, describes email marketing as “a key part of today’s marketing mix and one that can’t be ignored. I think it’s especially effective in terms of retention and mindshare. Staying front of mind with clients and prospects is the name of the game. And email makes it easy! Building and nurturing these relationships leads to increased loyalty. And we all know that loyalty leads to higher levels of engagement and market share.”

“Email marketing is so powerful simply due to the list,” emphasizes Jason Billingsley. Billingsley, who is Co-founder and Vice President of Marketing at Elastic Path Software, believes email marketing, “if built correctly and responsibly, usually represents individuals who have already interacted with your offering.” He maintains that “it is easier to sell into a group that has already bought from you in the past. You can also leverage customer data to segment and better target the message or offer. Outside of email marketing, this is much more difficult.”

Gartner cites another exciting aspect of this method: “I think the power of email’s forward to a friend trend is huge. The viral potential of one email can have such a positive ripple effect! It’s part of the birds of a feather flock together analogy. Without a doubt, email marketing is a key tactic for any business looking to drive web site traffic.”

Of course, it is essential that consumer contact be treated with respect. Some marketers, in a bid to cash in email marketing’s profitability resort to buying lists or sending correspondence to people who have not consented to be contacted. This ill-advised technique has often backfired as consumers frequently delete these emails without reading and/or mark them as spam.

“Email marketing has to be strategic,” claims Gartner. Gone are the days of spray and pray tactics. Savvy email marketers respect metrics and build strategies around them. These strategies leverage technology to the max – for example they might anticipate triggering opportunities to help build relationships (birthday emails with special gifts) or save a sale (cart abandonment emails that reference easy ordering with the 1-800 number). Etc. etc.”

With all the other methods to contact consumers, why does email marketing provide more value? “Email marketing vs other mass marketing is like spear fishing vs. drift netting,” concludes Billingsley.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Chris Moran  |  March 9, 2008 at 5:58 am

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Chris Moran

    Reply
  • 2. Jonathon Narvey  |  March 22, 2008 at 5:51 pm

    All of my clients I’ve spoken to in the past few weeks still prefer email newsletters to Facebook, Twitter or blogging. They understand the theory that frequent, interesting content will bring more readers (and therefore, clients) to their business sites…

    Still, even several years into Web 2.0, a lot of businesses have to be CONVINCED to use the newer methods available, which really ought to be used in conjunction with email newsletters. I think this has to do with the difficulty in securing statistics showing the success of social media campaigns as opposed to traditional marketing methods, since both tend to be used simultaneously.

    As the old saying goes, “I know that 50% of my advertising is wasted. I just don’t know which half.”

    Reply

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