The big benefits of e-mail marketing

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Eric Cosway
Eric Cosway

As e-mail marketing usage grows, so does its benefits. Marketers now use e-mail as part of their business-to-business and business-to-consumer integrated marketing mix, as most recipients accept and even welcome targeted, opt-in e-mails. According to a recent Jupiter Research survey, 60% of business decision makers prefer e-mail and the Internet over other mediums for receiving marketing messages. Not to mention that the cost-per qualified lead can be 5% to 15% less when using online media.

Marketers intent on planning online marketing campaigns and practicing effective e-mail design should understand the importance of using and reaping these multiple benefits.

Used correctly, e-mail is a cost-efficient tool for nurturing existing leads and formulating an effective marketing campaign. The Direct Marketing Association estimates e-mail ROI in 2008 at $45.65 for every dollar spent. E-mail, while offering a cost-effective way for targeting prospects, allows interested recipients to qualify themselves by simply responding to marketing messages. This saves time and effort for both marketers and consumers.

For more targeted marketing pieces, marketers can customize e-mails by using variable data capabilities to speak to recipients on an individual level by including personalized information, such as using a name or mentioning a recipient's past inquiries. This tactic allows marketers to increase their opportunities for turning potential clients into active customers and information seekers.

The benefits of e-Marketing include built-in tracking features, offered by many direct mail providers, which report campaign statistics such as bounce rates, deliver and open rates, and click-through analytics. The ability to update these reports in real-time can be a valuable tool to marketers with time-sensitive campaigns or for those testing marketing messages with the goal of standing out among competitors.

A few practical takeaways for integrating e-mail into integrated marketing campaigns.

E-mail serves as a quick and cost-effective way to test market messages and offers

Before deploying full-scale campaigns, marketers with e-mail lists can initially select a sampling from the target audience, segment that sampling into groups and test their responses to different versions of marketing messages and offers. The marketing message or offer that receives the highest response rates can then be expanded into a full-scale, integrated campaign including both direct mail and e-mail.

Send an e-mail message before delivering direct mail to boost awareness

Multiple touchpoints in a campaign can be a valuable tactic for increasing the target audience's awareness.

Timing an e-mail to hit the mailboxes of target audiences immediately before they receive a direct mail piece may heighten the group's receptiveness to receiving and reading a particular marketing communication.

Follow up on direct mail deliveries with e-mail

Send target audience members a friendly, little reminder after they receive a direct mail piece. A genuine and sincere attempt to communicate with them on a personal level and in a timely fashion may sway them to act on a marketing message or offer.

Eric Cosway is CMO and EVP of QuantumDigital. Reach him at eric_cosway@quantumdigital.com.

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