NEW YORK — Having an e-mail list manager that understands the issues specific to e-mail is critical for a marketer's file, according to speakers yesterday at a seminar held here at the SoHo Grand Hotel by e-mail marketing firm NetCreations Inc.
“E-mail is said to be the 'killer app,' and we believe it is,” said presenter Brian Burlant, senior vice president business development at NetCreations' e-mail list management and brokerage division PostMasterDirect, New York.
But he noted several differences between e-mail and postal lists that marketers need to know. Permission is key with e-mail, as consumers have an expectation of privacy that they do not have with postal mail, he said.
The reputation of the list manager a marketer chooses is a bigger issue in the e-mail space, Burlant said. Pitfalls that a disreputable manager can bring about include getting blocked by Internet service providers, padding or over-mailing of e-mail files, list churn and blacklists, he said.
Burlant stressed the importance of knowing how an e-mail list manager deals with opt-outs, bounces and list hygiene.
PostMasterDirect list manager Laura La Luna spent years as a postal list manager before joining NetCreations.
“It is very different,” she said, listing the things an e-mail list manager should do for each client as follows:
· Learn the client's business model.
· Know the client's Web site and products.
· Put forth specifications for building the opt-in e-mail list.
· Monitor list growth, revenue and use.
· Track response.
· Provide analysis.
· Keep up with market trends.
“E-mail marketing is the most complex form of marketing I've ever seen,” NetCreations president Michael Mayor said in his introduction to the session. Yet despite the economy and the issue of unsolicited commercial e-mail, he added, marketers are having success.
NetCreations also released a report on click-through rates yesterday showing a rise in the past three quarters. The firm examined about 5,300 tracked campaigns. The fourth quarter of 2002 showed a 3.2 percent click-through rate; first-quarter 2003 had 4.4 percent, and the second quarter was at 5.1 percent to date, the report said.