This guide from the nation’s leading direct, database and interactive marketing publication is for both experts and beginners in e-mail marketing. Its goal is to help you better understand the use of e-mail in a consumer-controlled era of loose loyalty and high expectations.
Make no mistake: legitimate e-mail, if tailored to meet consumer needs, has the potential to displace – not replace, though – traditional mail as the costs of postage, paper and printing rise. According to industry estimates, e-mail marketing is growing 25 percent to 30 percent annually. We recently reported e-mail budgets were up more than 60 percent in the first half of 2005 versus the year-ago period, to $116 million and a 2 percent market share. Also, e-mails reportedly influenced $39 billion in sales last year.
In effect, e-mail marketing’s heft through targeted promotional or transactional messages will increase as e-commerce becomes a default shopping channel for convenience-seeking consumers. This is despite consumer concern over identity theft and a smidgen of fear from transacting online.
So there’s plenty of reasons we should have a soup-to-nuts explanation from contributors on how to use e-mail marketing to acquire and retain customers in this environment.
E-mail may not be as complex as search engine marketing, but its regulatory, address churn, Internet service provider, image-blocking, open and click rate, phishing and spamming issues are challenging.
As done with our July-issued Essential Guide on Search Engine Marketing, this book progresses from the basics of the discipline to the intermediate level and then advanced. Research and case studies are interspersed.
Whatever your familiarity with the subject, please start by reading the Q&A with David Daniels, research director at JupiterResearch. It’s a great way to get a lay of the land. The pages that follow tackle myriad topics on a granular level. There are pieces on crafting an e-mail, choosing a list broker and list manager, list rentals, tools of the trade, hosted applications versus desktop software, rules for campaigns and tips for consumer- and business-focused e-mails.
The intermediate section offers best practices for finance, winery and healthcare e-mails as well as telephone protocols that apply to online pitches, integration with other channels, marketing to moms, lifecycle messaging, testing and appending. You will find equally thought-provoking articles in the final section. There’s commentary on open and click rates, images in e-mail, authentication and accreditation, the impact of RSS, rules and regulations, ISP relations and trends expected for next year.
The case studies, hard as they are to extract from tight-lipped marketers, are a must-read. The list includes major brands like Kettle Foods, Kodak, E-Loan, Hobby Lobby, Delta Air Lines, Nine West, Fossil, University of Guelph in Canada, Sonic Software, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Gateway, General Mills, Bass Pro and Microsoft.
DM News’ newspaper and online editions regularly feature almost all of the marketers and suppliers in in this guide. They also gain frequent mention in our weekly e-mail marketing newsletter, which is worth subscribing to. It’s a bunch I’d turn to for e-mail marketing work.
You hold in your hands the distilled brilliance of the best and brightest minds in e-mail marketing. Please turn all pages. You never know which idea may click.