Email plays a vital role in marketing mix

Especially during a downturn, top marketers still believe email is a solid investment. In 2009, almost one third of business-to-business marketers plan on spending more money on email marketing than they did last year, according to MarketingSherpa’s Email Marketing Benchmark Guide for 2009.

With the Internet and email now a large part of our everyday lives, more consumers and business professionals would rather communicate online than through traditional marketing channels. Developing email as a key player in your marketing mix can drastically improve the effectiveness of your campaigns.

An estimated 60% of business decision makers prefer email and the Internet over other mediums for receiving marketing messages. Additionally, the cost-per qualified lead can be 5% to 15% less when using online media, according to a recent Jupiter Research survey.

“Used correctly, email 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. Email, 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,” according to Eric Cosway, CMO and EVP of Quantum Digital in a recent DMNews article.

Cosway shared this advice for integrating email into integrated marketing campaigns:

Test. Test email response rates using small samples of your target audience, before sending an email out to your entire list. Test different creative designs, messages and offers to see which version will perform the best in your marketing campaign.

Create awareness. Send e-mails to customers before delivering a direct mail campaign to boost customer awareness. How well you time the delivery of your e-mail can improve customers’ receptiveness to receiving and reading a direct mailing.

Follow up. Develop e-mail messages to hit customers’ inboxes right after they receive a direct mail piece. Putting in the effort to continue communication with customers after a direct mailing has been delivered may encourage them to act on your marketing message or offer.

Remember to keep e-mail off the chopping block when budget cuts start rolling around. Organizations that view e-mail as a long-term marketing investment and include it as a vital piece of their marketing mix reap the most rewards.

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