Is Email Marketing Effective?

By: Mel Joelle

The novelty of getting e-mail has long been dead. Factor that in with the rise of blogs, social media, RSS, and spam filters and it’s easy to see why so many people jump to the conclusion that marketing via email is also dead. Yet statistics are showing otherwise. The Direct Marketing Association forecasts that in 2010 email marketing will generate $42.08 for every dollar spent on it. Email marketing is certainly changing, but the jury is still out on whether it’s evolving or dying. The verdict depends on whether or not email marketers can respond to the changing internet landscape with the appropriate changes.

For email marketing to be effective in this new era it must make quality the top priority. To begin with, this means careful consideration and planning. If you email your customers simply to dump information, the number of emails actually opened is likely to drop each week. Focus on writing emails that are relevant to the customer. Address their wants, needs, and feelings, not just how great your business and/or products are. Plan a regular schedule for your e-mails rather than sending out intermittent memos. Customers appreciate reliability. Ideally, your newsletters should be so well crafted and targeted that customers know (and complain) when they don’t receive them on schedule.

The level of quality should also extend itself to the bare bones of the email. Make sure there aren’t any typographical or formatting errors. This is a matter of courtesy to your readers. After all, if you can’t bother proofreading or previewing your own email, why should anyone bother reading it themselves? Another courtesy you may want to consider is inserting a clear link to unsubscribe somewhere in the email. Hopefully few customers will need to use it, but it’s unavoidable that some will. Forcing subscribers to route around your website or even e-mail you to unsubscribe is going to leave a bad taste in their mouth. Making sure that readers don’t feel cornered into getting your emails will help make them seem less like spam and more like correspondences from a friend or advisor. Another way you can achieve this is by personally addressing each recipient. A personalized greeting that makes them feel like less of a number will positively influence their view of your marketing.

Furthermore, quality can be achieved by paying attention to the statistics. Your server should provide you with information on how e-mails fail to reach the recipient, are opened, and result in the user clicking a link to your website. These statistics are a great source of feedback. They help you figure out what is and isn’t working in your e-mails. For example, if the number of clicks increases by 40 percent one week then that particular email is probably a good model of what is effective in getting your readers’ interest.

Optimum7 strongly believes that email marketing is best delivered to opt-in listings of recipients. Our monthly newsletter is only sent to our client base plus those who have contacted us through our website, by phone or just by directly subscribing online. Beyond this so-called anti-spam approach, it also is about being relevant to the readers. The goal ultimately is increased business, of course. However, by generating great content and following the aforementioned guidelines, we know that increasing the business will take care of itself because when you provide value, you are valued and being valued inevitably leads to engagement and business.

Email marketing is not a strategy, however. It is a part of an overall Internet Marketing Strategy that requires integration with many of the tenets and principals you find in SEO, SMO and all of the other specialties within Internet Marketing.

Do you have a client base and a prospect base that needs to hear from you more often? Contact us and we will be happy to help.

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