Many years ago when email was still known and used just by techies, I remember a comment made by a computer magazine editor comparing phone and email communications. He was saying that email is not really as great of an invention as the telephone, because it does not give the opportunity for instant conversation. Maybe this made sense in those days, when we did not have computers in our pockets, but look where we have come now. Is there life without email? Tell me about instant conversation; how many of us prefer using email instead of picking up the phone today?
As email messaging became this much involved in our lives, email marketing has also proven itself as a very effective and profitable direct marketing channel for all types of businesses, but especially for smaller ones.
Vertical Response Inc.’s recent survey of small businesses has shown that 74.1% of respondents plan to increase their use of email marketing in 2010. The study also shows how widely email marketing is accepted among small businesses as well as how search engine marketing and banner advertising will get cut in the new year. For details you can read their press release about the Planned Marketing Spend in 2010 Survey. Although this is just one survey, I believe it safely represents the real trend. It makes very much sense because email marketing has many advantages and benefits when compared to other direct marketing methods.
Here are some of the reasons why you should start email marketing right away.
- Return on investment – In 2009 commercial e-mail returned $43.62 for every dollar spent on it, according to DMA’s Power of Direct economic-impact study published in October 2009. This return on investment far exceeds other direct marketing efforts such as non-catalog direct mail, which returned $15.22 and catalogs which returned $7.32 for every dollar spent, according to the study. This data alone makes email marketing a very attractive direct marketing option.
- Easy to use – The email marketing services available today make it very easy to create, send and track email campaigns. You just have to make sure that you put together a good marketing message. Then you will have user-friendly tools to manage the delivery and monitoring of your email campaigns. You can reuse and schedule your campaigns, can easily get reports about the performance of your messages and for the most part you do not need to rely on anybody else.
- Economical – The time and effort required to create and deliver an email marketing campaign is very little, thanks to the ease of use as I tried to explain in the previous bullet. In many cases you can automate this task as well. This definitely helps reduce the cost for preparing and delivering an email campaign. Besides, the per recipient or per email cost charged by email marketing services is very low. In some occasions, you can even send free email campaigns up to a certain limit.
- Highly Effective – Email marketing offers you the opportunity to get creative and develop more interactive marketing campaigns using graphics, video, audio and dynamic content. This helps to convey your message more effectively by getting the attention of your prospects in ways that cannot be achieved by other marketing methods.
- Fast Results – Email reaches to its destination instantly. This is a great opportunity to generate business in a short period. Think about an email message, including a dinner deal, sent by the neighborhood restaurant, in the afternoon, reaching a person, planning a dinner date. Or, think about a printable online gift card offer which ends up at the inbox of a last-minute shopper who has forgotten about a cousin who will be at the holiday party. This is how quickly you can get results by email campaigns.
- Measurable outcome – One critical advantage of email marketing is the ability it provides to find out if your ad campaigns are really working. After sending out your email campaigns you can learn how many people have received and opened your messages and how many of them have clicked on the links in your emails. This capability gives you the opportunity to improve your campaigns and increase their profitability. Let’s say if you send out catalogs or postcards you will never know how many of them will directly end up in the trash (I believe most of them will). With email you will have great control over how to optimize your marketing.
Do you have different email marketing benefits you can add to this list? I’d would like to learn what they are.
Do you have a success story about email marketing or do you think it is not as good as it seems? Then why don’t you share your experience with me and your fellow readers? I am sure it will be helpful for all of us in our email marketing efforts.
By the way, stay tuned for information about the various aspects of email marketing that you need to know in order to be successful in this game.