Why does email marketing consistently deliver solutions that give you greater returns on your investment while affording you’re the very best market penetration among direct mailing channels? How is it that email marketers are able to deliver outstanding results even when marketing little-known brands and backwater businesses? In this article, Linda Mentzer helps you understand why email is such a compelling marketing avenue and why firms that use email marketing to engage customers can be very successful, very fast.
An email is likely to get your offer across to a consumer at a much faster rate than other forms of direct marketing. While the time it takes direct mail to reach a prospect is dependent on the postal or courier service you use, an email campaign can be instantly sent to millions of prospects all over the world. With a direct mail campaign, you’re likely to spend at least a week getting your mailer through design, sampling and production and that doesn’t include the time it takes to get across the country to each recipient. E-mail marketing on the other hand, condenses all of this into a few well-spent hours.
Plus, email doesn’t provoke the kind of negative consumer attitudes observed during telemarketing or door-to-door sales.
Telemarketing involves painstakingly calling each prospect, qualifying them and then making a sale. This can place considerable strain on your resources in terms of man power and time. Direct marketing incurs its own costs by way of printing and postage expenses. Many mailers may even go astray or fail to grab the recipient’s attention, resulting in significant losses.
The expenditure brought about by email marketing on the other hand, is almost negligible when you consider the extensive reach of this particular channel and is likely to cost less than 10% of what a direct mailing campaign does.
All the materials involved in a direct mail campaign will need to be designed, revised, printed, cut and organized into packages or envelopes before being physically transported to their individual destinations. That takes a lot of time and a LOT of manpower. Telemarketing too requires a dedicated team of sales professionals on hand to continually drive profits.
Even the largest email campaign however, can theoretically be executed with a single skilled employee and the proper tools.
Email allows you the luxury of being able to redesign your mailing materials to better target a specific audience. In fact, with e-mail you can instantly make changes to suit your audience’s proclivities and the speed and ease with which this is accomplished allows you to target even smaller segments of the market for a more efficient campaign that communicates better.
For example, if you’re targeting prospects within a specific city, you can create target groups made up of addresses from each neighborhood and create many stylized email templates to reflect the identity of each area. If you tried to apply this tactic to direct mail, it would incur a long and complex process where the chance of making a mistake is multiplied ten-fold. Additionally, the cost of printing each set of mailers out is likely to be prohibitive.
Real time messaging is e-mail marketing’s greatest asset. You can use e-mail to quickly send out ‘spot’ offers and deals that can help you balance out your sales and reduce stock of underselling goods. In addition, you can focus on your mainstream consumers while spreading mailers all across the ‘long tail’ as well, giving you a healthy and diverse customer portfolio.
With the kind of tracking and analytical tools on offer, you’ll see how email marketing delivers infinitely more measurable results than its siblings within the direct marketing fold. Most email campaign managers allow you to track your delivery, open and response rates, the specific link that a user clicked on and even if your message was marked as spam.
Additionally, depending on how extensive your database is, you’ll even be able to find out a host of demographic information about your best customers. This can help you build an ‘ideal customer’ profile that can vastly aid your future marketing efforts.
The benefits of testing your campaign and tweaking it along the way have never been more apparent than with e-mail marketing. Whether you choose to split test or invest in more complex methods, email can help you quickly indentify the segments of your list that are readily responding to your campaign and those that aren’t.
Since the most email service providers make it as easy as possible for their users to communicate you can be sure that your email has been forwarded to many more people than just those on your list. With direct mail, however, no such benefit exists – you don’t see people placing stamps on direct mail and re-posting it to their friends and family.
But since email is free and allows a user to quickly send messages to anyone in the world, your mailer will mostly likely be ‘networked’ around to a bunch of people including the original recipient.
While e-mail makes absolute sense, we don’t quite recommend that you rely solely on it to fuel sales. A good marketing campaign is one that can integrate a strong message and brand identity across multiple channels. And while email has a great roster of benefits, we recommend that you use it in conjunction with a host of other strategies to better capitalize on your marketing efforts.