Email Marketing: Cost Effective Marketing
by Dan Ogdon
In the ever popular and increasingly expensive online advertising space email marketing remains the leader of cost effective, direct response marketing. As the most familiar form of digital communication, marketers can focus a message to a specific customer for the greatest return. Through enhanced database profiling, improved marketing communications, real-time brand/product recall and customer retention email marketing is more than simply a way to push your promotions to your customers.
Enhanced Database Profiling
So you have an opt-in list of a few hundred or a few thousand names that you’ve accumulated through the past year or so. At this point, you know that these contacts are interested in your services, but do you know exactly what each contacts needs are? Email marketing is the most cost-effective way to find out which contacts are interested in which products.
By simply drafting a template that offers a snippet of information regarding each one of your services and sending out to your entire database, you will know exactly which contact is clicking on which link to learn more information. Using this information, you now have insight into what groups of people would benefit from receiving information specific to them.
This certainly doesn’t have to stop here. Now that you know a certain group of people are interested in only a specific product, you can send them email with product information featuring specific product attributes. By looking at your reports you now have grouped this group by knowing which specific attribute will solve their problems.
Improve other Marketing Communications
You’ve sent a few emails now. You may have noticed some emails performing better than others. More clicks, better open rate, more forwards, etc.
Email marketing is an excellent tool to test creative elements that can be included in more costly, harder to track marketing channels, like direct mail and offline advertising.
Things to consider when looking through past emails –
- What verbiage in your subject line garnered the best open rate?
- What imagery received the most click throughs? – color scheme, graphics, etc.
- Were banners/buttons clicked on over text links?
- What promotion caused the biggest stir?
Take the information you’ve learned from sending a few emails and apply the most effective elements (verbiage, graphics, promotions, etc.) to your more costly marketing efforts. For example, next time you send a direct mail piece, you will know that the % off promotion garners a better response than $ off promotion, the red color scheme and the image of the professional looking business woman is more effective and results oriented copy works far better than information oriented copy.
Real-Time Brand/Product Recall
As your clients are moving closer to a buy decision, the most cost and time efficient method to put your services in front of them is through email. With no printing, proofing, reprinting, finite release dates, or snail mail wait times, you can have your services and your brand in the decision maker’s hands before your competitor’s postcard reaches them.
Reach out and let your existing customers know you care. Send them a gift card via email or offer an insightful white paper as a note of gratitude that they have chosen you. Email marketing is an excellent low cost customer retention tool as it can instantly put your brand in the forefront of your existing customer’s minds. Want to make sure your customer comes back and renew their service package or upgrade their products? Stay in touch with them throughout the product lifecycle through email and your existing customer retention will increase dramatically.
Email is clearly an excellent, cost effective marketing tool that gives you insight into who your customers are, allows you to make smarter, more informed business and marketing decisions, puts the face of your products or services in the forefront of your customer’s minds and makes sure that as soon as a new purchase decision arises, your offering is the first thing they think of. Make email a part of your marketing mix.