Email marketing has now come of age, with an extremely high rate of return, outstanding tracking, reporting, and automated campaigns now available. More businesses should be adding it to their marketing solutions, according to Tim Pacileo, president, of theBoardRoomAdvisors. “Back in the early days, goods and services were marketed exclusively by word of mouth and then by print, initially newspapers that contained advertisements,” he says. “Following newspapers came direct mail and billboards and other forms of print media, then radio and TV. Today, we also have the Internet, with social networks such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, websites and blogs, and email marketing.
“In these examples not one of the previous marketing/sales solutions was removed. We can still go to the local bank branch and conduct business with a teller, and we still receive direct mail advertisements and newspapers with ads. What we did was add new channels to our marketing mix and that’s exactly what email marketing is today; a new channel that we need to incorporate into our marketing.” Pacileo says that the new and improved email solutions of today provide insight and analytics into sales and marketing that was not possible even a few years ago. Not only is email marketing very cost effective, it also tracks what transpired with email, such as:
- Was it opened, and by how many people?
- Who were they and how long did they read it?
- Did they click on a link for more info or for a discount coupon?
- Did they forward it to a friend?
- Did they share it online on Facebook, Twitter, etc?
Pacileo points out that options can also be added on, such as auto responder, that schedule a whole series of emails based on how the initial emails were received. For example, if the email was not opened after a number of days, a few more emails are sent out, and if those are not opened, an automated phone call can ask if the individual received the emails. The results are available almost immediately, so you can see if the campaign was successful, or if you need to rethink it before moving forward.
Using 2009 Direct Marketing Association statistics, Pacileo compares the numbers and compares the rate of return on some key marketing solutions. “We can clearly see commercial email has approximately three times the rate of return of direct mail, and approximately six times that of catalogs. If we took a cost per thousand approach, we can see how easily it is to reallocate a portion of the budgeting dollars from direct mail and catalogs to email,” he notes.