While the economic news may not be the cheeriest these days, we've got some good news for you about the return you'll get on those email marketing dollars. The smart folks at the DMA (that's the Direct Marketing Association) reported that in 2007, email marketing returned about $48 for every dollar invested, the highest of all the marketing channels out there.
With the pittance it costs to send an email, you get all three of a marketer's favorite things-relevant messages, brand appeal and the ability to measure it all. So keep up the great work you're already doing with email, and consider these five tips as well:
- Use email to reduce other costs. On top of being cost-effective, email can help cut costs elsewhere. Look at what you're currently printing-holiday cards, birthday postcards, invitations-and ask yourself, "Could this be emailed instead?" (Whoa, not out loud. There are better office nicknames than The Postcard Whisperer.)
Save time, too, with trigger emails that automatically welcome new subscribers or follow up around important dates. When you're no longer handling that stuff manually, you'll have more time to focus on higher revenue, better service or more precise dart-throwing. Hey, we all have our priorities.
- Use email to get valuable information. Everybody's crunching the numbers a little more diligently right now, looking for trends, patterns, or, in freak cases, practice with long division. Some of the most valuable statistics to watch are the response numbers that roll in after you send a campaign. A dedicated review of 'em will help you and your team spot stand-out content or subscribers who'd likely respond well to follow-up-all valuable information to apply to future campaigns.
- Use email to build brand loyalty. In a downturn, keeping your supporters happy and engaged is more important than ever. With regular email campaigns, you've already got an easy, friendly way to remind your subscribers why they know and love you. In your emails, make a point to highlight your organization's best qualities. Reward your most loyal supporters with a coupon you had donated by a sponsor or send a special invitation to your holiday party. Oh, and be personal. The more your subscribers identify with you, the more likely they'll be to support you.
- Use email the right way. As you refine your strategy to suit the economic climate, don't stray off the path of email marketing's best practices. It may be tempting to do something brash, like buy or rent a list. (Ick!) Or send every other day. (Ack!) Or even abandon your well-honed segmentation strategy for the ol' "batch and blast" approach. (Blarg!)
Keep your focus on a smart, permission-based strategy, and you'll continue to see more value for your brand, your sending reputation and your results. Also, we've never heard "blarg" used like that.