ADOTAS EXCLUSIVE — A recent survey of large corporations conducted by Direct Partners found that email is now the most popular form of direct response marketing. Email marketing usage (reportedly used by 35% of companies) topped traditional direct mail (25%) and use of package, statement stuffers/free standing inserts (21%). In other studies, participants reported that marketing to their house lists yielded the best direct response ROI.As these studies found, email is a great tool to reach a target audience, but brand marketers need to use it wisely. They cannot sit on their laurels or be complacent. Brand marketers need to market to the right consumer at the right time with product information, promotions, content, polls and offers the consumers want to receive. Matching a consumers interest is key, because as a recent AOL study found, a large number of emails are just ignored by consumers, or sent to backup, seldom-viewed accounts.
The AOL study found that nearly half of those surveyed consider themselves addicted to email, with 51% checking email more than four times a day. The dark side, of course, is that 27% of respondents feel overwhelmed by the amount of email they receive. In fact, some have signed up for new email addresses just to give themselves a clean start.
What does this mean for brand marketers who use email as a component of their marketing mix? More than 69% of email users surveyed have multiple email accounts, so just getting your messages to the right account is vital.
To ensure your email is read, make sure your consumers have asked to receive your email, and make relevance your first priority. By presenting consumers who have opted in to your house list with messages and offers that match their interests, you will take the second step to ensuring your emails are read – building trust.
Online lead generation is a great way to start the conversation with consumers, ask them about their interests and preferences, and get them to opt-in for your email house list. Then send them the information about your brand and products that they request directly from you. It is one of the most direct and profitable ways for brand marketers to find new customers and build long-lasting and profitable relationships with them.
Research shows that consumers want relationships with their favorite brands. The key is to make sure emails with e-newsletters are tailored to their preferences and expressed interests. Consumer polling data from Prospectiv supports this. According to Prospectiv’s 2007 Consumer Packaged Goods poll, 70% of respondents said they research every day products online, with the majority favoring e-newsletters as their preferred resource for information, special offers and discounts on CPG products. E-newsletters also prove valuable and trusted resources for consumers seeking travel, entertainment, retail, and healthcare information.
Engaged customers who get the messages they want will buy more from you and will become passionate advocates for your brand and products. Email also helps you build a level of engagement with customers that fosters loyalty, which can be very valuable in driving profits for your brand.
To engage consumers using email, brand marketers should follow some basic steps:
• Make sure you get consumers to clearly opt-in to your house list. Make the opt-in clear and if you use an online lead generation provider to help you build your in-house list, be sure they use responsible best practices
• Understand who your customers are and what they are interested in
• Understand how to use the unique attributes of email (targeting, permission, personalization, communication preferences, etc.)
• Make subscribing easy
Email is a powerful tool for brand marketers, but it is crucial to execute it properly. Use it wisely and it can become the most valuable tool in your marketing arsenal. It is an easy point of entry to engage online audiences in support of brands and for building long-lasting relationships.