Here’s some good news about the return you’ll get on those email marketing dollars. The smart folks at the DMA (that’s the Direct Marketing Association) report that email marketing returns about $40 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.
1. Use email to reduce other costs.
In addition to 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?”
Save time, too, with 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 perfecting your special coffee blend. Hey, we all have our priorities.
-> See ideas for using automated emails.
2. Use email to get valuable information.
Everybody’s crunching the numbers a little more diligently right now, looking for trends and patterns. 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 effective offers, stand-out content or subscribers who’d likely respond well to follow-up — all valuable information to apply to future campaigns.
-> Get more tips for making the most of your response numbers.
3. Use email to build brand loyalty.
Keeping your current customers 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 brand’s best qualities. Reward your most loyal customers with a discount, a whitepaper or a special invitation to your holiday party. Be personal too. The more your subscribers identify with you, the more likely they’ll be to support you.
-> Read our tips for crafting more personal emails.
4. Use email to sell advertisements.
Offering ad sponsorships in your email newsletter is a fantastic way to cover the costs of your newsletter or even generate a little extra profit. With a little up-front work to decide on rates, pick a layout, and spread the word out about the sponsorship opportunity, you’ll have uncovered another way your email campaigns can bring value to your overall marketing efforts.
5. 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. (Eeek!). 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.