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| In this edition: Getting Smart with Email Marketing|

WSI Inside Edge

 

Getting Smart with Email Marketing

Welcome to the latest edition of the Inside Edge--your monthly report on Internet trends and advancements that can turn your business into a more profitable e-Business!

After you read this month's edition, contact your local WSI Consultant to find out how to put this valuable information to work for your business right away.

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Email Marketing - Effective Reach, Low Costs

As our marketplace continues to evolve due to changes in the economy, technology, government legislation and increased competition, small businesses are turning to the Internet to increase revenues and attract new customers while decreasing operating expenses. Today, email marketing is quickly becoming one of the most cost-effective marketing tools available for small businesses.

So, why email marketing?

Throughout the world, telemarketing is being gradually voted out as a marketing channel with the introduction of 'Do Not Call' legislation. In comparison, direct marketing is more expensive than online marketing, while mass media advertising is expensive and quite difficult to measure for effectiveness through customer conversion. Email marketing on the other hand is growing rapidly across all industries, is relatively less expensive when compared to other marketing methods and all aspects are measurable. In a survey by MarketingProfs in November 2005, 40% of marketers stated that email earns the highest ROI, followed by search engine marketing at 28% and direct mail at 18%.


"40% of marketers stated that email earns the highest ROI, followed by search engine marketing at 28% and direct mail at 18%"

Source: Marketing Profs


The Bottom Line:

Email marketing continues to offer a better balance of lower costs and higher response rates than most marketing media. The challenge is to maximize its effectiveness through improved content and enhanced measurement techniques. The two fundamental principles of email are: driving direct response and cultivating ongoing relationships. Customer retention is the prime objective for most email marketers, while customer acquisition continues to play a smaller yet significant role.

Surprisingly, many companies that engage in email marketing treat it almost as an afterthought and don’t bother to track the performance of their campaign. This is confimed by a recent survey of email marketers conducted by MarketingSherpa which revealed, 24% don’t track open rates, 31% don’t track click-through rates, and 52% don’t bother to determine the conversion rates of those clicks. In addition, a recent survey by CMO magazine stated that 26% of US marketing executives have no formal marketing measurement system in place. Your WSI Consultant can provide you with practical advice and affordable email marketing solutions which provide enhanced measurement tools to track the performance of your email marketing campaigns.


"26% of US marketing executives have no formal marketing measurement system in place"

Source: CMO


With lower costs than most other forms of marketing, email can be a great leveller for small businesses competing against larger enterprises, in part because small businesses have increased opportunities to establish real relationships with their customers. Many consumers are likely to give permission to a small business to receive their marketing messages as long as the company makes it clear that they will never share the individual’s personal information with any other organization.

As a small business owner how are you leveraging email marketing to grow your business? Contact your WSI Consultant today to learn more about our affordable email marketing solutions and proven Internet Marketing strategies which will help you effectively communicate and measure the success of your e-business.

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Provided below is a brief overview of standard and advanced email marketing measurements to help you better measure the ROI of your email marketing campaigns.

Standard & Advanced Measurement Metrics

Among the various metrics email marketers track to gauge effectiveness, some are standard and used by nearly all, while the usage of other metrics depends more on the company's and campaign's objectives. The range of standard metrics includes the following six elements:

  1. Delivery rate; typically, emails sent minus bounce bounce-backs
  2. Open rate
  3. Click-through rate (i.e. response rate)
  4. Bounce-back rate
  5. Unsubscribe rate
  6. Conversion rate; typically, number of actions divided by number of unique click-throughs

More detailed metrics which are often overlooked include these 10 factors, according to EmailLabs:

  1. Referral rate (i.e. pass-along rate or "send-to-a-friend")
  2. Click to open rate (unique clicks divided by unique opens)
  3. Net subscribers (number of subscribers plus new subscribers minus bounces plus unsubscribes)
  4. Subscriber retention (number of subscribers minus bounces and unsubscribes divided by number of subscribers)
  5. Website actions (number of visits to a specific Web page or pages)
  6. Number of orders, transactions, downloads or actions
  7. Conversion rate (or percent of orders, transactions, downloads or actions of e-mails sent or delivered)
  8. Total revenue
  9. Average order size
  10. Average dollars received per e-mail sent or delivered

The fundamentals are open rates, tracked by nearly 76% of email marketers, and click-through rates, tracked by nearly 69% of respondents to the MarketingSherpa survey. Conversion rates, however, which assess the whole point of email campaigns, get tracked by only 48% of email marketers.

This edition of the Inside Edge has been brought to you by Ron McArthur, Certified Internet Consultant.

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