Saturday, June 13, 2009

Email marketing: What to do and the rewards that can be reaped

As with perhaps all advertising campaigns, email marketing has a number of dos and do nots. Many experts have shared their views on what constitutes a sound email marketing strategy and it appears that some companies are taking on fresh approaches to their messaging efforts.

Cynthia Edwards, writing for Email Insider, suggested that retailers can learn a lot from what top non-profit organisations have done with their email marketing. Based on Charity Navigator's monthly list of "most frequently reviewed" charities, Ms Edwards chose some popular non-profits to follow and found that four of these were putting together email addresses and personal data on their websites. They would then follow up by sending out personalised welcome messages and motivational emails, she revealed.

Ms Edwards pointed to World Vision as one notable example of a non-profit firm getting a lot out of email marketing. Companies can learn from World Vision in making sure that their welcome emails introduce the business fully and tell the receivers about the range of services on offer, she added.

One company seeing genuine benefits from email marketing is Paramount Restaurant Group. It has seen online bookings increase by 150 per cent in the first three months of the year across its six restaurant brands after implementing an ongoing email voucher campaign.

"Paramount Restaurants has managed to grow its audience and sales by using email that's appropriate for its market - the results achieved can be built upon in the future," commented Anne Collet, marketing manager of Pure, the email marketing company that helped Paramount Restaurant Group with its campaign.

The company also saw its websites' traffic increase by 307 per cent across all brands in January this year, while a voucher campaign in the same month for Caffe Uno experienced a 30 per cent open rate, with a further 45 per cent click-through rate.

It seems the advertising format is to prove popular in the future as well, with an Eloqua survey, conducted at the Technology for Marketing & Advertising conference in London, revealing that email marketing is set to be the biggest growth channel for business-to-business marketers this year. The platform came out ahead of both direct mail and real-time lead generation.

The same survey showed that 61 per cent of marketers have not changed their marketing strategies during the recession, perhaps hinting that some firms need to reassess how they use email in their advertising campaigns.



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