You are a marketing manager considering methods of advertising a product. Imagine being offered the following;
- An up-to-date list, with contact details, of all people with a direct interest or potential need of your product or service.
- Feedback from everyone who has looked at your marketing literature of their level of interest, objections, likes, dislikes etc.
- The opportunity to refine and update the list continuously on a month by month basis.
- The continuing ability to directly market to the refined list of interested customers/potential customers with confidence that the marketing is accurately focused.
As can be shown (below), Email marketing offers all of the above benefits and compared with other direct or indirect methods of marketing, the comparison is disproportionately in favour.
Compared with the obvious alternative method of direct marketing – post mailing, this more traditional method does not bear comparison. What feedback, other than an actual order can be derived? How many letters were opened, how many binned, what proportion were read in totality.
And, of course, indirect advertising – paper media, TV etc., achieves little or no direct feedback and indeed isn’t expected to.
Email marketing as offered by the market leading email marketing software service providers can achieve all or most of the 4 benefit points above. The key features of a good email marketing system that will deliver the benefits set out above are;
List cleansing (List Doctor)
An email marketing campaign is as good as the quality of the email address list. Whilst users of legitimate email marketing services will have lists generated using the internationally approved opt in/opt out protocols, it is inevitable that an address list that has not been checked for errors, corruptions false addresses, opt-outs etc will contain a significant percentage of false addresses. Market leading email marketing systems will include in the software as a user benefit, list cleaning software that will achieve all of the foregoing and more. Email Blaster UK’s List Doctor uses a range of sophisticated (and secret) techniques to weed out addresses that are unlikely to hit, may be blocked as spam or may prompt a negative response. The result is, that with continuous use, a list will improve with time to reach a level of delivery and performance that fulfils the benefit 1 above.
All sent emails elicit a response that enables an analytical assessment of a broadcast to be generated. Hard bounces, soft bounces, opened, spammed, active email response etc. All of this data can be derived and analysed, specific to each address. The result is a refinement of a list such that choices of future email targeting can be made. The quality of email marketing services analytics is crucial. And of course, no other form of direct marketing achieves this quality of contact specific feedback. Postmen do not generally knock on the door to enquire as to whether or not a received mailshot has been opened or thrown away.
Mailshots are repeatedly broadcast to an address list with no means of refinement of the list other than opt-out responses, which very few people ever bother with. The result is a very poor true delivery rate, in a situation where the result at the end of the mailshot is completely invisible. Not so with email marketing. Using the cleansing (List Doctor) and broadcast analytics offered by service providers such as Email Blaster UK enables continuous refinement of a list when repeat usage is employed. It is far better to use an email list as a means of regular more subtle marketing than a one off blast. The greater the repeat use, the better the list will become, most of the refinement using software such as List Doctor running silently behind the panel without any activity by the user. Use of high quality templates, enabling sophisticated graphic presentation to be achieved, can be employed to much greater effect when broadcasting to a receptive email list. Email Blaster UK has recently announced the addition of a much extended range of quality templates to its arsenal of software.
And of course, using the benefits of List Doctor, Market Analytics etc enables the user to consider changes to a targeting strategy based on the feedback from earlier email blasts.
Research suggests that UK companies spent approximately £300m on email marketing in 2011, rising to about £500m by 2016, a growth rate of 65% over the 5 years. Clearly the email marketing UK marketplace is a very active place to be and email marketing is undoubtedly seen by Business to Business and Business to Consumer marketeers as the most effective method of direct marketing. This is primarily driven by the fact that, compared to mailshots, email campaigns are much cheaper. But, once the associated benefits of feedback, targeting, list improvement, quality templates and better focus become apparent with regular use, email marketing is seen as by far the most effective method of targeted marketing.