The extra mile


MailAway’s Anna Penrose explains why email marketing is so important for your business

The benefits of email marketing have never been as apparent as they have been during the recent economic downturn. It is whilst weathering these tough times that people fear spending money on their marketing when ironically, it is during these periods that we need to spend extra time and often money on our marketing efforts.

As email marketing specialists, we have seen an increase in new clients, which is perhaps because businesses realise they need to go the extra mile, or maybe because they are cutting back from the more traditional and less measurable methods of marketing.

With email marketing not only can you see your return on investment, but you can access real-time figures that show you open rates, click through statistics and purchases (if you sell products on the site). You can see how long customers are spending on your site and how often they visit via the newsletter.

A MailAway newsletter campaign will set you back £10 per campaign and 2p per email contact so if you have 1,000 people on your email list it will only cost you £30 each time you send an email.

One of our clients recently reported that she only spent around £15 per campaign and customers who received the email stayed on her website for seven minutes – the longest time on the site (measured against other channels). As a sender of product based emails she receives £100+ in revenue within the first 12 hours of sending the email each time. That is a wise investment, although she still has masses of room to grow her list substantially and potential to increase her revenue far beyond that.

This is where strategy comes in. It is important to have a strategy which is well thought through with campaigns that are targeted and planned in advance. For an email marketing company, this is how we add value. You need to use the company you work with to guide you through this process and help you to construct effective, attractive, target market-friendly emails that simultaneously convey your brand message and adhere to legislation.

From design to marketing and technical help; it is important to have a team that can offer you the full service you require. Emails are also one of the best forms of marketing for client/customer retention.

After all everyone knows the saying “it is far cheaper to keep a customer than to acquire a new one”. A customer on your email list is actively interested in your product and what you do, keep doing what you do best and your list will keep growing and these people translate into loyal brand ambassadors.

When building an online strategy, your website acts as a hub. Supporting the hub are your search, social media and other strategies. These are extremely effective as a form of client acquisition. Email can then be used most effectively as a form of conversion and turns potentially interested leads into genuine customers.

Used in tandem with other marketing tactics, this approach can be extremely successful and is often much more effective than traditional above-the-line, direct marketing or advertising. This is truer than ever today, in an advert-clad world where, as the famous saying goes “the customer isn’t listening”.

There is no doubt that email marketing has a vast amount of benefits and for the ROI alone it is worth pursuing. However, if done correctly, what I love most is that email can be truly interactive. You are never upset to see a genuine and relevant email in your inbox (unlike unwanted takeawa menu mailings through your door when you’re on a diet!) because you have signed up to know more (and potentially buy more) from the company in question.

And with the growth of smartphones giving people the ability to check email on the move, the opportunity to reach your customers via email is greater than ever.

This article first appeared in the August/September 2011 issue of Business Cornwall magazine



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