How to Use E-Mail in a Down Market
Historically, many e-mail marketers have gotten by with poor metrics and suboptimal business practices because e-mail marketing was seen as a cheap communication channel where it was easy to make a profit.
But in the current economic climate, every cost is under scrutiny. Are you simply looking at ways to lower costs or e-mail more people? That’s exactly the wrong thing to be doing. Now is the time to act like a sharp businessperson and consolidate your own standing in the process.
Focus on Real Business Metrics
Smart businesspeople focus on profit and loss (P&L) and return on investment (ROI), not just cost. Clearly demonstrate that e-mail marketing is central to the future success of the company by implementing a broadly agreed upon ROI model. This allows e-mail marketing to achieve its full potential by providing insight into the return the company gets on the money it invests in the channel.
Don’t make the mistake of defining the model too narrowly. It needs to capture the real costs and revenue impact of e-mail marketing, including the costs of losing customers who opt out of future mailings, and the business being labeled as a spammer due to inappropriate delivery practices. Similarly, the revenue calculation should include the halo effect of e-mail on other channels.
Sure, capturing the data for such a model requires some effort, such as the integration of purchase data with e-mail analytics. But the effort is well worth it to help the business understand and manage the full range of its marketing efforts.
Segment — Don’t Just Blast
It’s time to stop scattergun-style e-mails to every address you can find. It’s a waste of resources and a sure way to lose customers. Some customers want to receive frequent commercial e-mails, but others quickly come to regard them as spam and you as a spammer.