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Your solution to the marketing Catch-22

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Thankfully, the development of more sophisticated email marketing methods has come at just the right time to help businesses escape the dreaded Catch-22. It provides a much cheaper alternative to other marketing channels but delivers the highest return on investment – an average email costs just 0.15p to send, generating an ROI of 5,000 per cent.

Email marketing is also less time consuming than direct mail campaigns and provides a higher level of reporting than direct mail, telephone calls and advertising, not to mention the environmental benefits it has over direct mailings, which are heavy paper.

And business leaders are starting to realise the full merits of email marketing.

Taryn Walker, marketing manager at ticket-exchange website Seatwave, comments: “Our email marketing campaigns have been so successful that they are now an intrinsic part of our marketing activity. The campaigns have driven phenomenal growth in an extremely cost-effective way.”

The technology that drives highly efficient email marketing campaigns is now very sophisticated, but online service providers are offering SMEs easy-to-use, affordable solutions tailored to smaller business needs.

The technology also harnesses valuable information. Email analysis software will enable a business to tell how many of their emails have been read, how many recipients clicked through to their website and, ultimately, how many emails led to sales.

Online clothing retailer Kew Online has increased sales through the use of promotional codes in an email marketing campaign that is adapted to customer demands throughout the year.

Online customer service manager at Kew Online, Holly Searle, explains: "Special deals such as offering customers free delivery the following week are really effective in boosting sales.

"The technology we use is fantastic as it enables us to track precisely how many click-throughs each individual item is receiving, helping us to gauge popularity and trends."

The use of Intelligent Time Sending also enables a business to identify when recipients are most likely to respond to a marketing email by analysing when people have opened – and clicked through on – previous messages.

Timing is vital to a campaign’s success, as we know that the time of day you send an email will have a huge impact on the number of recipients who read your message. Pure360 research entitled Timing is Everything reveals, contrary to the belief of many a marketeer, that people at work are least likely to read a marketing email on their lunch break. They are most receptive to emails first thing in the morning and the latter part of the afternoon.

Although it is now relatively simple to put together an email marketing campaign, access to a suitable database of potential customers is absolutely critical to get it off the ground. You can, of course, buy prospects’ details from list brokers – but be sure to check out the supplier thoroughly first. These campaigns work best in conjunction with another marketing channel – for example, if an email is sent prior to a telemarketing call, the success rate can increase by up to 70 per cent, according to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA).

You can also take simple steps to develop your own effective database by capturing email addresses at your various “touch points”, be that in a retail environment, on the telephone or on your website. You’ll have to think about providing incentives for signing up to marketing material such as newsletters, but you won’t have to break the bank to generate lots of email addresses through these channels.

Email marketing is an incredibly powerful tool that will help businesses build brand awareness through the recession, placing them in a strong position to capitalise on the upturn.

Pure360 provides brands and businesses with the technology, know-how and support to run effective email marketing campaigns that have a measurable, positive impact on business for more information, visit www.Pure360.com

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