Whatever the cause, we are in a period of change in the business of email marketing. This brings with it risk of course but also tremendous opportunity. It is up to you which way the balance goes with regards to your company.
A recent Google sponsored report has statistically calculated what has occurred over the last three years in email marketing. Whilst history is interesting what you want to know is what the future trends are so that you can target your investment, especially if the rumours of tough times ahead are true.
The amount of email traffic generated by UK companies reached record levels by the end of 2009. This put paid to any suggestion of social networking sites taking primacy and it is reassuring that 20% of firms canvassed have funded their increase in email marketing via a reduction in their social media budget
There would appear to be little doubt that the increase in emails has a lot to do with the set-up costs of email marketing. The level of investment necessary is remarkably low compared to just about any other form and the return is the class leader. Further, on-costs only increase in line with the size of email lists so any necessary investment in infrastructure should be able to be funded by revenue. Companies can come on board with very little outlay and about the same level of risk.
You will probably think that there has to be an end to all this good news. You are right of course. The law of diminishing returns is not guidance. As more and more companies come into email marketing something has to suffer. Click rates have reached a two year low.
This is not to say that overall clickthroughs have suffered. Of course they have not. It is predicted that the internet economy is likely to grow by 10% year on year for the next five years. However, if you wish to get the best value from your email lists it would seem that you need to ensure that your emails go at the right time to the right customers with the right offers.
Email lists, and the data they generate, must be used to full effect. It is essential that your emails are targeted to increase clickthroughs. The more successful companies will use advanced email marketing tactics. Information returned from email marketing software allows targeting on sectors such as behavioural, lifecycle and triggering.
The trick with email marketing is that any investment is self financing. A small percentage increase in clickthroughs will be enough to cover costs and with sophisticated email marketing comes significantly better returns.
The report suggests that a little more that half the companies canvassed will increase their email marketing budget over the next year. Many are funding this through cancellation of other, less responsive marketing, such as direct mail.
There will be lots of opportunity in the months to come for companies with well managed email marketing procedures to increase their marketing returns and their market share as well.
Image Credit: Smil