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The benefits of email marketing for businesses

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 4:26pm | by Helen Hoart

Email marketing can help business gain new customers and keep the old ones.  I have been a direct marketer for a good part of my career working in both B2B and B2C markets and have found email marketing to be one of the most effective avenues for driving sales.

The benefits of B2B Email Marketing are numerous.  The return on investment, according to the Direct Marketing Association, can be as high as 40:1.

The response time is fast too.  In the old days of direct mail campaigns, a company could wait a month or more to find out if the campaign was performing to budget.  With email marketing, the response in some instances can be seen in a matter of hours. 

Like most marketing, there are three key ingredients for a good email campaign.  They are list, offer, and creative (copy and design). 

List:  Not matter how enticing your offer is and how scintillating your creative is if you send your email to the wrong people you won’t realize your goals.

Offer:  Now that you have identified the right prospects, the offer has to grab their attention.  Offers can include free shipping, a discount, a free product, or anything that reflects what you’re trying to get the prospect to do.  For example, a real estate agent might offer a free market analysis.  A consultant could offer one hour free consulting. Quite frequently, the offer is in the subject line to help make sure the email is open.

Creative:  The copy and the design will help close the deal.  The design’s main purpose is to get the prospect to act and should include brightly colored “call to action” buttons.  Same with the copy.  It has to be benefit driven.  It’s about what your business or service can do for the prospect.  It’s not about how great your business is.  Too often I see copy that says something along the lines of:  “We’ve been in business for 10 years.”  Who cares?  What I care about is what your business will do for me.  Benefits, benefits, benefits. 

Finally, it’s important to remember that email marketing is governed by the Can-Spam act, which sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.

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