Feeling the crunch? E-marketing to the rescue!

Roughly a 5 minute read from Alex

16 Oct 2008

It doesn`t seem like a day goes by at the moment without talk of job losses, bankruptcy and general fear in the economy. We're here to add a silver lining to the otherwise dark cloud and highlight how we can help you weather the storm using effective online marketing and even cash in on the crunch.

We've seen a considerable shift over recent months, with clients moving a large proportion of their marketing spend from offline to online as they look to work smarter and maximise budgets. It finally seems that the cost value of e-marketing, coupled with its now proved effectiveness has finally started to hit home.

We've done a quick bit of maths and reckon we've sent around 1.5 million e-mails out for clients to date via our own e-marketing system, Broadkast (shameless plug I know!). Below are a few of the top reasons that we think should help hammer home why you should be jumping on the e-bandwagon!

E-marketing allows you to...

1. Save money

I feel like I re-iterate this point over and over again but in such a price-sensitive market as we're currently experiencing this is still a massive feather in the cap of e-marketing, where the delivery cost per person is just a few pence, much lower than print, radio or TV advertising.

2. Track and adapt

No other form of marketing gives you the same insight into your customer activity. Whether you simply want to see who has opened your campaign, or perhaps track which links they clicked, who they forwarded it on to or whether they unsubscribed (god forbid!) - all the information is just a click away. Over time this allows you to build up an idea of what kind of marketing, tone of voice and even e-mail layout your customers respond to best - allowing tweak your e-marketing to achieve maximum effectiveness.

3. Streamline your marketing with advanced subscriber targetting

One of the most under-utilised, but powerful features of e-marketing is the ability to hit specific segments of your database with targeted news and offers. Advance planning is the key with this as it's harder to retrospectively obtain information for an already existing database. Have a good think about how to best slice up you subscibers - for example, if you run a national chain of restaurants you'd obviously want to gather every person's local, or favourite. A clothing e-tailer would perhaps want to segment by age range and definately sex. Once you have this data capture in place, you can just sit back an watch a whole wealth of important information flood in, ready for you to plan your e-marketing world domination strategy!

By targeting your campaigns, you're streamling the process and also making it increasingly cost effectice (more money saving!) whilst also making subscribers feel like you really understand them, as you're only pushing relevant offers rather than sending indiscrimate bulk mailouts which may only really be applicable to a fraction of your database. This haphazard approach not only does this costs more, but also drives people who aren`t in the target demographoc to click the dreaded unsubscribe link as no-one likes or has time to read irrelevant content.

4. Get personal

The internet is often criticised as being a bit of a faceless, impersonable place - and rightfully so most of the time. Luckily your e-mails needn't be tarred with the same brush. Broadkast lets you personalise all aspects of your e-mail based on any of the segmentation you've created, for example:

Dear Alex,

We wanted to say thanks for people such a loyal fan of our Leeds venue and wanted to give you a little offer via e-mail...

Suddenly I'm feeling a little bit more special than just another 'hi customer' e-mail and thus much more inclined to read futher and click around a bit.

5. Initiate all-important regular communication at a lower cost

Whether your list is 500 or 500,000, you should mail to it on a quarterly basis at the very least. If you do not meet this minimum threshold, you risk diluting the power of permission that you achieved when you acquired them as an opt-in email subscriber. Lower costs make quarterly mailouts achievable at less than the price of a single print run in some cases.

The reason behind keeping regular: You may have signed up for various newsletters, updates and alerts from trusted websites and brands, but if you don’t hear from them for five months, you may grow disinterested or worse forget that you granted them permission to send you email communications in the first place. Infrequent messaging could lead to a rise in unsubscribes.

On the flip site, research shows regular e-mails help develop brand loyalty and affinity, which in the current climate is worth it's weight in gold.

And that brings this post to an end. I hope you found it useful. If you fancy putting any of the above into practice, then why not take Broadkast for a demo, our fully featured e-marketing tool. We're pretty sure you'll love it!

Alex

Alex is co-founder of Engage. With an awarded background in design and development he now concentrates the majority of his time on moulding the future picture of Engage's development, paying particular attention to the intricate balance of culture, growth and doughnut comsumption.

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