How to Fit E-Mail into Your Marketing Strategy - dummies

How to Fit E-Mail into Your Marketing Strategy

By John Arnold

Including e-mail in your marketing mix isn’t as simple as transferring more traditional message formats into electronic formats or abandoning more expensive media in favor of e-mail delivery. You need to determine which tools and types of media are likely to work together to make a significant, positive impact on your business.

Some tools have obvious advantages for any business. E-mail is one such tool because it’s cost effective and because the returns on permission-based e-mail campaigns are generally outstanding.

According to economic impact studies by the Direct Marketing Association, e-mail marketing generally has the highest return on investment (ROI) per dollar spent when comparing other forms of marketing. Combining e-mail with other tools and media can improve the ROI on both.

Delivering your messages by combining different tools and types of media is an effective way to market your business, but you’ll probably find it more affordable to lean heavily on a few communication tools where delivering your message results in the highest return.

Using e-mail for targeted follow-up is one of the best ways to maximize your overall return on the marketing dollars you spend. Here’s an oversimplified example of how you can employ a targeted follow-up:

  1. Your business uses traditional marketing media to initiate contact with new prospects.

    For example, if you have a pizza place, you can position an employee holding a sign on a busy sidewalk to talk to potential customers.

  2. You collect contact and interest information from the prospects who respond to your initial contacts.

    In exchange for a free slice of pizza, you ask potential customers for an e-mail address and what kind of coupons they’d be interested in receiving via e-mail.

  3. You send e-mails containing personalized messages based on the information you collect.

    If your potential customer indicates an interest in chicken wings, you can send coupons for, um, chicken wings. You can also ask your customer to print the menu — that you cleverly included in the e-mail — and forward your offer to a friend.