Diary of An Email Marketer
Years back, when I decided to go into graphic design, it never occurred to me that I might be personally responsible for “spam.” Just the thought of sending unsolicited emails put a bad taste in my mouth! Well, two months into my newfound email marketing career under the careful tutelage of Ryan Austin – I have already sent over 200,000 emails, and I am super-excited and hungry for more.
One delectable fact to this monstrous volume of email is that we only send them to those who have “opted in” to receive them. Indeed, permission is of paramount importance! While legal to use, (in the United States, anyway,) email addresses obtained unknowingly from, say, hotel guests during bookings are not nearly as valuable as email addresses that were carefully gleaned from consumers who have actively decided that they want in on your exclusive deals and local information.
This story dishes on why email marketing is so palatable, and why I am so brazenly impressed by the tremendous potential that email marketing offers. The point is that the Return On Investment (ROI) is so veritably high!
Truth: Email offers the highest ROI in marketing. Period.
This fact deserves some explanation. According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), in 2011, "snail mail" campaigns did return a 30% higher overall response than ePostCard (ePC) campaigns, but when you consider the HUGE cost of print and barely lower cost of postage, the actual Return On Investment per dollar in Email Marketing is a bounding 40% - 60% higher than Direct Mail. Even if you use your critical thinking skills to determine these numbers far-fetched, I believe that after you to do some of your own research, you will find the following statistics workable:
According to an industry website, the cost of a large-scale direct mail campaign after production, digital proofing, printing, binding, addressing, and mailing is around $45,000. You can get the same message out to the same number of consumers via email for around $800!
Also note: Because of limited resources and the large number of people involved, the time necessary for production itself is a whopping 17 days for Direct Mail, and only 6 hours to 3 days for Email, depending on your pre-production plan with your marketers.
In the past few years, the average ePC return has been declining by about a dollar a year, but with the booming trend in mobile users, it is now projected by the DMA to drive upward from $67.8 billion in sales for 2012, to $82.2 billion in sales by 2016.
You, the client, will see how much ROI you get from your own email program by way of Google Analytics (GA) integration. You'll be able to study the “click-thrus” from your various links, and even the conversion rates from reader to buyer. Can Direct Mail do this?
I'm excited to learn what the next chapter holds for me as a budding email marketer – as research has revealed email marketing’s clandestine power when it is directed toward an engaged demographic. If millions of people see the result of my artistic eye and clever repartee that turns around into a lucrative return for you, THIS is something I can sink my teeth into.
“Email is bringing in $40.56 for every dollar spent on it in 2011, compared to catalogs' ROI of $7.30, search's return of $22.24, Internet display advertising's return of $19.72 and mobile's return of $10.51.” - Direct Marketing Association "Power of Direct" (2011)