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Index: Website Promotion

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Resource Guide To - Designing & Maintaining Your Website

Index 4: Email Promotion: Advice,

 

E-Mail Marketing Advice:  Reference Guide

For a brief moment in Internet time, e-mail marketing meant placing an ad in an e-mail newsletter and waiting for the traffic. Not anymore.

E-mail can be used in every step of the marketing process, from driving traffic and building brands, to customer service and marketing special offers. Take a look at almost every commercial content or e-commerce site on the Web, they all collect e-mail addresses and send out e-newsletters. Even the site for M&M's candies has a newsletter.

The reason they do this is simple, e-mail is the Internet's killer application. There are enough e-mailboxes in the world for every man, woman, and child in North America to have their own. According to eMarketer, in 1998 there were 3.4 trillion e-mail messages sent in the world. That's 9.4 billion messages every day in the US alone. When the owners of those mailboxes are sent a message, it appears right there in front of them. Quick turnaround equals quick results. No driving Web traffic to site to get the message, the message comes to them. E-mail is direct marketing at its finest.

Need another reason? E-mail is dirt cheap. Some numbers to crunch:

  • Internet direct marketing is estimated to be 60-65 percent cheaper than traditional direct marketing --Yankee Group
  • Direct marketing cost-per-piece comparison: $.01-0.25 for e-mail, $1-2 piece for snail mail --Jupiter Communications
  • Approximately $603 million was spent on direct marketing through the Internet in 1998. This number will climb to $5.3 billion by 2003 --The Direct Marketing Association
While placing an e-mail ad in a newsletter or buying an opt-in e-mail list may go a long way toward customer acquisition, the work of e-mail marketing is not done once you get the traffic. Now its time to get the e-mail address of that visitor and let the post-acquisition phase of marketing by e-mail take over.

Just like the M&M site, whether you are in the content or e-commerce business, your site needs to have a newsletter. Use it to promote new features, updates, new product offerings. Beyond the basic information-sharing function of a newsletter lies its branding effect. Every day, week, month, or whatever the frequency of the newsletter, that visitor that once made the trip to your Web site gets a reminder delivered right to his or her Inbox that you are still there

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