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
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