The ROI Treasures of Email Marketing

The Treasure Hunt

As a self-proclaimed pioneer of the once, and to a degree still “killer app” (short for killer online application) email marketing around the turn of the New Millennium, I’d often times describe successful email marketing to clients and prospects as a “treasure hunt”:

  1. Address your recipients with a recognizable, affinity-ridden from line and they will continue right on to the subject line.
  2. Grab your customer’s attention with a compelling subject line and they will click to open.
  3. Appeal to your customer’s personally associated benefits with an engaging headline and they will read your entire copydeck.
  4. Serve your customers with an urgent call-to-action and they will respond.

Fail at any one of these critical action points and walk the plank of the dreaded “delete” button. Make it through and revel in the spoils of your direct marketing treasure: Response!

There are many benefits to communicating with new and existing customers using email. It’s cost-efficient. It’s immediate. It reaches customers where and when you want to reach them. And, the reporting and tracking of email marketing are far superior compared to most other forms of direct marketing (like direct mail). Knowing what and when recipients opened, clicked, deleted and responded to your email can really help streamline the sales effort. (I bet you only wish you knew who opened, read or threw out your last direct mail piece!)

According to anti-SPAM laws, each legitimate email should include an opt-out function allowing recipients to receive only those emails from senders that they want to hear from and disallowing those that are not intended or have not received permission to send to. Yes, an uncluttered in-box sounds like a perfect world but, legitimate email marketing does exist and, when executed correctly, it is a very effective component of a company’s marketing mix.

In a past post, I shared a mantra that is dear to me: “The more loyal customers are, the more profitable they will become.” This is supported by the equation to measure and optimize your marketing Return on Investment (ROI), which computes: Add more customers, increase customer loyalty, and decrease your cost to serve the customer.

+ ROI  =  +  Customer Acquisition  +  Customer Loyalty  –  Cost to Serve Customer

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