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| In this edition: Your Customers Now Have Email Favorites |

Your Customers Now Have Email Favorites

...Where do you figure?


Welcome to the latest edition of the Inside Edge--your monthly report on Internet trends and advancements that can turn your business into a more profitable e-Business. Email marketing effectiveness is no longer just a measure of cost and speed. In order to address your customers' interests and be relevant to their needs, email marketing needs segmentation and personalization. Read on to find out more about targeted email marketing and how to reach the Millennial generation effectively.

Batch and Blast is Cheap; so are the results, if any

Most marketers see email marketing as the inexpensive alternative to online advertising. It's the common glee they experience in "one click and I can reach millions". The important word here is "reach". Being able to cut through the clutter, pass spam filters, not lie idle and unopened in an inbox, encourage clicks on embedded links and finally, initiate desired action. These are the real test results of email marketing success. In remaining the work horse of Internet marketing, email has lurched into the muddy waters of "batch and blast", where a million people may be sent a single email message that lacks personalization, customization and therefore, effective targeting.

Rather than a broadcast or mass marketing medium that it is often misunderstood and underutilized as, Internet marketing experts are now propagating the use of appropriate technologies to communicate focused email messages to specific audiences. Segmentation and behavioral targeting are the recommended methods in order to yield optimum email results.

Big or Small, Your Business needs an optimized email marketing strategy

Sears, a leading North American retail brand adopted a targeted email marketing approach in mid 2008. The company is quoted in a January 2009 DMNews article as saying, "We want to speak to the customer in a more intelligent way. The offers that are presented need to be relevant based on what a customer has expressed interest in." As a result of forsaking its mass email mechanism and moving to personalized, custom email marketing, Sears reported a 41% increase in revenues per click-through, a 178% increase in conversion, a 59% increase in average order volume and a 215% increase in click-throughs.

Smaller businesses are cashing in on "social inboxes" as more and more people, especially in the Millennials age group are drawn towards social media. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and MySpace inboxes are being monitored more closely and regularly by social networking enthusiasts. As regular email gets increasingly cluttered and annoyingly tedious to sort through, users would rather frequent their social networks and connect via messaging that is relevant and holds their interest. Regular email is still being used, no doubt, but now users are creating "favorites" and filtering what they consider "spam", more diligently.

The trick is in knowing how to get into your customer's email favorites and not be lost in spam using email blast techniques that are no longer as effective or ROI generative. Seasonality also has a role to play as it drives consumer interests, circumstances and motivations.

Most retailers that use email marketing on a regular basis have shown recent trends to increase or step up their emailing efforts during the holiday season. Holiday promotions, seasonal discount offers, sale announcements are the type of emails that can effect a higher online and / or offline sales volume. The point to note, however, is that poor copy doesn't cut it anymore. Email promotions must contain clear call-to-action, be written in a compelling and concise manner, have smart and catchy (but not cheesy!) headlines, and address customers' needs and interests. Getting your marketing person to scribble something or expecting your website manager to know the technical stuff and also write email content is an amateur approach that won't yield the right results. You need the services of a full service Internet marketing consultancy like WSI.

Click here to download the WSI whitepaper - "E-mail Marketing: Still the Powerful Engagement Tool That Turns Marketing Dollars Into Highest ROI".

WSI Internet Marketing Consultants are trained on a continual basis to remain on top of the latest trends and best practices in targeted email marketing. Contact your local WSI Consultant to increase your email catchment area and boost your marketing efforts, efficiently and cost effectively.

Join us for our webinar "Succeed in Challenging Times with Targeted Marketing" on June 23 at 12 PM - 1 PM EDT. Register now.

This edition of the Inside Edge has been brought to you by Ron McArthur, WSI.

For more information about WSI Internet Solutions for your business contact us today!
5580 Explorer Drive, Suite 600
Mississauga, ON L4W 4Y1

The majority of US business leaders (72%) said they planned to increase spending via e-mail marketing tactics in 2009. Read more.

Join us on June 23 at 12 PM - 1 PM (EDT) for a webinar entitled: "Succeed in Challenging Times with Targeted Marketing". Sign up now.

Download your FREE whitepaper entitled "E-mail Marketing: Still the Powerful Engagement Tool That Turns Marketing Dollars Into Highest ROI".

WSI, headquartered in Toronto, Canada, is ranked the #1 Internet Services Business in the world. With systems that have been developed, utilized and proven by over 1500 Internet Consultants in 87 countries worldwide, WSI delivers thousands of e-Business solutions to small and medium-sized businesses annually.