Friday, 7 November 2008

Many Happy Returns (on Investment)

With the growth in Social Networking, widgets, onlinePR and the search behemoth, many pundits have predicted the death of email as a marketing tool.

Not so, according to the latest economic impact study from the Direct Marketing Association in the US. While Email ROI seems to be slowly declining, the DMA estimates that marketers earned $45.06 for every dollar spent on email marketing in 2008. And while this might drop to $43.52 next year, its still so far in front of the rest of the pack that you can understand why most marketers are fighting tooth and nail to keep the CFO's hands off the email marketing spend in the current economic downturn. An article from Direct magazine comments further - you can read the rest of it here.

Even if email remains the holy grail of DM, its not without its challenges. Email Service Providers once relied on relationship management with the major ISPs to make sure their servers (and their client's email efforts) stayed off the spam blacklists, but the proliferation of web-based email accounts with auto spam feed back loops (FBL) and the automation of the spam reporting process, means that deliverability has become a bigger challenge than ever.

Sender Reputation (find out your email server sender score at is now the biggest challenge to email deliverability, and it gets more complex when the different ISPs and webmail providers use a different mix of content and reputation scores to decide whether to deliver the email.

So just when you thought email was easy, think again. . So, read blogs, download reports, talk to your agency and work hard at keeping your content fresh and your list current. Email marketing will be an ongoing - sometimes fairly labour intensive - process of improvement. But at $40-odd dollars back for every buck you spend, the rewards look worthwhile to me.

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