Direct Marketing Today: The On-going Impact of Email

direct email marketingEverybody hates spam. Unwanted emails clutter up our inboxes and irritate the living daylights out of us. Business people cite unwanted email as one of their major problems—consuming precious time and eroding their efficiency. So it stands to reason that marketers would do well to simply walk away from this means of reaching customers.

There’s just one problem: The data still indicates that email has a powerful impact on consumers.

A report released by email marketing company ExactTarget on June 29, 2011 shows that email leads text messaging and Facebook as the top driver of mobile purchases among consumers. According to the results of their survey, 55 percent of respondents pointed to an email-marketing message as the impetus for a mobile purchase they’d made recently. In that same group, 41 percent claimed that text messaging influenced their buying decision and 35 percent said they were influenced by a Facebook message.

Before you shut down your Twitter and Facebook accounts, consider that 41 percent and 35 percent are pretty significant numbers. And those numbers will most likely continue to grow. However, it’s also much too early to walk away from email as a marketing tool. It can still be extremely effective—if it’s used properly. Here are a few tips to keep in mind that will help you use it effectively.

Be Selective: Email is still a very effective way to communicate with clients and customers you know. It’s an awful tool for reaching out to prospects who don’t know you. Only use it with clients who know you or who have requested information. Always give readers an unsubscribe option and act quickly if they unsubscribe.

Be Irresistible: Don’t waste your email describing your product. Tell readers what you are going to do for them. Solve a problem. Save them money. Make them an exclusive offer. Give them a good reason to read your email.

Be accessible: If you make an offer, make sure your email gives readers a way to respond. Embed a link that takes readers directly to a specific landing page that allows them to take you up on your offer. DON’T send them to your home page. You’ll lose them if you do. Give them what they came for.

Have an email success story (or horror story) you’d like to share?