E-Mail newsletters, the most powerful and cost-effective marketing tool
WinningEdge.com, July 2006 – Most marketers in India think of media planning in terms of print or television. An online presence is considered adequate if the company or product has a frequently updated website. What do you think are the other eMarketing elements that today’s marketers must include as part of their weaponry?
The Internet is fast emerging as one more channel for marketing a company’s products and services and its increased importance is mainly due to the growth in the online presence of consumers and potential consumers. This channel, instead of just being transaction oriented, has become a tool for marketing for lead generation.
Most websites only serve to disseminate information, offering people content that is pertinent to their needs and contexts. But in addition to this, a marketer has some more options for context based advertisement (Search Marketing), marketing through a network of partner websites (Affiliate Marketing), promotions via emails (email marketing), banner ads, etc. The choice of which of these to use should be made by marketers in accordance to their target audience and the profile of the audience, which includes demographic as well as psychographic segmentations. Geo Targeting is another powerful feature provided by the Internet.
eMarketers are using all these tools for effective targeting and optimizing their mix in the above categories for marketing effectively.
Which eMarketing elements are appropriate for which kinds of businesses?
Every company has varied needs in reaching out to their target audience, so a heady blend of all the elements of e-marketing needs to be created vis-vis business types. Also there are certain tools that yield excellent results for some, however are not able to raise a whimper in other cases. So one must be careful while chalking out the e-marketing strategy. All the above tools therefore become important for companies to promote their products and services.
The advantage of eMarketing is of real time tracking. The effectiveness of a campaign that includes all or some of the above areas can be tracked at a regular frequency and re-adjusted to yield best results. Therefore, not only software or internet businesses but also brick and mortar companies are using eMarketing as an additional channel to market their products and services.
Which businesses can benefit from mailing an eNewsletter to prospects and clients? What does it take to have a good eNewsletter program in place?
Email newsletters are now the most powerful and cost effective business marketing tool available to companies. For any company that intends to interact regularly with customers to update on new developments, mailing an eNewsletter is a good option. This is used mostly by companies that have a captive audience to send out regular updates. It is quite prevalent for companies in the banking, insurance, and mutual funds industry for providing daily, weekly and monthly updates to their customers. Also eNewsletters offer an immediate and convenient avenue for direct response (by hyperlinks to Web sites) and they can be individualized to meet the needs of specific users.
Further, new campaigns can also be sent to customers who have given specific permissions to receive information in a particular area. The perfect recipe for a good newsletter program is content, context and its connect with the readers…. basically its relevance. It can be source of valuable information.
One small but important tip is that care should be taken to see that the content is not heavy, increasing the download time.
To have a good eNewsletter program in place one should have the following in place -
- Take a decision on whether to create it in-house vs outsource
- Gather client / prospects list
- Develop strategy, combine with other marketing efforts
- Design email
- Send email
- Track email
- Generate meaningful reports on the campaign
- Refine marketing strategy
Any examples/ designs of powerful eNewsletters?
There are many examples of well-made newsletters, however being well made is not synonymous to being effective. Some of the good designs of powerful eNewsletters that I can think of are from ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank.
If you take a look at the sample shown here the USA Greetings newsletter, I believe that it scores on delivering a clear message, with a motivation to action, while being attractive and simple at the same time.
The second sample shown, Breast Cancer Survivors eNewsletter puts across important information on a very serious subject in a format that makes it interesting to read.
Can a business benefit from creating or commissioning a writer to write a blog about their specialization area?
Blogs we believe are a very powerful tool for individuals expressing their opinions. Creating or commissioning a writer blog to write a blog about their specialization is purely a choice that the company may exercise. Context based advertisement in a blog is a good medium to reach a target group.
Any examples of companies who have used blogging as an effective marketing tool?
Ebay, Yahoo, Amazon use blog as a marketing tool. Blogs can be used inform your customers, give more information about merchandise, give your auctions/store items greater page rank, attract customers, earn money via affiliate marketing, combine all selling efforts in one place.
CNN-IBN and Times Now have been using the blog war for news very effectively. CNBC too has a very successful blog – http://tech.moneycontrol.com
What are the kinds of IT tools and systems that a marketer needs to support his eMarketing program?
There is good amount of technology sophistication needed to manage an eMarketing program since it is on the Internet and demands of the marketers in identifying the right target are continuously increasing. The domain knowledge required coupled with improvements in technologies pose a challenge to develop more and more sophisticated IT tools. There are hosts of IT tools needed for eMarketing programs for email marketing, search marketing, affiliate marketing, co-registrations, etc. These are accompanied by a need for software services to host, manage and monitor the tools and also the marketing campaign.
That is exactly where we come in: Ybrant specializes in developing the complete range of tools needed for an eMarketing campaign. Ybrant offers custom software solutions to meet requirements ranging from developing and maintaining new applications to implementing third-party software. We have the expertise in developing large web-based software systems and tools designed to address the varied needs of clients.
We offer custom software solutions on a project basis or in the form of the services of dedicated programmers, as well as creative services to lend that professional touch to the eMarketing campaign. Our services include web site design and redesign, email marketing creatives, eNewsletters, and landing pages, search marketing tools, affiliate marketing tools, co-registration engines, etc.
We believe that it is vital for marketers to have a good handle on all these communication elements, and we aim to empower them in every way to achieve that.
About Mr Suresh Reddy:
Co-founder and Chairman, Ybrant Technologies
Suresh is responsible for the strategic direction of the company. Prior to co-founding Ybrant, Suresh was a consultant to Charles Schwab, Pacific Bell, Chrysler and Caterpillar. He has extensive cross-industry experience and holds an M. S. in Engineering from the Iowa State University and a B. Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. An avid sportsperson, Suresh loves playing golf.
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