Stefan Eyram from Exact Target is an AIMS member and a volunteer on the AIMS Web Analytics Council. He sends in this post about acquiring customers, developing relationships, and measuring success along the way.
I often get asked about renting email lists for acquisition programs. With recent statements by the large ISPs and webmail providers like AOL and Hotmail indicating that 85% or more of all emails they handle are spam, it is important legitimate marketers, like AIMS members, don’t add to the issue of spam. Unfortunately email list rentals do just that!
Even if a list owner captures permission to send third-party emails the recipients of these emails don’t often realize this when they receive these emails. Often they will consider this spam. If they are using one of the common webmail solutions they will often hit spam reporting button and the email is considered spam. In practice Spam is not what the legal definition is - unsolicited commercial email - but instead, whatever the recipient thinks is spam. This is often the case with email list rentals.
Email is not an acquisition tool! It is a relationship tool. Something you use to develop a “conversation” with a prospect or customer. In fact, as Jim Nail, Former Senior Analyst with Forrester, said in a recent report: “One of the real strengths of email is its ability to finish the customer acquisition job started by media advertising….Once the customer has been attracted to the web site, email can move a prospect through the consideration and preference phases all the way to purchase...”
Email finishes the customer acquisition job and moves prospects through the sales cycle!
How do we acquire these customers or prospects? That’s where mass media and advertising comes into play. And online acquisition has to include SEM.
Surprisingly, I recently came across a stat that says only about one-third of companies with a website are doing any form of SEM. That means 60-70% of marketers that are online are missing a valuable opportunity. Why have a website if you don’t want to get people on it?
We have the AIMS web analytics event coming up and it’s all about measuring what marketing tactics are working, including SEM/SEO and email.
If you are not doing SEM now I came across a complimentary SEM event in Toronto on Wednesday, November 29. It seems to be aimed at all marketers but more for those that are looking at starting SEM. More info on this event from non-linear creations can be found here… http://www.nonlinear.ca/pages/51_1815.htm. It looks as if their main focus will be to educate people about the real value that SEM can bring to their company, and make a case for adding it to the marketing mix.
I believe SEM is critical when it comes to online acquisition, just as email marketing is key when it comes to finishing the job of acquisition. In fact, before a website visitor makes their first purchase there is a high degree of defection. In his book “The Loyalty Effect”, Frederick Reichheld tells us that only a 5% reduction in defection rates can increase profits by 20% or more. Once you get people on your website good email marketing helps reduce defection, increase loyalty and drive both top and bottom line results.
For online marketers SEM and email marketing go hand in hand…and web analytics helps you determine what parts of these tactics work.
See you at the AIMS web analytics event Nov. 30.