In a faltering economy, most marketing departments are heavily focused on direct response – and online media publishers promote the seemingly perfect marriage between traditional branding and trackable response as the solution. With today’s financial situation, it\’s unrealistic for businesses to pull all their dollars out of advertising and marketing. So on the minds of most marketers is this: \”How can we   improve success rates with no budget increases, and possibly a decrease in spending?\”

Traditional marketers who overspend in print, radio, and other traditional media formats excitedly believe  the online arena is the answer to this question. The online space is heralded in the agency world as \”interactive,\” and a place to apply old-school media commissions to the likes of display, paid search, video, and more. But those looking for a stringent ROI know the likelihood of getting it with online media is not encouraging. That\’s why you should use your own intuition and – despite lack of endorsement by marketing agencies – consider email campaigns.

In today\’s business environment, most of us need to know if our programs were successful \”the day before they start.\” Otherwise there is the constant fear that you are throwing precious business dollars out the window. Marketers who have already dabbled in banners, search, and other online media should really check out email marketing – whose cost is a drop in the bucket compared to the last commission you paid your interactive agency. I\’m writing this article to propel \”traditional marketers\” into a communications channel they should look at before taking the online plunge. Sure, you may find yourself in unfamiliar territory, but the pay-off supersedes waiting for latent conversions generated by an unsourced click. Don\’t get me wrong, there are clear values in online media. But if you\’re looking for high impact NOW, try an email campaign.

I look at email marketing as putting money in the bank. But before looking at one-off results, think of it this way: Email campaigns help you get to know your prospects and customers. It is a nice way to build a richly engaged contact base from which you can farm future conversions. Not everyone is ready to buy now, but by using email to segment your audiences into buckets, you can quickly separate buyers from browsers – while figuring out who needs that extra incentive.

Email is a direct response tool, yet it\’s also a means of building a relationship with your buyers. The messages you can use in email are far more personal, and they hold the power to activate the emotions of your prospect. An email is like an intimate conversation –  not shouting over a megaphone across miles of traffic buildup, hoping you\’re placed as far forward as possible in the feature article, or deciding if RON buy can give you enough impressions for your bottom line. Email is highly dependent on how you choose to build your database. It allows selectivity and filtering depending on where you implement forms or contact information capture – and in turn gives the marketer the control to determine the success of the campaign before they even hit \”send.\”

Shaneli   Ramratan, Director of Marketing, mobileStorm