Consumers buying products based on emails spend 138 per cent more online than peers who do not buy through email – so it’s no wonder that in the last couple of years email marketing has become one of the primary media for reaching customers in a cost-effective manner with 94 per cent of marketers using it, according to Forrester. Companies that ensure their email campaigns are properly targeted will have greater conversion rates and significant bottom line success.
Christopher Petix, President of Online Lead Generation specialist, Clash-Media, shows how to make the most of email marketing by using a new generation of online marketing techniques that improve conversion rates while maintaining the cost benefits.
Digital marketing is a significant part of the expense for an increasing number of marketing departments, and email marketing is at the forefront of this online revolution. Campaigns can be scaled up to very high volumes very easily and without adding significant extra cost. But more importantly, email is an incredibly versatile mechanism for delivering sales messages and conversion opportunities to customers – and can integrate directly to a point of sale – all you need is a hyperlink.
Traditional forms of direct marketing – telephone campaigns, mailshots and even door-to-door – have all experienced periods of great effectiveness. However, there are now substantial barriers in place that reduce the ability of organisations to take advantage of these approaches. The combination of cost and opt-out preference services means that there are now serious limitations to offline, traditional campaigns.
The similar opt-out regulations that exist for email marketing can potentially have the same significant impact on marketers. In addition, consumers are increasingly aware of how they can filter and eradicate spam from their inboxes. The challenge that organisations face is to ensure that email campaigns are effectively put together and that they only reach people for whom the products, services or special offers are relevant.
Integrating email marketing with other approaches
For real effect, it is essential that any email marketing is integrated into the overall marketing mix; you need fully qualified leads in order to generate high conversion rates; and you need telephone sales agents who can follow up on emails. All of these techniques work together and complement one another – producing higher conversion rates for the business.
Using Online Lead Generation to improve email marketing effectiveness
Online Lead Generation (OLG) can link these three ideas together for a marketing department and create a seamless multi-channel lead generation process. OLG produces leads from opt-in campaigns, hosted on carefully selected sites across the Internet. Consumers submit not only their contact details, but also their preference for different products and services, providing companies with a profile for offers that may be relevant. This process ensures that all leads are qualified for a particular campaign, giving organisations a greater chance of conversion success.
These leads can be used in a campaign across multiple channels – particularly email. The leads are hottest when they are first gathered so it is best for organisations to act immediately. As soon as a consumer submits their email address, an auto-respond email is sent, allowing companies to forward sales collateral that reinforces the offer that the customer is interested in. This email contains a call to action to convert the sale there and then.
Because of the techniques that Online Lead Generation uses to gather and cleanse leads, customer details – once they are verified – can also be passed through to an organisation’s contact centre. Here, the details can be added into Customer Relationship Management (CRM) schedules so that customers are called after they have received an email relating to the offer they have shown interest in.
Time is ‘of the essence’ to optimise campaigns
This kind of campaign maximises the opportunity to convert a lead because significant activity and opportunity to ‘buy’ is presented at the time when customers are most interested. Properly prepared and executed contact can dramatically enhance conversion rates – improving the cost benefits of the entire marketing initiative. Time is certainly of the essence when dealing with these customers. Forrester research shows that 29 per cent of all online consumers buy impulsively immediately following an offer.
In addition, there are significant compliance benefits. Because these leads are all double opted-in, there are no preference service barriers to contacting customers. Therefore companies can be more re-assured that the customers they are contacting will not immediately trash an email or hang up the phone.
This also significantly increases the likelihood of success, because sales staff will be more motivated to do their jobs effectively if they are talking to receptive customers.
Bring down cost per lead
The higher conversion rates that can be achieved through this approach to direct marketing mean that cost per lead and cost per customer acquisition are very competitive and therefore, very attractive. Add to this the fact that the results of OLG-led campaigns are highly measurable, and it is easy to see how these campaigns fit into a larger campaign and budget.
Delivery mechanisms for marketing campaigns are as diverse as the consumers for whom they are designed. Creating a campaign that reaches out to consumers through the web, emails and also the telephone and mobile devices creates a powerful network of communication through which you can link into the customer. Acceptance of new communications media in the marketing process has grown, which means that there is now a greater opportunity for companies to connect with customers. Email marketing is at the centre of the digital marketing drive, but look out for mobile phones. They are rising up the marketing agenda – and are supported by OLG and data capture through the web.
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