E-commerce Link: Smart Sending
E-mail is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach customers with relevant offers. But the prospect of delving into your e-mail list can be daunting; which demographics will deliver, and what offers will entice?
In a study conducted by e-mail marketing firm DoubleClick, more than a third of consumers said they’d clicked on a message link immediately and made a purchase in the same session, while 78 percent of participants reported making an eventual purchase after receiving an e-mail offer. With such a high response rate, e-mail trounces paid search campaigns and affiliate programs when it comes to return on investment. A recent Direct Marketing Association study found e-mail delivers $57.25 for every dollar spent, compared to $22.52 for all other forms of online marketing.
But that doesn’t mean you should buy all the e-mail lists you can afford and begin sending messages willy-nilly. Instead, the most effective way to deploy e-mail marketing is to target your own home-grown list. Click rates of e-mails sent to in-house lists in 2005 were 9.7 percent, more than triple the rate for lists purchased from third parties, according to marketing research firm MarketingSherpa. The difference was similarly sizable for conversion rates, with 3.9 percent of e-mails to in-house lists resulting in a sale, compared to 0.6 percent of e-mails sent to third-party lists.
So how do you grow your in-house list and deliver messages that prompt sales? Implement these 10 best practices to drive results:
1. Give e-mail sign-ups pride of place. Send a strong message about the value of your e-mail offerings by placing them prominently on your homepage. Of sites that offer e-mail programs, 79 percent use this premier position to attract new sign-ups, according to MarketingSherpa. For maximum effect, place the link above the fold, where browsers can access it and take action without scrolling. But don’t stop there. Integrate your e-mail signup link into every page in either the global navigation or persistent header elements to ensure it’s available whenever browsers might be inspired to subscribe.