Make Your New Year's E-mail Resolutions
At the end of 2001 my crystal ball told me the economy would start to pick up during the first half of 2002, and that by the end of the year, marketers would enjoy resurgence in business. These days, I use that crystal ball as a paperweight.
Now it's another new year. Times are tough. You've had to figure out how to do more with fewer resources. It's a challenge, but with creativity and focus you can find some bright lights on the current, murky landscape. Many marketers have spent the last couple of years building better Web sites with more functionality. These marketers are seeing a higher percent of their revenue generated on the Web, and with good technology they also are seeing lower order entry costs and customer service costs.
E-mail goes hand-in-hand with Web marketing. And "everybody" is using e-mail—particularly to communicate with customers. We've all read the studies that show the ROI from e-mail can be significantly stronger than from other channels. I'm a firm believer in the power of e-mail.
But here's the million-dollar question: Do you really know what e-mail means to your company?
I've recently noted an alarming trend: A substantial number of marketers aren't measuring results. The Direct Marketing Association published its 5th Annual E-commerce Survey earlier this year and reported that only 34 percent of marketers measure the effectiveness of interactive media (including e-mail). Only 43 percent use segmentation techniques on their customer files. In September, MarketingSherpa surveyed close to 2,000 e-mail marketing professionals and found only 60 percent track their e-mail results. Yikes!
I hope you're in the right bucket and are among those already analyzing performance. If you don't track results, you can't improve. And in today's environment you want every edge available to wring out possible sales and profits.