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Keep the Faith

July 1, 2010

The life of a football fan is never easy. One minute you're jumping around, celebrating a goal; next you have your head in your hands over a keeper's howler. And for all the excitement, hope and joy that football brings, there's also frustration, disappointment and pain.

As a marketer, faith in the end game is every bit as important. There comes a point in many campaigns when the results that you're seeking may take a while to arrive and doubts can creep in as to whether they ever will. This is where a patient, confident approach will pay dividends.

We're in the run up week to the World Cup final. Of course, England went out a while ago (enough said about that!) but for the 2 countries still involved, this is the pressure end of the competition when the winner takes it all. A team may be just one win away from a World Cup victory, but expectation and hope can still be undermined by a lack of belief at the final hurdle

And it's at this time that supporters need to stay strong. They need to believe their team can do it. They need to keep the faith. And of course, as far as email marketing is concerned, there are very good reasons for marketers to remain faithful to the cause.

Believing in the Return on Investment

According to the Direct Marketing Agency (DMA), in 2009, return on investment (ROI) was a maximum of £50 for every pound spent on email marketing.

This was backed up by E-consultancy's 2010 Email Census, which quizzed 900 digital marketers, and found the vast majority (75%) rated email as "excellent" or "good" for providing ROI - higher than any other form of digital marketing apart from Search Engine Optimisation.

In such uncertain economic conditions, ROI is undoubtedly the king maker. Marketing channels that provide results will always see their slice of the budget increase and email has found this to be true in recent years. Email spending increased by an estimated 15% in 2009 to £292million, according to E-consultancy.

The 2010 census also revealed that email now accounts for 17% of digital budgets - up from 14% in 2009. While more than half of respondents (51%) revealed they were spending in excess of £10,000 on email and 11% budgeting for more than £100,000 on the channel.  

Recognising success

However, not all companies understand the returns they're getting from email marketing. The latest census revealed that 39% of the 900 marketers could not qualify the ROI that email delivers - a less than encouraging fall from 42% in 2009.

Of those who could identify their return from email, there was an increase of 5% in the number of people who say they get more than a 500% ROI.

But there remain question marks over how you judge the success of an email campaign. With £14billion of global sales attributed to email campaigns, there is more than enough evidence of the channel's ability to deliver a positive impact on bottom lines. But then, more than half of marketers (52%) claim that brand loyalty is their number one aim for their email campaign.

Brand loyalty, customer satisfaction, brand awareness, referrals and sales are all achievable through email marketing, but it's important for marketers to understand their objectives and priorities at the beginning of the campaign.

Email is more about relationship building

Whatever your objectives; the success of your email campaign will be determined by the quality of customer relationships your brand builds for you - just like football teams rely on successful partnerships between players.

However, attracting and engaging customers, building their trust and establishing strong relationships all takes time. That's why email marketing, perhaps more so than any other form of digital marketing, requires a mid to long-term approach. The results that digital marketers require don't happen overnight, which means they need to have faith in what is being achieved in the long term. 

Stay in control and be quick to adapt

When taking a mid to long-term approach, it's not all about sitting back and waiting for the results to filter through. The beauty of email is its immediacy as it gives marketers the power to have complete control of an ongoing campaign. Like a football manager during a game, who must adapt to what he sees on the pitch by altering his tactics, team or system, email marketers have access to up to the minute information - such as delivery, open-rates and click throughs - all of which can be quickly interpreted, so a campaign can then be amended to maximise its potential for success.

It's really not about just keeping faith in your campaign; it's about putting faith in the relationships that they're building. And if you're tactics are right, the results you're looking for will soon arrive.

If you would like more information please email us at [email protected] or call +44 (0)161 817 2929.

Posted by Paul Latham

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