Email Marketing - Whats the Situation in April 2005?
Email is still the King in Internet marketing. Many people consider it the most powerful promoting tool ever devised, and if this still hasn't really changed.
Why is it so? The main reason must be the wide use of email. One study published by the US Department of Commerce established that using email made 84% of all Internet users' activity online, and that nearly half (45%) of the US population now uses email.
Another reason must be that email ads produce by far the highest response rates among all the means of promotion available today. 2004 reports from advertising agencies show that average response rates on the Internet today are the following:
- banner advertising - 0.025%
- IP messaging - 0.1%
- popUp advertising - 0.25 - 0.30%
- mail advertising - 2%
Mind it, these click-thrus are for email more than six times greater for email ads than for the next best method!
As one eloquent marketer aptly put it:
[Email marketing is] immediate, inexpensive and in-your-face. It sells, promotes, brands, informs, reminds, creates buzz and best of all, it's cost effective.
If it's so good then why is it so bad? Marlon Sanders in his recent report speaks about "The Black Hole". His report is devoting to the improbably low percentage of his own emails reaching their intended receivers. Mind you, Marlon not only doesn't send any SPAM, his mails are also being metuculously checked for "spam-words", and he simply does everything he can to have his mails and ezines delivered. That's the large part of his job and he's very good in it.
And what are the results of his efforts? The percentages he published for those most popular free email accounts are simply hair-rising. One well-known provider simply trashes 100% of Marlon mailings, others evidently are making their best to reach equally impressing result.
Of course, SPAM is a nuisance and causes technical problems, viruses, phishing and other malicious activities are even more harmful. Those email provider are protecting people... But it is nevertheless a paranoia, where you are practically guaranteed that none of your emails sent to a free US account will reach the person, if you happened to use in its header one of the many words that those over-powerful Well-Doers Protecting People (Mostly From Themselves) don't particularly like. Such a word is for example "friend"...
Of course I know it's hard to live without any friends, and it may cause irrational and aggressive behaviour... It's simply a little sad that not verybody is allowed to play their complexes as easilly as Netscape or Microsoft, and that people having friends can't call them that. Or that Marlon Sanders isn't allowed to send out his ezines as both he and their readers intend.
So now, after SPAM, or whatever some powerful and friend-less bureaucrat is considering to be SPAM, is not less aboundant, those anti-spam measures are evidently responsible for most of the problems with email -- generally and specifically as a marketing tool.
But don't despair! There's no problem in this world that a smart marketer couldn't use to his/her advantage. We are concentrating on the email so we won't discuss all those technical devices, trying to substitute email in some degree, that crop around. Some of them are new and others are just existing devices, like messengers, applied to marketing. There are however other ways to profit from The Big Brothers' powerful (in more than one way) complexes.
Knowing what day should you send ads to those precious leads of yours will not make you rich as quickly as creating an new tools that would supplant the email and would become generally accepted would. To outsmart Netscape and the others you would need more. But you can, nevertheless, outsmart most other marketers.
So what is that perfect day for sending ads? Still some time ago the common knowledge had it that it's Wednesday. And common knowledge was pitiully wrong: Wednesday is in fact the worse day for sending ads. It has been revealed by Mark Joyner in his famous "Secret Report", which only revealed that the best days are Friday and Sunday. With Friday offering more than twice as high results.
If only marketing was so simple! Recently one young wolf has announced that it could have been that way, but now the best day is Tuesday. Still, no ad-tracking guru seems to have anything good to say for Wednesday, and we are at least left with three GOOD days, and one awfully BAD day. Knowing those facts should no doubt help you a lot.
But wait, there's now even more interesting data on this particular issue! I recently met a study where they divided their mailing list in two parts: one were people with those free accounts that generously treat you like a mentally handicapped child, the other were people with paid or company-provided accounts. Then they compared the click-thrus for both groups for all days of the week. The result? Those free accounts gave the best results on weekends, while those better ones on working days. Pretty logical but nobody seems to have made it before. Or at least has not told us about it.
Now, the great trader Victor Sperandeo recommended that you always should try to understand the reasons and principles behind particular phenomena. (I guess he took it from Ayn Rand, but it's him who earned money on stocks every month for 30 years or so, so for me he's the bigger authority of those two.) If you succeed, you will be able to predict in some degree the future. Future in stock market, or future in email marketing. Or in anything for that matter.
In my humble opinion one doesn't need to seek any other factors to explain the phenomenon we were just talking about. We only need two factors:
One thing is worth noting here: today, if you are allowed to legally send ads to paid or at least company-provided email accounts, you must be quite a marketer! Those people must be on your legal mailing list, so it's about back-selling and similar hyper-advanced stuff. The normal struggling marketer is simpy stuck with those Big Broder hand-out emails for a long, long time. But there ARE in fact some prctical ways to be allowed sendig to people's "real" i. e. better than those wretched free accounts.
For instance, if you're an opt-in list admin you will have the right to send such ads to your members. And there are some services that explicitly allow that, usually not for free but it's not that expensive either. At least so far isn't. This may well be another useful thought you get from those ramblings. If it's not, at least you read a longish, almost-philosiphical marketing text... If you reached down to here you can't possibly say it wasn't at all interesting, can you?
I was planning to say in this article something about list submmitters and blasters, but it will need to wait to some other time. Those devices must have quite an impact on the email marketing, and it would be worth some studying. Let me just say two things about blasters:
- they are not totally useless as many people would make us believe -- my own tracking showed quite nice click-thru ratios from them;
- you would not have time to read this article if you were still stuck with manually sending your ads to all those opt-in lists.
Well, that's the situation in email marketing for today. Soon it may be radically different. Still, applying priciples, looking for deep causes, reading reports and articles while trying to figure out where the Guru is sincere and where he's just after your money. You can never go wrong with those things! In fact, you've got about 93% that they will always keep you one stepahead of the greedy crowd. Which is what the marketing is all about, isn't it?
Piotr Obminski is an Internet marketer based in Gdansk in Poland.
He's open for any honest and profitble JV.
Some of his sites are:
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