You've Got Mail! And so does everybody else. It's everywhere. Web
sites may have been the first wonder of the Internet. Banner
advertising may have astonished marketing mavens around the world.
Streaming media might someday give us the video phones we were
promised at the New York World's Fair in 1964.
But the most powerful tool for marketing, the most powerful tool
for branding, the most powerful tool for direct response, and the most
powerful tool for building customer relationships turns out to be
plain old, ordinary email. It's cheap, it's easy, and everybody on the
Internet has an address.
Why then is so much of the email you get so bad? Because it's so cheap and so easy, and reaching everybody on the
Internet is as simple as hitting the Send button.
Bad email is the bane of our existence. We hate it because we love
our email. A PricewaterhouseCoopers survey found 83 percent of
Internet users felt email was their primary reason for using the
Internet. Given the choice, an overwhelming majority turned down
books, radios, and televisions in favor of an Internet connection with
email on a desert island.
In their report Opt-in Email Gets Personal, Forrester Research (www.forrester.com)
said opt-in email "will spread like wildfire." They believe using
opt-in email for marketing "will explode" because companies will be
lured by high response rates, low costs, and the ease with which any
firm, large or small, can get started.
Ask a different research company and you will get a different
answer for the average response rate of opt-in email campaigns.
Jupiter Communications (www.jup.com) will tell you 5 to 15 percent.
Forrester will tell you 14 to 22 percent. Ask a different email
marketer and get a different answer. Some are getting only 3 percent
and some are getting 40 percent. But they all agree on three things:
It's not very expensive, it's not very hard, and it's got a better
return on investment than other marketing and advertising techniques.
That would explain why Microsoft sends out more than 20 million
email marketing pieces every month.