What’s old is new again. Or at least what was overshadowed by the new, can come back in favor. There seems to be a constant shift in what method is best for online marketing campaigns. You might read one day that mobile is hot, then later, it’s social media. Now there’s a lot of talk lately about how email marketing can be a good thing once again. It’s all true.

The numbersThe recent buzz around email – an online digital marketing method that has never really gone away, but was no longer the new kid on the block – centers around a recent survey. Results from Exact Target show that people’s response to email is still higher than that for other methods when it comes to a few critical elements.

* Two-thirds of respondents say they have made a purchase in response to an email from a brand… more than three times the number saying they’d done so from Facebook, or a text.

* Nearly twice as many people share messages via email than Facebook.

* Email is also credited by 59% of marketers as being the most effective channel for generating sales.

* When looking for a deal, email just edges out company websites as where people look for deals from a company they know

I believe those numbers. I have signed up for emails from certain brands, and while I may not always take advantage, I do open, and often act. I get an unwanted text offer and can’t delete it fast enough.

What it meansWhat these numbers tell us, is that because people still respond so positively to email campaigns, they shouldn’t be tossed aside for the bright and shiny newer online toys. They also show that the best laid plan is to focus on cross-channel campaigns. After all, social channels are still pulling in response, and even direct mail can help support the mix. According to a target marketing survey this year, 34% of marketers plan to spend more on direct mail, with 65% looking to fund more for email.

How to get it rightIf you want to dust off your email campaigns, or begin one for the first time, consider some best practices.

* Ask permission before adding consumers to your email list and include ability to opt-out.

* Go for quality over quantity when it comes to gathering lists. Accurately targeted smaller lists will get further than a larger, widely cast net.

* Personalized emails (names) generate higher response rates.

* While brevity has always been touted as the way to go, longer subject lines are OK these days. New research from AlchemyWorx found they are effective when it comes to opening and clicks.

* Clean up any existing email lists to eliminate dead-ends and long inactive accounts

* Offer a value proposition

Remember, when it comes to seeing results, mixing up channels and being patient becomes critical. It can take 3 – 7 connections to get a prospect interested. So when considering how to run your online marketing campaign, don’t count any avenues out. Determine the best mix, don’t forget about the old tried-and-true methods, and work to make your messages and your look fresh. Don’t forget a clear call to action.

Have you engaged in email or direct marketing? If you’d like to know how to blend that with your social media, or mobile marketing, contact us for online marketing solutions and we can help you devise an effective cross-channel campaign.

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