What is the Most Cost Effective Marketing Channel for eCommerce Merchants? Email Marketing!

According to eMarketer, email marketing is still a very effective means of driving e-commerce.  The following is an excerpt from eMarketer’s article, "E-Mail Marketing Still Works"…

First, the good news: permission-based e-mail is great at getting consumers to buy.

Half of US adult e-mail users surveyed in April 2008 for Merkle‘s "View from the Inbox" study, conducted with Harris Interactive, said they had made an online purchase in the previous year as a result of permission-based marketing.

In addition, e-mail was second only to customer reviews on Web sites for influencing online purchases, according to DoubleClick Performics‘ "Green Marketing Study," conducted by Opinion Research Corporation in February 2008. E-mail was roughly equal to search results in terms of influencing online purchases.

SPAM emails are obviously a huge problem, but when consumers expect to receive an email from a merchant, they obviously open those emails and respond in a material manner.  Our experience suggests that email marketing is here to stay and in fact, is going to grow in importance for online merchants because there are few, if any, more cost effective ways to drive a sale than to market to your current and past customers via email.  Having said that, consumers are increasingly likely to stop doing business with a retailer if the retailer uses poor email practices.  Therefore, there is a huge opportunity here for merchants, but if done incorrectly, it can be costly. 

Make sure you understand email best practices.  EmailLabs has produced nice list of email best practices that might be helpful for you.

Once you have acquired your customers via more expensive channels like Paid Search Advertising, eBay, or CSEs, make sure you keep them buying from you on a consistent basis by offering them interesting offers via email.  This really is a no brainer.

Read more of the eMarketer article here >> E-Mail Marketing Still Works – eMarketer

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Daily Roundup for 2008-04-21

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Daily Roundup for 2008-04-17

  • More than nine out of 10 US advertising agencies and advertisers buying online media plan to work with ad networks in 2008, according to Collective Media’s "Ad Network Study 2008."  Nearly three-quarters of respondents said that they planned to spend more with ad networks in 2008 than they did in 2007.
  • In a paper, set to be delivered Wednesday, the researchers document some troubling practices. In July and August they tested data sent to about 50,000 computers and discovered that a small number of ISPs were injecting ads into Web pages on their networks. They also found that some Web browsing and ad-blocking software was actually making Web surfing more dangerous by introducing security vulnerabilities into pages.

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Daily Roundup for 2008-04-16

  • It’s a question marketers are still grappling with years after the first waves of corporate blogging flooded the web. But for better or worse, it seems corporate blogging — and the title of chief blogger — is beginning to hit its stride. Companies such as Coca-Cola, Marriott and Kodak all have recently recruited chief bloggers, with or without the actual title, to tell their stories and engage consumers.
  • These days, online consumers and companies are collaborating on a range of activities, including R&D, marketing and after-sales support.  Here are a few examples of how brands and consumers are working together online.

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Daily Roundup for 2008-04-14

  • Yahoo’s resistance to a takeover by Microsoft looks foolhardy to some investors and Wall Street analysts. But the push-back may prove effective in the end—at least by forcing the suitor to cough up a few more bucks a share.  Executives from Yahoo (YHOO) on Apr. 7 reiterated the reasons for their opposition. The $31-a-share offer, made public Feb. 1, "substantially undervalues" Yahoo, and its stock component is even less attractive in light of Microsoft’s (MSFT) slumping share price. "We have continued to launch new products and to take actions which leverage our scale, technology, people, and platforms as we execute on the strategy we publicly articulated," Yahoo Chief Executive Jerry Yang and Chairman Roy Bostock wrote.
  • Microsoft (MSFT) just dropped the bomb on Yahoo (YHOO). Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Apr. 5 sent a letter giving Yahoo’s board three weeks before it initiates a proxy fight, including nomination of a new slate of directors likely to approve the deal.

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Daily Roundup for 2008-04-10

  • Even as some marketers rein in spending to hedge against further economic problems, search engine marketing (SEM) is in great shape—at least for the moment.  Search engine advertisers and agencies surveyed for the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO)-sponsored "2007 State of the Market" survey listed multiple reasons for the SEM spending growth, including advertiser demand, rising keyword and pay-per-click campaign costs, small-to-midsized business SEM use and increased behavioral and demographic targeting.  The study was conducted by Radar Research online using an IntelliSurvey panel.
  • Many job seekers are blithely unaware that their former employers all too often say things that can damage or halt their career prospects. Most of this is due to the erroneous belief that it’s somehow illegal to ask about things other than title and dates of employment during a reference check.  This is simply not true.  Today’s courts have literally invented a whole new body of law called "Employment Law." Bundled in this tangle of law is employment pre-screening, otherwise known as reference checking.

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Daily Roundup for 2008-04-07

  • Of the many blogs born last May, Patent Troll Tracker seemed as innocuous as any. Its focus: the obscure but controversial subject of "patent trolls," a derogatory term used to describe businesses that make money by purchasing patents and then suing big companies for infringement. The author was clearly no fan of the practice, but his or her identity was a mystery. The "about me" section of the blog noted that the writer was simply "a patent lawyer trying to gather and organize information about patent litigation."  Through regular, copious posts, Troll Tracker quickly drew a devoted following in patent law circles, even among those who disagreed with its point of view. What readers didn’t know, however, was that the blogger was Rick Frenkel, in-house patent counsel at Cisco Systems (CSCO), the Internet infrastructure giant.
  • Ad spending on newspaper Web sites increased to $3.2 billion in 2007, up 18.8% over 2006, according to preliminary estimates released by the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) in late March.  The trade group said that online ad spending accounted for 7.5% of all newspaper ad spending in 2007, up from 5.7% in 2006.

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