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Retention drives e-mail marketing growth

August 30, 2001

E-mail marketing is most effective for customer retention and sales/promotion, according to the Effective Email Report, published by Forrester Research Inc. this month. Of the 50 consumer-focused companies surveyed, 92 percent report they use e-mail marketing for customer retention, while only 54 percent use it for acquiring new customers. In addition, 84 percent report using e-mail for sales/promotion, 66 percent for brand awareness and 60 percent for lead generation. And 96 percent use HTML to stand out from the competition.

Businesses that depend on e-mail marketing without targeted efforts run the risk of making their e-mails irrelevant, according to the report. Forrester suggests e-mail marketers strive to make messages relevant to over e-mailed consumers by crafting e-mail “conversations” for a customer-focused approach to message content and frequency. Forrester recommends:

  • Segmenting customers into personas – Segment customers by motivation. For example, attendees who bring their families and those who don’t.
  • Sequencing e-mails according to a user’s buying cycle — Send a series of e-mails that walk the buyer through the decision process. Don’t tell user to “Act Now!” in the first message.
  • Shortening the distance between offer and order — Don’t send them to a Web site, deliver the registration form directly to their inbox
  • Support loyalty initiatives with e-mail — Identify and grow loyal behaviors and attitudes. For example, offer discounts or rewards for referrals.

Today's e-mail marketing efforts account for 10 percent of online marketing budgets and will continue to do so in 2003, Forrester reports.

Contact: Shar VanBoskirk, (617) 613-6000




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