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E-mailing : an efficient marketing tool – Part 1/2

E-mailing : an efficient marketing tool – Part 1/2

Even if it is still not completely mastered, emailing represents a privileged way of communication with your customers. Whatever your objective is, creating a brand image or increasing your sales, it is a real opportunity.
For example, according to the American DMA “Direct Marketing Association”, each dollar invested in email marketing brings 40,56$ in 2011.

Product Managers delivers you an analysis of some best practices and key numbers. At this step, it is fundamental to have a clear sight of the sequences of the customer relationship on the web.
There are 4 main steps:

emailing-customer-relationship

Each step has to be analyzed:

  • How to optimize the recruitment?
  • What performances can I expect as conversion of visitors into customers?
  • How many times should I communicate with my customers?
  • How win back inactive customers?

Whether you are a B2B or B2C company, this topic has to be part of your web strategy.

Recruiting a visitor and converting him in a customer

The recruitment stage consists in building a potential customer data base, with whom the company will communicate. Among the different options:

  1. Collecting the email addresses through your own website (newsletter’s subscription). This is called « opt-in ». The majority of them are interested in your brand/company. They are voluntarily included in the recruitment process. Those email addresses are the more qualified.
  2. Establish partnerships to collect email addresses on other websites that have the same target.
  3. Buy an email addresses data base. This option is very costly: between 0,3 and 1,5€/address. Its efficiency depends a lot on the type of customer target and the quality of the data base.

The conversion stage can be more or less long. For example, the “activation period” is a data to monitor. In fact, the first opening of an email can take 49 days after the first sending date. Also, beyond the opening, the first click can occur 70 days after the first sending date.

Measuring the efficiency of your emailing campaign

Some other metrics are interesting to monitor:

  1. Reception rate
  2. Open rate
  3. Click to open rate
  4. Unsubscribe rate

Here is an example on a B2C case: the results of a campaign ran by IDZIF.com that sells decoration stickers.

The campaign concerned 50 000 email addresses.

  • Reception rate : 94%
  • Open rate : 21,5%
  • Click to open rate : 8%
  • Unsubscribe rate : 0,4%

In France, for the B2B sector, the average click rate in 2011 was 2,04%. To be compared with the same data for the luxury sector in 2011 in France: 8,98%.

How to optimize your communication strategy?

The key word for communication is “targeting” that implies “segmentation”. For that, we will try to divide the customers in 3 “zones” depending to specific criteria chosen in accordance with the company and its activity. The communication frequency will differ depending on the “zone”.

Segment Recommended communication frequency

Zone 1 : High churn rate* 1 newsletter per month
Zone 2 : Average churn rate 1 newsletter per week
Zone 3 : Low churn rate More than 1 per week

* Churn rate is a measure of customer attrition. The churn rate is defined as the percentage of lost customers.

The marketing pressure has to be adapted to the target. Beyond the accepted pressure, the customer might opt out.

Win back your inactive customers

It is possible to activate again your customers who did not buy for a long time. The win back programs consist in retaining a customer who abandoned its shopping bag. The numbers found in the Mac Afee study are significant:

  • 45% of the online customers abandon their shopping bag
  • 46% of them is because of too high shipping prices

Knowing this proves you the importance of developing a real win back strategy. The aim is to significantly increase the sales for a moderate cost.

Conclusion

The description of the communication process with the customer through the emailing enables to highlight the key factors of an emailing strategy success. We have now some key data that can serve as standard.

Read the article Emailing: an efficient marketing tool – Part 2
– An emailing campaign budget (newsletter)
– Results by activity sector

Sources: Experian Marketing Services, Benchmark emailing marketing, first semester 2011 conducted by Cheetah Mail, Digital Window Shopping White Paper: Find out how security influences purchase delay conducted by Mc Afee et Comscore.

C. Kokoreff

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