Do you need a Stanford Business School professor to tell you this…?
“Targeted email marketing serves a more general function of advertising…”
Navdeep Sahni, a marketing professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business, along with his co-researches from the University of Chicago, completed a study to prove that targeted email marketing that promotes a special discount offer does double duty as a general advertisement.
Marketing basics tell us that a prospect needs to be exposed to a brand multiple times before they are ready to take action – anywhere from 5 to more than 20 times depending on the product or service being promoted. Email marketing is just one way to consistently expose your brand – and your thought leadership, ideas, enthusiasm, success, humor – to your target prospects.
While this headline is not big news, I did find a gorgeous golden nugget buried just a bit further into the article.
Sahni’s study further reveals that special offers – discounts, promotions, etc. – drive traffic and increase purchases. Again, not big news. Special offers are usually designed to do just that, drive traffic and purchases.
The magic confirmed in this study is that while sales were up during a special offer promotion, the sales themselves were not necessarily related to the promotion.
“Consumers who received the offers spent 37% more during the promotional period than those who received none. Yet 90% of that spending increase was unrelated to the offers; buyers didn’t redeem any promotional codes.”
90% of sales were NOT related to the promotion!! Now that is some good news! This little gem substantiates (again!) that email marketing is a fantastic use of your marketing dollar.
Ready to start emailing? Here are a some things to consider:
- Get creative with promotions – An offer doesn’t need to discount price to be enticing to your audience. Try adding value to a product, offering an extra bonus to those who purchase (think of the “gift with purchase” concept that has worked beautifully for cosmetics companies). Currently, I’m offering a 30-Minute BONUS Follow up Session to those who schedule a Clarity Intensive. This allows me to build more of a relationship with a client and gives them more high-value personal time focused on their project – win/win!
- Track overall sales, not just promotion redemption – This study showed that the promotion had a “spillover effect” that boosted all sales, not just sales of the promoted product. The ticketing firm in the study incurred estimated costs of only $1,178 in redemption discounts, while the total increase in buyer expenditure is estimated to be $185,972 as a result of the promotion. Impressive!
- Even if you don’t make ANY special offers, email your target audience – The study author said that “Any communication from a firm could have a similar ‘spillover effect,’” meaning that even if you don’t make a special offer, email can drive traffic and generate purchases. Email marketing – consistent communications with your clients, customers, and target audience – builds brand recognition, connection and trust and these are all necessary precursors to a purchase of any kind.
Email marketing is not a one-size-fits-all proposition – develop an outreach effort that fits your company, your message and your target audience.
Need some clarity on your message or some guidance on your email campaign?