Targeted Email Marketing Works?

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.

Hell yeah it does!Email Marketing Works

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?

I’m your girl!

The Nugget

The Nugget is a monthly compendium of marketing thought-leadership that turned up my light, inspired new thinking or confirmed the tried and true. 1372564_glittery_background_fondo_brilloso

UNDERSTAND:  “Content marketing” is one of those terms thrown around these days like salmon at a fish market in Seattle (Pike’s to be exact – check out this video!). It’s flying everywhere and the assumption is that you know what it means. Well, do you? I wasn’t completely clear myself until I stumbled across this great post from CopyBlogger a few months ago. It brings explicit definition to what “content marketing” is and also contrasts this with an ultra coherent description of “copy writing.” The two are oh-so-related but also quite different. Now, you know. What’s the Difference Between Content Marketing and Copywriting?

HOW TO: There are a lot of things I love about this piece from Jeremy Waite, Head of Social Strategy @Adobe EMEA at Adobe, London, but will mention only two here to keep things punchy. First, he clearly defines what social media will NOT do, “Social media doesn’t fix anything. It just amplifies things. If your restaurant sucks, it only sucks harder in social media.”  Enough said. Second, he taps Slideshare and graphic messaging to express his expertise instead of writing a blog post or article (ahem…I need to step up my game.) How to Plan A Successful Social Media Campaign

PIN IT:  Pinterest is a relatively new, more visual form of social media. It is great to track books you want to read and fashion styles you’d like to mimic, as well as to plan a wedding or a kitchen remodel. However, many marketers I know are still wondering how to incorporate it into their mix or, more likely, if they should even bother. I mean, how is a professional services firm or a farmer or a construction company to use Pinterest to effectively reach customers? While I don’t have all the answers yet (really, I never have all the answers), I found looking at how other businesses were using the medium really helpful in sparking some of my own ideas. This blogpost from HubSpot offers seven case studies that just may flip your creative switch. 7 Examples of Brands that Pop on Pinterest

YOU: What’s turned on your marketing light recently? Share below so we can all learn from each other.

photo: Luz Martinez

Doing as I Say

“It pays to establish objectives for your blog,” I told my client. “Then, outline a structure – three to five broad topic areas that your target audience is interested in. Brainstorm 10 or 15 post ideas for each topic and – BANG! – you have removed much of the anxiety that will keep you from posting consistently and instilled confidence that your posts are ‘on target’ for your audience.”

Smart. Really, sometimes I amaze myself.

The humbling moment came shortly after this client meeting, when I reviewed my own blog (this one!) and realized that 1) it lacked consistency 2) the focus was vague and 3) I had anxiety about what to write that was keeping me from writing at all.

It’s the tale of the tailor with holes in the elbows of his jacket. I am an experienced marketer that isn’t taking my own advice. While I had established objectives for the blog (and told you about them), I had not taken the time to structure topic outlines that would help my creative mind generate post ideas. The outcome? I’m not posting consistently.

This old dog learns a valuable new trick – Listen to Thyself

This week, I’ve reviewed my blog, as well as notes from various client meetings, and outlined four topic areas that respond to questions I’ve encountered from colleagues and clients. These are now the focus of this blog:

Marki-Speak  – As in any profession, there are terms and terminology unique to marketing that many find baffling (even if they sound cool). These terms drive me crazy, mostly because no one seems sure of exactly what they mean. Vital to effective communications is clarity and understanding. Marki-Speak will decode, define, and discuss key marketing phrases using laymen’s terms and solid examples, not more fancy lingo. Here’s a few ideas:

  • Value Proposition
  • VOC
  • Networking
  • Niche
  • Blog
  • Content vs. Copywriting

True Stories – Ideas are exciting and there is a lot of marketing advice available that is largely theoretical. However, I learn best by example – I want to see how things are actually accomplished, not just how they could be realized. True Stories will feature client case studies, campaign examples, blog and website strategies, and “lessons learned” to help guide and inspire your own marketing efforts.

Going Social – There are a bundle of new communication channels out there and, it seems, more are launched every day. While this is all very exciting, it can be scary too. Going Social will discuss the “what,” “how,” and “why” of various social media channels, including new tools and cross-platform tactics to help you leverage your time efficiently.

M101 – Balancing out the plethora of new communication bells and whistles are the tried and true fundamentals of good strategy and marketing. I am not belittling my profession when I say that sound marketing is not brain surgery or rocket science. The reality is that it doesn’t require an MBA in Marketing to understand your client, develop a focused communication strategy for a target audience, or market yourself consistently and creatively. M101 will focus on strategy and marketing essentials that are at the heart of every successful company.

Finally, I will be posting more consistently and will send an email notice with each new post. I won’t pop into your inbox more than once per week (unless something super exciting comes up!) so, please, stay tuned. I am committed to providing valuable, usable marketing information.

In fact, CHIME IN! Do the topics I’ve outlined interest you? Are there others you would suggest? Please share your marketing questions, thoughts, and curiosities in the comments section below or shoot me an email – I’d love to hear from you.

image: Marcelo Barboza