E-mail is not only a communication tool that is used to reach out to consumers, but also as a means for consumers to begin a conversation with your organization – each method, though, presents an opportunity to deliver a marketing message and influence the user experience.
There are guidelines (i.e. CAN-SPAM) that look to limit the exposure of consumers to marketing messages or unwanted e-mail communications. However, a sound marketer can use e-mail to extend the relationship with prospects and customers whether it’s through marketing communications, transactional alerts, or public relations.
The scaling of creation, delivery, and reporting metrics have been stable for quite a while, but there are considerations that one needs to take into account when dealing with e-mail marketing. Below are some of the major factors that need to be addressed with scaling your organization’s e-mail marketing communications:
An outbound e-mail marketing program entails not only the scheduling, messaging, creative development, transmission, and reporting on open rates. You have to make some “game changing” decisions at each step along the path (e.g. do you purchase an e-mail technology service or outsource to an e-mail marketing agency?) that can greatly affect the personnel and monetary costs.
The scale opportunity comes from a single source transmission provider like SilverPop, CheetahMail, ExactTarget, and EmailLabs. This is especially true if you are a large multi-department/brand organization where you can realize per transmission savings going out a single entity. Other scale chances come from the performance monitoring through web analytics or competitive intelligence tools like Email Data Source.
E-mail received by your organization is often controlled by IT, but there are software solutions like RightNow Technologies that can help you manage inbound e-mail. However, these types of solutions don’t handle the entire job around the timeliness of responding or presenting an accurate marketing message.