S Email marketing

Outbound e-mail marketing

E-mails are sent to customers and prospects from an organisation.

Inbound e-mail marketing

Management of e-mails from customers by an organisation.

When devising plans for e-mail marketing communications, marketers need to plan for:

• Outbound e-mail marketing, where e-mail campaigns are used as a form of direct marketing to encourage trial and purchases and as part of a CRM dialogue;

• Inbound e-mail marketing, where e-mails from customers such as support enquiries are managed.

We saw in Chapter 6 that permission-based e-mail is an effective tool for building relationships with customers online. Despite the increase in spam such that the vast majority of e-mails are spam or viruses (most estimates exceed 80%), e-mail can still drive good response levels as indicated by Figure 8.20. This is particularly the case with in-house lists on which the data in Figure 8.20 are based, so e-mail communications to customers through e-newsletters or periodic e-mail blasts are today a vital communications technique for companies. Figure 8.20 shows that the key measures for e-mail marketing are:

• Delivery rate (here indicated by 'non-bounce rate') - e-mails will bounce if the e-mail address is no longer valid or a spam filter blocks the e-mail. So online marketers check their 'deliverability' to make sure their messages are not identified as 'false positives' by spam prevention software. Web-based e-mail providers such as Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail have introduced standard authentication techniques known as Sender ID and Domain Keys which make sure the e-mail broadcaster is who they say they are and doesn't spoof their address as many spammers do.

• Open rate - This is measured for HTML messages through downloaded images. It is an indication of how many customers open an e-mail, but is not accurate since some users have preview panes in their e-mail readers which load the message even if is deleted without reading and some e-mail readers such as Outlook Express now block images by default (this has resulted in a decline in open rates through time).

• Clickthrough or click rate - This is the number of people who click through on the email of those delivered (strictly unique clicks rather than total clicks). You can see that response rates are quite high at around 10%.

86 4% 86 7% 86 5% 87.5% 88.5% 88.2% 87.3% 88.8% 89f% 89.3% 90,6% 91¿% •-•-•--*-----*

Non-bounce rate

Open rate

37.6% 37.3% 36.4% 39i% 38:8% 37.1% 36.8% 38.2% 36.0% „„,

Click rate

7.5% 8.5% 8.0% 8.9% 8.3% 9.2% 8.4% 8.4% 7.7% 8.2% 8.0% 7.9% •-•--------- • • 9-•-•-•

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