Archive for March, 2010

I enjoyed reading this timely article on eMarketer; being smarter with the tools you have  is all you need to do a better job than the next guy.   And your customers will notice who’s doing a better job from what they see slip into the inbox, so we’ve built all these features into our newest version of SmartMail – Smartmail Pro.

As I’ve said recently, Email marketing is getting smarter.  We’re seeing an increasing number of clients looking to grow additional revenue streams to counter fall off as their customers change habits.  Planning List Acquisition programs is important to ensure that the quantity and quality of your databases improve.  Offering options is a wise move too, and so Preference Centres rather than all or nothing opt in / opt out mechanisms are becoming the rule.

Sticking to the tried and true is less of a workable option when your business demands ROI from each strategy and campaign, and ‘branding’ on its own is not enough.  Extending the reach of your emails is easy using existing technology like your website, customised landing pages, share to social links, and you can measure all this with click tracking through to conversion (using Google Analytics for example).

Which was the only one of nine advertising sectors in NZ to increase its revenue in 2009?  Online ad spend in NZ increased from $193m in 2008 to $214m in 2009, and its share of overall advertising grew from 8.3% to 10.5% (the first time over 10% threshold).

The $21m increase in interactive countered the decline of $272m as it dropped to $2045m in 2009 from $2317m in 2008. Interactive advertising grew by more than 10% against a total industry decline of 12%.

Read the IAB’s release of the New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) here.

Nielsen Media put these facts together last week for IAB members – since we are one, we are sharing the top takeouts with you.  You might want to use them when trying to remind management that online no longer = niche!
> 88% (3.2 million) NZers (10+) have access to the Internet
> 67% of people who have Internet access from home have broadband connections
> 80% (2.9 million) NZers10+ have gone online in the last 4 weeks
> 67% of households with an internet connection now have broadband
> 90% of regular users have Internet access from home
> Regular Internet users from both home & work spend over 9 hours per week on the net
> Only work or home users spend around 7 hours browsing the web

As you plan for 2010/11 with crash/recovery/crash/recovery circling around meeting rooms worldwide, budgets remain a battleground.
If you need statistics to help you to demonstrate the importance of a well-funded email program – here they are.

Head’s up – the data says: Keep email off the chopping block.

If the recent StrongMail “2010 Marketing Trends” survey is correct, online marketing spending will be up in the coming year. According to the report, 89% of respondents said they will either maintain or increase the amount of their marketing spending in 2010, with 50% of businesses saying they would allocate additional dollars to their marketing efforts. The survey, conducted online Nov. 17–25, surveyed 1,057 business executives.

What will they be spending their dollars on? Social media and e-mail marketing are the top two areas, with 69% of respondents saying they will be increasing e-mail spending; 59% saying they would be increasing social media efforts; and 69% saying they would be integrating social media and e-mail marketing. Among their goals, marketers reported a desire to increase relevancy by adopting segmentation and targeting, cited by 46% of respondents.

New technology that makes it easier to perform A/B testing, should become more important in 2010, she said. “It’s always challenging to come up with two sets of creative, but with subject lines, everyone can do some form of A/B testing,” she said. “These new tools will enable marketers to test on the fly and optimize for winning subject line as a campaign is in flight.” (Blog note: Our new SmartMailPro has A/B split testing tools built in).

Of course, marketers will also strive to make better use of what they already have available to them, Hersant said, with 68% of respondents saying that they plan on making better use of the data they already have.

Silverpop has revealed in a survey that in spite of recession email marketing budgets will increase in 2010. It also found that social media is poised to play a bigger role in 2010.  Four out of 10 marketers reported that their email budgets in 2010 would increase, and nearly half revealed that their budgets would stay the same.  Most of the respondents have agreed that the recession is badly affecting the business and it is likely to continue this way or time to come. More than half of the marketers (52%) have prioritised customer loyalty as top goal for email marketing.

Overall, spending on email marketing in the US will balloon to $2 billion by 2014 — a nearly 11 percent compound annual growth rate — according to a new forecast by Forrester Research Inc. A high return on investment, and growing consumer use of social email accounts will fuel the use of email by Direct Marketing professionals.

And the Small Business sector – far and away New Zealand’s biggest segment -  were asked by VerticalResponse, Inc.on their planned usage and spend for email marketing, social media, search engine marketing and online banner ads for  2010.

Here’s a snapshot of where SME owners said they would and would not be spending their budgets.

  • 74.1 percent will increase their email marketing spend.
  • 68.3 percent will increase their social media spend.
  • 23.8 will avoid search engine marketing.
  • 54.2 percent will not invest in banner advertising.
  • 79.6 percent will not run television ads.
  • 72.7 percent will be not run radio advertising.

Retail and eTail email is consistently critical.  And even those who were already planning to spend, were last year spending more than that.  65% of retailers are planning to spend more on email than originally planned. – Forrester Research and Shop.org, “Retailing Online 2009: Marketing Report” (2009)

As ever, we have to turn to the US for these statistics, but the point is clear, and there are plenty more numbers where these came from.

Here at our place we see the smartest clients working their email programs harder than ever.

Best practise strategy and execution, segmentation and always, always relevant content is king, no matter what your budget.

Do you agree with this opinion piece from McKinsey&Company, that customers are doing things that online marketing managers don’t necessarily want — or expect — them to do?

The tool they call LEAD (listen, experiment, apply, develop) will let you create a road map that will help companies thrive in the ‘constant change’ that we expect from online.  Print this out and think about it – there are over 50 comments to read too. The article is here.