August 27, 2009

2010 Budget Planning: Now is the Time to Invest in Email

SUMMARY: As marketers start to plan for 2010, budgets remain a battleground. So we’re offering this timely chart from our most recent Email Marketing Benchmark Guide to demonstrate the importance of a well-funded email program. The data says: Keep email off the chopping block.
Marketers Say Email a Good Investment During Downturn
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This chart reflects an email dichotomy. It addresses the attitude toward email that marketers ascribe to their own organizations; it looks at it through the lens of how marketers view the ongoing effectiveness of email. There's an important difference.

Those that see the effectiveness of their email programs diminishing are much more likely to have short-sighted organizational attitudes toward the tactic. Nearly 50% of them consider email to be "free" or nearly so, compared to only one quarter of those who see email's impact as increasing.

The dichotomy is also clear when we go underneath the attitudes and examine the benchmarks for these different groups. Organizations with investment-oriented views of email reap the rewards. They have higher open, click and conversion rates. In addition, they are much more likely to have a metrics-based grasp of how email works for them. Those with the "email is free" view, on the other hand, are more likely to fall into the group that doesn't track conversion.

The key takeaway:
Email should be the last place to cut budget and the first place to increase it. Modest investments in testing, best practices, measurement and, most importantly, providing relevant content will generate powerful ROI - especially in a time when selling to existing customers will be a key to survival.

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