Email Marketing: The ROI King


It may be the least sexy tool in your digital marketing arsenal, but did you know that in terms of ROI, email is probably its top performer? Such was the assertion made by Jeff Rohrs, VP of marketing for ExactTarget, a Web-based platform for email marketing, during his lecture on "Email Plus: The Medium is the Message," which he delivered at the 2010 CMO Leadership Forum event in New York City's posh Athletic Club.

Noticing the high number of raised eyebrows to an audience of marketing professionals, Rohrs provided what he called an "email reality check" to disabuse the skeptics of their deeply entrenched perceptions. "Email offers the largest user base," he insisted. "97% of adults who use the Internet regularly use email."

Other key points Rohrs made about the efficiency of email marketing included:

  • "With email, you own the eyeballs—if you own your subscriber list."
  • "Email marketing is now much more than the newsletter. Much of the best email today is automated."
  • "Deliverability is now less about content and more about your reputation, which is built up over time (particularly within companies in the same vertical)."

Even with spam filters, email marketing succeeds, continued Rohrs. But the question is do your subscribers want it? "Are you delivering on your expectations, and are you delivering on what they signed up for?"

Answering these questions effectively can have an immeasurably positive impact on your email marketing initiatives and its resulting ROI. "Our whole philosophy is that subscribers rule," concluded Rohrs. "We need to serve individuals by this technology. We need to honor their preferences and deliver timely, relevant content that improves their lives."


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