Despite the current economic situation, and the uncertainty of when things will turn around, 2007 was another record year for online advertising. E-marketer stated in a recent article that, for the full year 2007, online ad revenues totaled $21.2 billion- setting a new record from the previous $5.9 billion record in 2006. Search, display ads, and classified ads, were the main cause of the spend increase, but e-mail was not a disappointment. Despite many people’s beliefs with e-mail not being an active component of Web 2.0, e-mail marketing still holds its own in regard to online ad spending.
E-mail is still one of consumer’s favorite ways of communication. It is used as a tool not just between business associates, but also between family and friends as a way of staying in touch. Even though other media channels such as, Instant Messenger, MySpace, Facebook, Linked In, etc have grown in popularity, e-mail is still the preferred choice of communication when dealing with businesses. So what does that mean for e-mail marketing? Is it still considered an effective channel to include in a marketing plan?
E-marketer predicts that e-mail ad spending in the US will hit $492 million this year, and then increase by 55% to $765 million by 2012. There are several ways to reach a consumer via e-mail. The most common would be sending e-mail blasts to either a list purchased from a vendor, or a list created by a consumer’s choice to opt in. The blasts can be promotions, newsletters, videos, etc. Another way to reach consumers via e-mail is CPC ads that display behaviorally, based on the content of the e-mail the consumer is reading. For example, if the body of an e-mail is about wedding planning, the ads to the right of the e-mail will often be about photographers, wedding cakes, flowers, etc.
As long as e-mail ad spending continues to increase, the options of e-mail marketing will continue to grow. Even though search and display ads tend to get the spotlight, e-mail marketing is not out of the race. As you are planning your online marketing plans for 2008/2009, keep in mind the value of having a multi-channel media plan. A strong plan that includes a mix of search, display, rich media, and e-mail marketing increases the chance of effectively reaching and engaging your online consumer.