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Search Engine Marketing – The Risk of Email and Content Irrelevance

In some ways, the success of email and search engine marketing has become its curse. Chief marketing officers (CMOs) and other senior managers may regard email marketing as a low-cost commodity and take for granted that it will continue to generate its traditionally high ROI. The payback has been strong, according to a number of industry studies. Commercial email and search engine marketing strategic initiatives will generate ROI of $42.08 for each $1 spent in 2010-nearly twice the ROI of paid search ($21.90).

Online marketers should not assume that they will continue to achieve high email ROI. As consumer tolerance for irrelevance diminishes, ROI for untargeted emails stands to decline as well. Meanwhile, the use cmo email database of untargeted email increases the likelihood that a subscriber will opt out of an email list. Non-relevant mailings continue to be the top reason why consumers opt out of email.

Unless your emails and keyword rich high value content on your website speak to customers with personalized, relevant content, the only link they may click is “Unsubscribe” or travel to another website. If that’s not the sort of click-through you want, your organization may need to rethink its email marketing efforts and bring to bear the resources required to make personalization and relevance a reality.

Leveraging Data for Pinpoint Personalization

Email and search engine marketing have come a long way since the days of bulk “spray and pray” delivery. Though advanced email personalization remains on the horizon for most companies, even basic segmentation and content tailoring by demographic characteristics, such as gender, has proven valuable. In a report of email marketing organizations, it was found that targeted emails generated an average of $664,000 a month in revenue-more than four times the $159,000 a month from non-targeted emails

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Online search engine marketers do recognize the potential in greater email personalization. More than 79% of online marketers name personalized email based on online behavior as their top priority for the near future. That’s just ahead of automated and personalized product recommendations (76%).

Evolving Beyond Basic Segmentation Attributes

Degrees of personalization span a broad spectrum. Years ago, using a person’s first name in a marketing email was considered cutting-edge. Today, basic email and specific content personalization may be based on gender, geographic location, and email response metrics (e.g., open rates, click-through, bounce rates, etc.). Those data points are fairly fundamental and will limit the personalization precision that an email and search engine marketer can achieve. Ideally, personalization also leverages a customer database that reflects both historical activity and real-time interactions with a web site, as well as offline channel activity data.

Today, whether using search engine or e-mail marketing, behavioral marketing techniques must be employed in order to carve out your hold on your specific niche market. By using vital personal demographic information, you can pinpoint your marketing message specifically to the target customer your company is searching for.

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