Aug 12 2005

Email and Business Development: Two Great Tastes…

Email and Business Development: Two Great Tastes…

Interestingly, Chris Baggott offers compelling evidence for the opposite view he intended in his recent posting claiming email is not an acquisition tool.  I respect Chris as a thought leader in the email marketing services industry and am a fan of what he and his colleagues have done in building Exact Target, but I think he’s dead wrong on this one.

Email is a phenomenal customer retention tool, no question about it.  I totally agree with the claim that website owners should never let a prospect escape from their website without signing up for an email program.  It’s very true that spending money on website traffic can go to waste if a browser never buys or returns — or worse, if you pay the same search keyword fee time and time again to reach the same browser. 

However, his own post starts to lay out the reasons why email is, in fact, also really good for acquisition marketing:  because we all still love it, we spend a lot of time reading and responding to it, and we value the information it brings to us.  In short , it’s got all the strongest attributes of a great acquisition medium: reach, frequency and, most importantly, trust.  Isn’t that what advertisers look for when they are trying to figure out whether to spend their acquisition dollars in print, radio, TV, outdoor, or direct response vehicles?

In fact, more consumers and B2B professionals spend more time in their inboxes than they do consuming any other form of media — digital or not.  So, if you want to reach your target, you need to be using acquisition email.  And definitely never let a prospect come to your web site without giving you his or her email address for future contact!

Just because email is so extraordinary a retention and customer relationship tool, doesn’t exclude the reality that it also works really well to reach new prospects.  Smart marketers use email for both.