email marketing as a Cinderella storyHaving dealt with businesses of all sizes, from small Internet startups to large brick-and-mortar retailers, I’ve noticed that the majority of companies treat their email marketing team as the stepchild no one wants but somehow must take care of. In reality, the advantages of email marketing are far superior to anything else at their disposal.

For those of you who stumbled upon this blog post accidentally and never really thought about the benefits of email marketing, let’s discuss a variety of other marketing methods available. There are traditional marketing methods, such as:

  • Billboard
  • Magazine
  • Radio
  • Television
  • Direct mailing
  • Web ads
  • Pop-ups (if they still exist)

Then there are more innocuous forms of advertising:

  • Product placement
  • Merchandise tie-ins
  • Piggyback marketing

And the latest approach:

  • SMS messages

Looking at traditional marketing, it’s very difficult to calculate return on investment (ROI). Suppose you’re Coca-Cola. You spend $20,000 on billboards in a specific region. You notice a $30,000 increase in sales. Pretty good return right? A $20,000 investment to profit $10,000 means your ROI is 50%.

What you neglected to take into account, however, is it could have been simply seasonal or circumstantial. Was there a heat-wave, a concert, or science fair? (Did Mentos sales go up too?) The billboards may have helped sales, but by how much?  It’s very difficult to measure, if at all. This is the same with magazine, radio, and television ads. Then you have direct mailing, which is great, but not very cost effective due to the extremely low rate of return. (When a 1% return rate is considered good, you have to really rethink that approach!) Web ads fed to prospects when they’re doing a search and banners that appear on random websites are somewhat targeted, but those tend to be expensive endeavors.

Then there’s product placement. Are we supposed to subconsciously want to drink the same drink as our favorite characters did on last night’s sitcom? Or how about merchandise tie-ins, like that Mario backpack: Do things sell better because they display a cartoon plumber? Then there’s my favorite—piggyback marketing.  Ice-cream cones at the end of the freezer aisle. Mentos next to Diet Coke. Wait, are they really selling chocolate with feminine-care products? Prophylactics next to diapers?

Finally, there’s SMS messaging. SMS messaging is direct, fairly cost effective, and mobile. It’s also kind of creepy…at least for now.  It’ll take a few more years for SMS messaging to gain traction and lose its creepiness.

And that leaves us with email marketing, which I happen to think one of the best (if not the best) marketing methods available today.

So why is email so great?  Simply because it has the ability to combine all of the benefits of the different approaches into one easy method. ROI is easily measured. Email is inexpensive to do, and it’s targeted, fed to a variety of devices people have instant access to.

If you’re still treating email marketing as the stepchild no one wants, give us a call at ClickMail. We’ll be the fairy godmother to your Cinderella. We’ll help you woo every Prince Charming on your subscribers list.

Published On: August 19th, 2014Categories: Miscellaneous email marketing topics

About the Author: Sharon

Sharon Ernst from is on a mission to improve the business and marketing writing skills of today’s workforce with her blog, newsletter and online classes. Her newest class on intermediate email copywriting covers 19 tips and techniques non-copywriters can put to use right away for better results. The class has real-life examples and before/after comparisons to make the lessons stick. Find her class at When she’s not busy helping employees, managers and marketers master their writing skills, she and her husband are busy raising pigs, cows, chickens and vegetables on their 20-acre farm.

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