The first step is to categorize and analyze the expenses associated with your e-mail programs, including the money being invested in database development, customer profiling and segmentation, strategy, e-mail creative, e-mail deliverability, e-mail production and e-mail deployment. Because highly targeted, tested and well-crafted e-mails almost always generate better results, you’ll want to make sure that you’re investing properly in these areas.
If you find that a lot of your budget goes to e-mail deployment, you should ensure that you’re leveraging the right solution to meet your needs. While many companies have historically outsourced e-mail marketing to e-mail service providers for lack of a viable alternative, the latest generation of in-house e-mail marketing solutions can enable companies to lower their costs by eliminating CPM fees, which increase alongside e-mail volumes.
The bottom line is that reducing your e-mail deployment costs will allow you to allocate more of your budget to strategic areas that can actually lead to increased conversion rates, such as A/B testing, dynamic content creation, database enhancement, transactional e-mail optimization and Web analytics integration. Spending your money on the areas that can make the most difference is always a smart decision, but even more so in a slowing economy.
Ryan Deutsch is director of strategic services at StrongMail Systems (www.strongmail.com), a provider of e-mail marketing solutions.