Putting e-mail marketing in the hands of the IT department is akin to making direct mail the responsibility of the mailroom. Rather than getting hung up on the method of delivery, we need to focus on the ultimate strategy and deliverable.
Bottom line? When you strip out the "e," you are left with mail. E-mail can be a powerful marketing tool, but it needs to be held to similar communication and analytics standards as direct mail. As one more tool in the one-to-one marketing arsenal, e-mail goals, timing and response data should be coordinated and aggregated with other parts of the plan. By applying sophisticated analytics across all media, marketers can create and learn from more effective multichannel campaigns. Segregating e-mail marketing from the direct marketing group can result in weaker campaign results, message inconsistency, lost time and the inability to maximize the overall budget.
Bob Hale is VP-business development at Alterian Inc. (www.alterian.com), an integrated marketing software provider.