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Digital marketing: Why email marketing beats display, SEO and social media in terms of ROI

The digital age has seen the rise of various platforms that have taken traditional marketing to the world of online. In the last few years search engine optimization (SEO), display advertising, and social media have become important ingredients in most brand's digital marketing mix - but despite the growth in these marketing mediums, email marketing is still the most effective. Display, SEO and social media simply cannot compete with email when it comes to return on investment which is why marketers should ensure that email remains the core of their marketing spend.
Digital marketing: Why email marketing beats display, SEO and social media in terms of ROI

Marketing company eCircle recently conducted a study in order to gauge the effectiveness of email marketing in comparison with display advertising, and the results were astounding. The campaign monitored the results obtained from both a display and email campaign that was run in conjunction with each other.

The exposure of display advertising rose during the campaign to an average of six contacts per unique user, while the email campaign returned an average exposure of one or two contacts per unique user. Email therefore generates a constant volume of advertising pressure and thus achieves significantly better ROI. In this study it was shown that email increased inclination to buy by up to 47%, statistics that prove its status as an optimum conversion driver.

Email is indispensable and the numbers prove it. In terms of click through rates digital display advertising struggles to compete as many online users now suffer from what some marketers call "banner ad blindness". On average, display ads only gain around 1 click every 1000 impressions - a low figure by most standards. Email on the other hand has the potential to deliver open rates of up to 20%, while interaction through the medium can allow business to send traffic to their websites and grow their database.

When one considers the average banner click through rate 0.3% and the average response to traditional direct marketing at 0.1%, the value and ROI of well executed email marketing becomes startlingly clear.

Social media and SEO

Social media is undeniably popular at the moment - and rightly so. Social channels give brands a platform through which they are able to connect to fans in a way that is casual, yet direct and personal. Social media campaigns have been proven to be very successful, especially in generating online buzz or brand awareness. However, when it comes to measuring ROI, social media has always been a bit of a grey area for marketers - the success of a campaign can never be measured in the same precise manner as is possible with email. In short - social followers or fans are simply not as valuable as the contacts of a segmented email database. When campaigns are sent out companies can target emails to a specific portion of their subscribers - a move that drives response and ultimately sales.
Although SEO, display and social media all play significant roles as part of a holistic marketing strategy, email continues to remain the strongest digital field.

4 Sep 2012 10:44



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