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67% of Organizations Plan on Increasing Email Budget in 2012

email marketingEven though the trend seems to be to move towards focusing on inbound marketing, new reports indicate that 67% of organizations plan on increasing their email budget this year. The important thing to understand, though, is that the focus on what the budget includes and how the money should be invested has shifted. Email is still a vital part of an internet marketing campaign. It just has to work in a different way now.

For one main example, the use of email as outbound marketing has been replaced in several ways. One of the most important uses for email marketing now is for use as part of lead nurturing as a result of inbound marketing techniques. It may sound a bit confusing but think of it like this – email was once important for trying to reach out to people to try to convert them into potential customers; email is now more important for trying to convert potential customers who reached out to you into actual sales.

Email and Lead Nurturing

There are a number of approaches one can use for lead nurturing. It starts with how much work you are willing to invest. As important as this is to your business, you should be realistic about including this as much as possible. While trying to get subscribers to your email list is crucial to your business, it is now equally important to grow this list. In fact, it is also equally important to be able to retain the subscribers you have.

• Many businesses need to improve how they use email for funnel optimization. Of course preparing to do better with lead nurturing is also important.
• Lead segmenting, in which you divide your leads based on what may interest or attract them, is a good place to start.
• Lead scoring is also crucial to this process as it involves determining which leads have the greatest potential for conversion and more quickly.
• Finally, lead nurturing is how you follow up accordingly to try to convert leads to sales.

More than Conversion

Making the most of email for inbound marketing and email marketing means making sure this can work for you. It is about moving forward and getting more personal about who you send your email to. By using your list to create segmented emails, you can use this to your advantage. Gone are the days of blindly sending the same mass email to as many people as you can reach and expecting positive results. So with projected increases in email budgets as we are seeing for 2012, the results should be focused on improving the quality not the quantity.

Lead nurturing also makes it possible for you to safeguard the leads and email contacts you do have. By treating them with care and as individuals not just the masses, you are likely to be able to retain your email marketing list, not to mention, convert them from leads to customers along the way.

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Chris Auman is a veteran Internet marketer, website developer, and designer with over 20 years of experience in the trenches. As President and Senior Strategist at Sanctuary, Chris has successfully guided the online marketing efforts for companies large and small. Chris’ clients range from family owned & operated retail operations with a local footprint of 1-10 stores to multinational Fortune 500 companies.

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