July 5, 2005, 12:00 AM

E-mail marketers need to engage customers, build brands

Marketers need to use e-mail for brand building rather than as permission marketing, says Bill Nussey, CEO of Silverpop.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

Marketers need to use e-mail for brand building rather than simply for permission marketing, says Bill Nussey, CEO of e-mail services provider Silverpop. Research showing that 54% of e-mail users regularly read messages from five or more companies means that it’s not enough to simply obtain opt-ins, he says. “Marketers’ emphasis should move from one-time e-mail success to building up the brand over a series of e-mail campaigns that make customers actually anticipate hearing from you,” he says.

Research showing that 46% of Internet users say the commercial e-mails they receive are not targeted to their needs also indicates that e-mail marketers must think in terms of customer engagement, according to Nussey. “It’s no longer just about relevant content and targeted lists,” he says. “High ROI from e-mail marketing comes from being more relevant and more targeted than the dozen or so other e-mails your customer may have signed up for.”

Nussey also warns that a marketer who sends out e-mail promotions more than twice a month risks damaging the brand. At the same time, if a merchant sends out too few e-mails, the customer may forget why they’re receiving the messages. “While there is no exact rule about how often you should send out e-mails, I would say that once every four-to-six weeks is a minimum,” he says.

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