Archive for December, 2009

Email Marketing and Cloud Computing

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Let’s discuss Email Marketing and cloud computing.

As cloud computing rolled onto the marketing landscape in 2009, email became more critical to marketing success. Cloud computing allows marketers to connect business-critical systems without having to invest in new infrastructure, train new personnel, or license additional software. But what is the point of building these complex, customized clouds if you cannot actually leverage the data housed within?

Therefore we have entered a new role for email.  As you integrate CRM, Web analytics, lead development, and other systems using cloud technologies, email should be at the core of your integrated marketing strategy. No other one-to-one messaging medium better lets you harness the power created by cloud computing and turn it into measurable marketing ROI.

While reports vary these days on the exact level of demand for cloud computing by businesses, it is clear there is a general interest if the features and cost are right and the risks are reasonable. In the short term, the organizations looking for effective new business strategies in the downturn are finding that cost is a compelling argument for cloud computing, especially for transitioning non-critical IT operations or to inexpensively harness cloud computing for resource intensive but low-risk tasks like software testing.
The real question for many IT departments is whether the cost of transition to an external compute cloud will be low enough to benefit from any medium-term savings. That process might be costly enough in itself to delay any significant ROI by outsourcing to the cloud.

Once your systems are connected via cloud technology, plug in your email platform and extend the power of your integration by making the rich data inside your cloud actionable.

Cloud computing reduces operational expenses. Also, just like email marketing you only pay for what you use. Being cost-effective, these technologies will continue to attract businesses.

With cloud computing, businesses do not need to set up a team to handle system updates and back-ups. Automation is one of the biggest attractions of this technology. Also, cloud computing does not require a dedicated team at the business’ end to look after it; internal resources are released to handle higher-priority tasks.

Comparatively, the most obvious reason why most people try email marketing is because it is profitable. This is mainly because of the following attributes:
  • Low Cost. Communicating via email has many of the advantages of traditional direct mail or print advertising but with much lower costs. When you add email to your marketing strategy, you spend less time, money and resources.
  • Global reach. No matter where you are or whom you need to reach, targeted emails pave the way. Borders are no obstacle in email marketing.
  • Speed. Email lets you deliver your message directly to the people (unlike with websites, where you have to wait for the people to come to your message).
  • Highly Personalized. Email enables you to personalize and greet every person you target. This helps in creating a special bond with your potential customers.
  • Interactive. You can innovatively initiate campaigns using video, music, quiz, game, and graphics to grab their attention and interest immediately.
  • Tracking and testing. Special tools are available that accurately measure click-through rate, generate tracking reports for emails that are successfully received, or check if the email was read or not. You can also test different subject lines, calls to action, use of images, etc. All these can help enable you to hone your techniques and improve performance and asses the success of different email campaigns.
  • Targeted marketing. It allows you to send targeted messages to specific individuals or market segments and select based on geography, age, income, and other parameters.
  • Opt-in or unsubscribe options. Emails contain opt-in and opt-out options which help you to shortlist your prospects and reach only the ones genuinely interested in your offerings and require your services, solutions or products without bothering those who do not.
  • Build better relationships. It reinforces relationships, loyalty and trust when emails deliver valuable content to recipients.
*Did You Know – According to some cloud computing experts; as cloud computing continues to grow, many of the successful providers will want to expand even more, which will involve buying up the smaller guys.  Therefore, there will be less small providers and more big consolidation. As consolidation occurs market value will increase and more VC-backed startups will sprout up.