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Faithful E-Mail Remains Tactic of Choice


Jared Reitzin, CEO of mobileStorm





mobileStorm is an e-mail and mobile marketing service provider that counts American Idol producer Fremantle, Qantas Airways and the MGM Grand among its clients.

eMarketer spoke with Jared Reitzin, the company's CEO, about how marketers use e-mail now, how it is evolving and how the economy is affecting digital marketing.

eMarketer: You see a lot of different campaigns. How is e-mail being used with other media?

Jared Reitzen: We stress multichannel marketing. The trick is to use client databases, then design campaigns involving multiple channels.

eM: What's hot in e-mail marketing right now?

JR: Everyone wants reports on how e-mail is read on mobile devices. Upselling other like-minded products and services on transactional e-mails is also hot.

eM: E-mail doesn't get nearly the press these days that other tactics like search and social network marketing do, yet everyone uses it. Why is that?

JR: So much has been written about e-mail: It's the oldest digital tactic, but it's hindered by spam. It's a commodity, but it's also important to all digital marketers. Since it's such a known commodity, it's just not as sexy as some other tactics. Yet an effective campaign can generate amazing response rates. It's not sexy, but everyone has to use it.

The good news is that e-mail continues to evolve. Text and instant messaging are now taking on some of e-mail's functionality, so marketers can use some of the same strategies with those tactics that they learned with e-mail.

eM: E-mail is generally considered more for transactional marketing than for brand marketing. Are there some ways in which the medium is under-used?

JR: Generally companies do not do a good job of combining their transactional e-mails with marketing messages using dynamic content, unless you’re working with an enterprise e-mail service provider and spending $15,000 a month. It's also difficult to get full reporting for transactional messaging. So it may not be a matter of under-use as much as a cost barrier or technical challenge.

eM: What's the biggest challenge in e-mail marketing?

JR: Deliverability remains the biggest challenge. [E-mail marketing giant] Acxiom has 20 Fortune 500 customers, and they are among the best in the world. But even those guys have problems reaching Comcast subscribers, thanks to that ISP's filtering.

You can do delivery audits using diagnostics to examine deliverability, and that helps.

eM: How is the economy affecting e-mail marketing?

JR: I believe, for the most part, we are in a recession-proof industry. Digital marketing is not only cost-effective but completely trackable. You can know exactly what people are experiencing with your message in real-time.

Because there is accountability in digital marketing, I am seeing the full-page color newspaper ads cut long before the budget to build and communicate with a database. Now is the time to grow your list, fine-tune campaigns, and communicate in multiple ways.

The eMarketer Word-of-Mouth Marketing report will be published in July 2008. Click here to be notified when it is released.

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