Sixty-Seven Percent

No doubt, this very soft economy has many businesses nervous and cutting back on their marketing budgets. While predictable (marketing usually is the first to go), this is not always the wisest strategy. In fact, during tough economic times, your marketing tools are more important than ever in efforts to boost profits.

Of course, finding the best cost-efficiencies is always prudent. At the top of that list is email marketing.

Email Market It...

According to a May 2008 Report by Ipsos, 67% of consumers prefer email as their primary method of communication. Of those 67%, 65% believe that email will continue its relevance five years down the road. This study represents profound evidence that email marketing needs to be a big part of your marketing mix, if it isn't already.

But, There Is A But...

The study also surveyed consumer "dislikes." What they found is that although a majority of email recipients are comfortable with the medium, 69% report they fear victimization. 43% fear SPAM and viruses on their mobile devices. And, 35% of these consumers admit that they often are not certain which emails pose a threat and which do not.

Rather than viewing this insight as a challenge, as a marketer, you should view it as an opportunity. It is your chance to set yourself apart from the pack as the most ethical, the most trustworthy, and the most exemplary. Make a company-wide commitment to exceed the basic standards set in the CAN-SPAM Act as well as the most recent FTC rulings. That will go a long way towards enhancing your image.

Some Other Interesting Points...

When asked, consumers want frequency and content options. How to interpret that? People want to read what they are interested in and they probably do not want to be bombarded on a daily or even on a weekly basis with newsletters, advertisements or promotions. Give recipients a menu of topics, and do not, in your zeal to build your list, overdo it.

Another important consumer consideration is privacy. People want to feel secure that you are not sharing their personal information with anyone else. Go the extra lengths to assure your recipients that their private information is safe with you.

Let Them Get To Know You...

Finally, building a reliable and ultimately profitable email list will not happen in a day. Consumers have overwhelmingly indicated (88%, to be precise) that they typically do not purchase online from companies they do not know. However, if you apply solid and ethical business practices, and you impart a captivating message that you can deliver on, you most likely will see your email marketing campaign pay off in a big way. Email marketing is a valuable tool, but it is more like a marathon than a sprint.

This article was written by Gina DeHaan, Copywriter at Active Web Group.