With Consumer confidence dropping in the USA and said consumer busily trying to get out and stay out of debt, people who sell things are having their challenges. When current customers have closed their wallets, “new business” becomes the mantra of the day. In fact, EMarketer, quoting a new study from CSO Insights states that “more than 91% of companies worldwide reported increasing new customer acquisition was one of their top strategic marketing objectives for 2010.”
New business acquisition requires a lead generation strategy. The latest tactics have included traditional and online media, with the most successful being email, followed by live events and then webinars. With two out of the three being online campaigns, it is surprising the report found that 51% of the respondents said that their efforts online this year were below expectations. Truth is that this number is better than the 68% in 2009 who felt their efforts were lacking, but disappointing still the same. Many feel that their online programs are in need of improvement.
The number one cause for disappointment and the biggest lesson learned was that those who had good tracking in place did much better than those without. “As more lead generation efforts shift to the Internet, tools to help develop, execute, and track campaign effectiveness will become a ‘must have’ rather than a ‘nice to have,’” said the report.
Tracking issues aside, with email being the number one method to garner leads, moving forward, how do we factor in the steady decline of “open rates” around the world? MailerMailer’s “Email Marketing Metrics Report” shows email open rates steadily declining from 14% in 2007 to just 11.2 % at the end of 2009. Looking at the industries whose open rates suffered the most we see entertainment, banking, medicine and general marketing messages. The winners were classified as agriculture, religion, transportation and those from large businesses.
The report concluded that cluttered in boxes and the growing use of mobile devices might be to blame. If true, then the ability to track results in order to make on the fly changes in messaging to get those emails opened becomes crucial.
But, getting your emails opened is just the first step. Enticing people to read and then click thru to your web site is quite another. The MailerMailer report showed click thru rates on opened emails have also been on the decline with a drop from 2.6% to 1.6% in 2009 alone.
It is not surprising then that in this mediocre economy religious and retail emails have some of the highest click thru rates. In fact, Experian Cheetah Mail reports that though nonprofit emails get opened more, catalogers get clicked on the most. One of the conclusions we can maybe draw then, is that today’s consumer is looking for ways to help others and perhaps find some bargains for themselves.
It is not surprising then that Coupons.com reports that this year they and their affiliates have already distributed more than $1 Billion dollars worth of coupons! They attribute much of the growth to more brands offering digital coupons along with consumers’ broader use of printable coupons. But let’s face it – people are printing coupons because they have to! Searches on Google for “printable coupons” are up 67% from last year and according to Harris Interactive 8 out of 10 current US coupon clippers say they will continue even when good times return.
Putting it all together, if you want new business – try emailing some coupons, tie them in perhaps with some charity or good cause and then track, track and track those redeemers and their conversions.
Source: Marketers Put More Lead Gen Budgets Online JULY 27, 2010 http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1007833, CSO Insight’s “2010 Lead Generation Optimization Key Trends Analysis”
Why Email Metrics are in Decline, July 26, 2010 http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1007831
Digital coupon clipping surged in the first half of the year July 27, 2010http://www.internetretailer.com/2010/07/27/digital-coupon-clipping-surged-first-half-year
Tags: campaign, click thru rates, conversions, Coupons.com, customer acquisition, digital coupons, emails, EMarketer, Experian Cheetah Mail reports, Google, lead generation, MailerMailer report, online campaign, online programs, redeemers, retail emails, strategic marketing, track, webinars