Jeanne Jennings makes a good point in her ClickZ column today:
In many companies the marketing team is tasked with driving leads to the sales team. This isn't a trivial thing; businesses must sign on new customers to grow. But sometimes, especially in e-mail marketing, the broader responsibilities and goals of marketing, over and above immediate sales and lead generation, seem to get lost.
Case in point: e-mail messages that are strictly promotional. Don't get me wrong; I'm not against sending these types of e-mail. But if the only thing you send your prospects is a "buy from us now" or "take a demo now" message, you aren't doing true e-mail marketing. You're doing e-mail sales or e-mail lead generation.
Why Do True E-mail Marketing?
True e-mail marketing, which would include branding, relationship-building, sales/lead generation and other efforts, will not only deliver sales or leads today, but also make it easier for you to deliver sales or leads in the future. These other efforts can be used to:
- Position your company as one that understands your prospects and their needs
- Keep your brand name top of mind so when prospects are ready to buy, they think of you
- Address common objections prospects have to taking a demo or buying your product, moving the sales process forward
- Build a relationship with prospects, increasing their comfort level about doing business with you
Could you use direct mail or an ongoing telephone campaign to your house list to accomplish these goals? Maybe. But it would be more expensive. E-mail is an affordable way to provide targeted content to a large group.