In an age where social media marketing seems to be all the rage in the marketing world, not to mention the fact that spam was once thought to have killed email marketing stone dead, you would be forgiven for thinking that email might be outmoded. Not so. Recent developments in automation technologies and opt in systems mean that email promotion is second only to search engine optimisation in return on investment (ROI) for online marketing.

Sophisticated customer relationship management (CRM) systems mean that every action of a potential customer from clicking a link in an email to what pages they click on your website, how long they stay on the website for, what products they linger on, what they buy or don’t buy are picked up and stored. Called “lead tracking,” this information can be used to make smart decisions about how to nurture a customer down the sales funnel. Re-targeting email campaigns can be designed off the back of such information. They can be cleverly crafted to the individual needs of each and every customer that visits your site to ensure that they buy the product that they started to buy but stopped because they got distracted, or that they replenish items that they bought before but are soon to run out. All of this of course can be automated and if done correctly, an intelligent re-targeting campaign can increase conversions by up to thirty per cent.

Even during the recession, marketeers are looking to increase investment on email marketing solutions as it consistently scores higher than any other form of advertising when it comes to conversion rates. This is due to the improvements in technology which make email marketing data driven and more targeted and personalised than any other form of advertising currently available. Email works because it fosters trust and brand loyalty which in turn drives sales and it also supports sales through other channels.

Just like anything else, it is important to get it right. The right email needs to be sent at the right time to the right leads. Data collected by lead tracking allows for this. A study published back in 2005 showed that email campaigns that were targeted based on segmented market data produced eighteen times the profits of email campaigns which were sent to a bulk mailing list. Today, the software required to target leads effectively through email is relatively inexpensive and readily accessible to most businesses. Profits can be significantly increased if email marketing is carried out effectively in a targeted way using available technology.