Effective branding creates and maintains relationships with customers; it’s very much an ongoing, dynamic process. Email’s place in that cycle must be one of regular and relevant communication in order to develop a connection with the consumer (frequency) and to ensure that messages don’t languish in the recipient’s in-box (relevance).

In a 2006 marketing benchmark study, Forrester Research found that 97 percent of enterprise marketers were already using, piloting or planning to pilot Email marketing campaigns. In addition, Forrester’s U.S. Interactive Marketing Forecast, 2007 to 2012, released October 2007, predicted Email advertising will reach $4 billion by 2011.

Well-executed Email marketing can lift brand awareness by as much as 58 percent and purchase intent by 66 percent, according to a study conducted in 2005 by Insight Express on behalf of Datran Media. In fact, this degree of effectiveness has made Email a top tactic for marketers. A 2006 survey conducted by Outsell, Inc., found that, while 64 percent of U.S. advertiser respondents cited Email as effective for branding, retailers also employ targeted messages to sell products to their customers. From this research, it’s easy to conclude that branding and e-commerce go hand in hand.

Digital marketers of all stripes, but especially performance marketers, have come to the same conclusion: Increased brand awareness and purchase intent is a valuable by-product when marketers engage in pay-for-performance marketing. Email marketing is one of the strongest tools for performance-minded advertisers, fulfilling a panoply of marketing needs. Publishers use Email marketing to promote multiple advertisers in a targeted newsletter or to build targeted Email databases as broad or narrow as desired for sending out pinpointed messages only to the most likely respondents. Harris Interactive research conducted in 2007 revealed behavior of U.S. adults upon receiving an Email marketing solicitation: 30 percent were prompted to respond, and 30 percent were prompted to purchase.

The stage is set for a dramatic shift in the marketplace. Just as they discovered and leveraged direct-response television in the ’90s, and search in this decade, brands and brand stewards have today found an incremental, efficient and scalable channel in Email. Concerns around performance, branding, privacy and compliance have been addressed head-on by results, respected experts, research and advanced technologies.