http://www.builtenvironment.blogs.com/. posted this observation and granted me permission to reproduce it here:
I have a pretty good website and I maintain a blog about marketing for the A/E/C/Planning/Environmental industry. After making initial mailings of brochures via the US Postal Service, I've sent out hundreds of emails regarding services, helpful information that I find in my Internet research, links to interesting websites, and other things that I hope will bring value to a prospective client.
What I'm finding is that 95 per cent or more of these emails don't even get opened.
They either wind up being filtered out as spam if my email address isn't already in someone's address book, or just ignored/deleted by someone doesn't already know my name. And we're getting so inundated with spam today, that we seem to be OK with missing the occasional piece with value as long as the rest is screened out. So, ultimately, every contact process has to start with a personal touch -- a meeting or a phone call -- or with a recommendation from a colleague or friend who will call someone else, recommend me, and tell them to expect my call.
I think that e-marketing can be very successful when you are marketing to folks already on your list, where your name is already in their electronic address books. Self-produced webinars are great if you have already established your credibility among the folks on your mailing list. If not, getting folks like ZweigWhite to produce/present your webinar is great because THEIR credibility gives credibility to YOU!
But for initial contacts with prospective new clients, we have to find a more personal and interactive way, or we risk getting thrown out with the electronic "trash" just because there's so much of it.
Seiben is absolutely right, as is Tom Merker, Director of Business Development,The Clark Enersen Partners in Kansas City, MO, who observed:
But we have to realize that e-marketing is nothing more than regular direct marketing. It just has a different format. A good response rate for direct marketing is 3-5 percent (unless you're giving away free stuff, then you can count on about 10-15 percent). It is what it is. Nothing will ever replace personal contact as the #1 way of marketing in our industry.