You need a medium that is immediate, personal, trackable and talks with those who are anxious to hear from you. That medium is email marketing. It is the strongest and fastest growing marketing tool available today. Big companies are moving money away from TV, print and radio and moving it into email campaigns. Why? Because it works.

Consider this:

82% of email users have purchased a product because of an email offer.

US online agency Doubleclick predicts a rise of 17% in email marketing budgets in the US. TV, print and radio and predicted to decrease.

Microsoft sends out more than 20 million email marketing pieces every month.

Permission based email marketing campaigns can provide marketers with reports on their markets they only dreamed of before. This allows them to cut down on wastage and niche more meaningful offers with the obvious benefit of better returns for effort and investment.

A Price Waterhouse Coopers survey found 83 percent of Internet users felt email was their primary reason for using the Internet. Given the choice, an overwhelming majority turned down books, radios, and televisions in favor of an Internet connection with email on a desert island.

Ask a different research company and you will get a different answer for the average response rate of opt-in email campaigns. Jupiter Communications will tell you 5 to 15 percent. Forrester will tell you 14 to 22 percent. Ask a different email marketer and get a different answer. Some are getting only 3 percent and some are getting 40 percent. But they all agree on three things: It’s not very expensive, it’s not very hard, and it’s got a better return on investment than other marketing and advertising techniques.

Quit trying to win a new game with old weapons. Build an email list, watch it grow even bigger, use it to share useful information and watch your profits grow.

Finally an advertising form that tells you what your customers think of you and what’s important to them. You have to do this.

Brian Grinonneau is the general manager of McMann & Tate Advertising.

NY Citywatch

Richard Reeves - WASHINGTON — This is what I thought was the American social contract when I was growing up in the land of the free and the home of the brave: You could work your way through college, and if you got a decent job, you could buy a house within a few years.

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