E-mail’s ‘junk’ image is unfair

Online marketing has been a hot topic in the press in recent months – portrayed as badly targeted and led by technology rather than brand. I’d like to point out that there are plenty of agencies delivering well-targeted, highly creative online campaigns, usually working hand in glove with traditional offline media and resulting in some very happy customers and clients (I’m thinking of Carlsberg, Kiss, Xbox, Cadbury and Jaguar).

In defence of online work specifically, reputable UK agencies are at pains to make sure that SMS and e-mail are only sent to people who have “opted-in” and that communications make it very easy for them to exercise their right to opt-out.

I’d love this to be applied to telesales and other intrusive media but I can’t see the day we can “unsubscribe” from posters, inserts and TV ads. And of course, being able to work with opt-in targets means online can get much closer to true customer relationship management. Also, viral e-mail gives us a channel that rivals TV for awareness advertising – a medium that is uniquely self-regulating.

In direct marketing, cross-channel integration is key. So long as that’s in place and the campaign is taken down the best media for the purpose, online can only be as good as the creative at the heart of the campaign.

I want the standards to be as high as possible, but there’s just as much “junk” posters, TV and radio – don’t pick on the online.

Laurence Grinter

Creative director online

TDA

Cheltenham, Glocs

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