Email marketing in India is still in the nascent stage and stands at around Rs 50 crore. NetCORE, which claims to have successfully delivered 2 billion emails in 2010, is leading the initiative in helping organisations strategise and implement successful email marketing campaigns.
Highlighting some of the trends in the digital space, Ratish Nair, Co-Founder, Ad Magnet, said that only 3-4 per cent of the total ad spends was dedicated to digital, out of which only one-tenth of the total spend was dedicated to mobile.
With the advent of 3G, feature-heavy phones at affordable rates and affordable data plans, the ad revenue might see a boost in the mobile medium. But stating his concern on the medium, Rajesh Jain, MD, netCORE, said, “Mobile is a personal medium. Ads can be seen as being intrusive.”
Talking about the popularity of Google, Nair said, “Search is growing and Google gets a lot of revenue from the display network.” He further said that Facebook was bigger than Google in India, hence the social network could not be ignored. The brands begin by creating a fan page and hiring online relationship managers, but the strategies and innovations are not at par with some of the other parts of the world.
Two of the sectors that have increased their spends in the digital medium are telecom and consumer durables. “FMCG has not gone full force except for some brands. But the future is positive,” Nair asserted.
Another space growing in the digital space is YouTube. The consumption of videos is increasing due to entertainment benefit. “The worry in this segment is that not many advertisers are interested as of now,” Nair noted. According to him, “Digital media in India clearly needs more matrices. The medium should be measured on a similar platform like TV or print.”
Speaking about the challenges in the email marketing space, Kalpit Jain, CTO, NetCORE Solutions, said, “How to increase opt-in subscribers, getting ROI and how to get the mail in the target audiences’ inbox are the three main challenges that worry marketers.”
On the benefits, he said, “Mobile marketing is highly targeted, is measurable, can get the desired reach in a very cost effective manner and it has better conversion rates.” Building strong database, successful planning, targeting, and personalisation were keys to getting the desired set of audience, he added.
Sankarson Banerjee, CIO, India Infoline, observed that whilst emails faced the problem of being unsubscribed and opt-in and also a lot of the people not using it, emails were the only easy and the most cost effective way to reach a consumer.
When asked if email marketing could be a good startup step, Atul Phadnis, CEO, What’s on India, said that emails were a cost effective and targeted form of reaching a consumer. “However, challenge for startup is that it is very difficult and time consuming to collate the desired database,” he pointed out.
“Emails need not be transactional and boring. They should be entertaining with a message, targeted and relevant,” stressed Gulshan Verma, Country Head, Komli Media.
Giving the marketer’s perspective on the relevance of email marketing, Sandip Tarkas, President - Customer Strategy, Future Group, said that email was not a good tool to acquire more customers. “Email is a good tool for consumer retention and one-on-one dialogue for select data base,” he added.
The industry speaking at the second Email Marketing Conference, held in Mumbai. The Conference was organised by NetCORE Solutions, in association with IAMAI, and focused on email as a marketing tool and its growing significance in India.