"The news regarding investment in marketing is not good, with many firms cutting their marketing budgets left and right," reports Neil Anuskiewicz in an article at MarketingProfs. Before taking such drastic steps, you might want to consider his better option: "Instead of taking an axe to your marketing budget … move some resources to marketing activities that yield a higher ROI."

When you consider that email marketing returns $45.06 for every dollar spent, it seems like a no-brainer that this is the channel to exploit right now. Anuskiewicz offers some advice on boosting your email ROI in 2009:

Strive to improve your content and offers, he says, and make use of "some features of your Email Service Provider that you may not currently be using." For instance, your ESP could segment your lists by demographic or other criteria, or send triggered emails based on special dates or events.

Study the effectiveness of your current ESP, and explore alternatives by choosing a few competitors that offer month-long contract terms. "Then do a free trial of each, and upgrade the service you like the best to a full account," he advises. There's little risk, he says, since you won't be locked in to a long-term contract.

"High-ROI marketing efforts are always a good idea," concludes Anuskiewicz, "but they are especially valuable in times like these."

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