Mail-in opportunity

When Joel Goldstein assessed the challenges that faced his advertising agency in 2000, he realized it was time to adapt to new opportunities.

Goldstein, president of Cleveland-based Goldstein Group Communications, saw that with a quickly souring economy, he needed to find new sources of revenue for his firm.One of the areas he identified was online and e-mail marketing, which was then in its infancy.

Unlike consumer spam that is sent unsolicited to e-mail addresses, business-to-business e-mail is an accepted segment of the marketing industry and is only sent to opt-in lists of customers and prospects who request this type of information.

The agency’s e-mail programs are the fastest growing segment of the business, and it is the fastest growing segment of the marketing industry.

“It wasn’t a difficult decision to make,” says Goldstein of adding e-mail marketing to his firm’s list of services. “Every agency is trying to look for new products and services to sell to clients. We had the opportunity to add a few key, significant people to our staff that had skills beyond our background. That really was a catalyst for us.”

Goldstein also tapped into an e-mail marketing demand while competitors were focusing on building Web sites for clients.

“At that time, everyone was fascinated with Web sites and building Web sites,” says Goldstein. “We approached it from the other perspective. We wanted to integrate online marketing into overall marketing. We wanted to drive traffic to the site and get people to respond, just like you would with a regular ad. We all recognized that more needed to be done to make the Web investment pay off.”

As a result, Goldstein developed the expertise that companies were looking for.

“We were really very fortunate to recognize the need early on,” says Goldstein. “That got us in the door with many companies that were searching for expertise in that area. It was a great fit for us and our clients.

“Companies no longer look at online marketing as a novelty.”

How to reach: Goldstein Group Communications, or (216) 573-2300