E-mail marketing, which follows a cost-per-acquisition model, is an ideal lead-generation tactic in a down economy because it offers a combination of "guaranteed ROI" and "minimal risk," according to Christopher Petix, president of Clash-Media. "In a hostile environment, where online branding and sales are both harder than ever for small and medium businesses, it's a risk for marketers to spend their budgets on anything that doesn't have the guarantees of a CPA campaign," Petix writes.

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