Email marketing is the advertisement of a product, service, or brand through electronic mail. Email marketing can be used to improve the relationship between a business and its customers or to gain new customers. In order to gain the email addresses of potential customers, businesses must either pay a fee to an email broker, use a subscription service, or rely on referrals from existing customers. Many companies, of course, use a combination of these methods. Email marketing is especially popular because it can be much cheaper than traditional mail marketing. After all, email does not incur printing or postage fees. This does not mean, however, that email is free. An email marketing campaign may actually incur a number of different kinds of fees. If the company hires someone to design, write copy for, or oversee the emailing in any way, or has a full-time staff member for this type of work, the salary or fee of this individual must be taken into account. Furthermore, there will be a fee if the email addresses are purchased through an email broker.
One of the great things about email marketing is that it can reach a wide audience in a short period of time. Furthermore, an email marking campaign can include a number of successive emails that build upon one another. One of the most common forms of a building email marking campaign is one that targets a specific upcoming date such as Christmas, Fathers Day, or Memorial Day. Email marketing occurs when a company sends a commercial message to a group of people by use of electronic email. Most commonly through advertisements, requests for business, or sales or donation solicitation, any email communication is considered email marketing if it helps to build customer loyalty, trust in a product or company or brand recognition. Email marketing is an efficient way to stay connected with your clients while also promoting your business.
Types of Email Marketing :
Let's briefly review the three types of email marketing :
1. Direct email :
Direct email involves sending a promotional message in the form of an email. It might be an announcement of a special offer, for example. Just as you might have a list of customer or prospect postal addresses to send your promotions too, so you can collect a list of customer or prospect email addresses. You can also rent lists of email addresses from service companies. They'll let you send your message to their own address lists. These services can usually let you target your message according to, for example, the interests or geographical location of the owners of the email address.
2. Retention email :
Instead of promotional email designed only to encourage the recipient to take action (buy something, sign-up for something, etc.), you might send out retention emails. These usually take the form of regular emails known as newsletters. A newsletter may carry promotional messages or advertisements, but will aim at developing a long-term impact on the readers. It should provide the readers with value, which means more than just sales messages. It should contain information which informs, entertains or otherwise benefits the readers.
3. Advertising in other people's emails :
Instead of producing your own newsletter, you can find newsletters published by others and pay them to put your advertisement in the emails they send their subscribers. Indeed, there are many email newsletters that are created for just this purpose - to sell advertising space to others.
Advantages of Email Marketing :
As just mentioned, a good email list, well run, can grow your reader loyalty. Hearing from you again and again with good content reminds readers of your value, especially if they take your advice and find it works for them. That said, the obvious reason why most people try email marketing is because it is profitable. This is because of the following attributes:
1. Low Cost – Communicating via email has many of the advantages of traditional direct mail but with much lower costs
2. Speed – If you need to you can get a message out to your entire list very fast
3. Ease (both for you and the reader) – For your marketing to be a success it has to be easy for the recipient, but it helps that email marketing is easy for you too as it means you can do it yourself
4. Push – While websites and RSS are “pull”, in that the visitor has to come to you, with email you can send your messages out, reminding and re-engaging readers
5. Personalized – The more information you collect, the more messages can be tailored and personalized. Email also has the particularly special ability to segment, meaning you can split people off into smaller, more focused lists.
6. Viral – It’s so easy for people to forward your message on to others, spreading further than you could alone.
7. Tracking – Everything from how many emails were opened, through to each individual link click can be tracked, meaning you can hone your techniques and improve performance
8. Testing – Along with tracking, you can test different subject lines, calls to action, use of images, and so on, to further improve your results
9. Complimentary – Email, while an excellent tactic, does not replace your other marketing activities but compliments them extremely well. Combining multiple tactics can build very profitable marketing campaigns.
10. Opt-In – Perhaps most important, the best email lists are always opt-in, meaning you have permission to contact the person. This permission is very powerful and should not be underestimated.
Email Marketing Risks :
Doing email right can be a fantastic addition to your marketing mix, but do it wrong and you might be better off not doing it at all.
The main risks are :
-Branded a spammer - Without singling out any particular instance, even the best lists will get marked as spam occasionally because some people can’t be bothered to use the unsubscribe links. Also some people have a … strange … definition of what spam is. Darren and I were called spammers for sending messages about our book … to our ProBloggerBook.com list. So a small amount of this is to be expected. What you have to be careful of though is an accusation that sticks. Always make sure people know what they are signing up for and that they confirm their subscription so you can point to clear and fair opt-in.
- Burning out your list – A certain amount of churn is to be expected. People leave lists all the time through no fault of yours. Too many messages, too often, or bad content to sales ratio and you could find your email list becoming used up and burned out. Be careful to always make your list valuable to your readers, not an irritation.
- Breaking the law - Be aware that due to nasty spammers there are very strict laws around the world and it is easy to break them. For example, collecting email addresses without the owners consent, even not including your postal address in emails to USA residents. Using a reputable email service provider like Aweber will help you through most of these issues.
- Alienating readers – It never ceases to surprise me how many people get carried away with email marketing and go way over the top. Your messages do not have to read like snake oil, and every email does not have to carry a “absolutely must buy now before ____” urgency call to action. Remember your list members are human beings and all should go well though.
- Delivery issues – As people become more and more sensitive to spam there are more and more innocent messages landing in junk mail folders. There are techniques to help your message get through, but the main way is as mentioned above, use a reliable email provider.
Email Marketing is an effective way to not only reach your target markets but also to stay connected with your purchasing base. Through efficient use of email marketing, you can retain current clients while also targeting new markets. You can easily monitor how effective a marketing campaign is, and see that your return on investment is substantially higher than with other, more traditional, marketing campaigns. Let the internet help guide your customers to you again and again with an effective email marketing campaign.