What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a form of direct marketing that uses electronic mail as a means of communicating commercial or fundraising messages to an audience. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. However, the term is usually used to refer to:
- Sending emails with the purpose of enhancing the relationship of a merchant with its current or previous customers and to encourage customer loyalty and repeat business.
- Sending emails with the purpose of acquiring new customers or convincing current customers to purchase something immediately.
- Adding advertisements to emails sent by other companies to their customers.
Advantage of Email Marketing
Email marketing has several key advantages over traditional mail marketing, including the following:
- An exact return on investment can be tracked and has proven to be high when done properly. Email marketing is often reported as second only to search marketing as the most effective online marketing tactic.
- Advertisers can reach substantial numbers of email subscribers who have opted in to receive email communications on subjects of interest to them.
- Over half of all Internet users check or send email on a typical day.
- Email allows marketers to reach out to consumers with personalized, relevant, dynamic messages.
- Transactional emails allow businesses to respond automatically to important consumer events like purchases or shop-cart abandonment.
The disadvantages of email marketing surround the rejection/spam rate of the emails by the consumers’ email program, negatively affecting the delivery rate of the emails. This has somewhat been eliminated with the idea of “Opt-in” emailing, where the consumer consents to receiving the emails and therefore eliminates the idea of receiving unsolicitated emails – Ideally maintaining emails that are relevant and appropriate to each individual recipient.
So the questions are why and how should one go about email marketing? Well here are a few thoughts on the matter:
- Cost – Email marketing is CHEAP, there are no two ways about it. Whether you do it yourself, or through an email marketing agency, marketing to hundreds of consumers via email is going to cost you tiddlywinks compared to other channels of advertising.
- Success – Emails can be targeting specifically to the ideal consumer. With this concept in mind, along with email cost-effectiveness, it’s no wonder that email marketing’s ROI often blows other direct marketing strategies out of the water – The trick is that you have to get it right!
- Measureability and Flexibility – With the analytics available today it’s easy to track responses to your emails exactly, in order to work out what parts of your campaign are working and what parts aren’t. With this knowledge, you can then react instantly to modify your campaign strategy if need be.
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