In simplest terms – Email Marketing is advertising your products/services via email.
In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. It usually involves using email to send advertisements, request business, or solicit sales or donations, and is meant to build loyalty, trust, or brand awareness.
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.
In a typical email marketing scenario, an organization builds an email list to reach or inform established and prospective customers. An email list may be complemented by a marketing database that allows for customization, data mining, precise targeting or other purposes.
However, ubiquitous and unsolicited email, also known as spam, has made it difficult for ethical email marketers. Most email and Internet service providers (ISP) have significant filters to block spam, so getting legitimate messages across is easier said than done. Given this, email marketing has evolved into a specialized niche in digital marketing.
Why Email Marketing?
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.
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!
Cost – Email marketing is the cheapest among all the digital marketing tools available today. 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.
Types of Email Marketing
Promotional Email Marketing
It involves sending an email marketing campaign solely to communicate a promotional message (for example, a special offer or a product catalog). Companies usually collect a list of customer or prospect email addresses to send direct promotional messages to, or they rent a list of email addresses from service companies.
Transactional Email Marketing
Transactional emails are usually triggered based on a customer’s action with a company. To be qualified as transactional or relationship messages, these communications’ primary purpose must be “to facilitate, complete, or confirm a commercial transaction that the recipient has previously agreed to enter into with the sender” along with a few other narrow definitions of transactional messaging. Triggered transactional messages include dropped basket messages, password reset emails, purchase or order confirmation emails, order status emails, reorder emails, and email receipts.
The primary purpose of a transactional email is to convey information regarding the action that triggered it. But, due to their high open rates (51.3% compared to 36.6% for email newsletters), transactional emails are an opportunity to introduce or extend the email relationship with customers or subscribers; to anticipate and answer questions; or to cross-sell or up-sell products or services.
Opt-in email advertising, or permission marketing, is a method of advertising via email whereby the recipient of the advertisement has consented to receive it. This method is one of several developed by marketers to eliminate the disadvantages of email marketing.
Opt-in email marketing may evolve into a technology that uses a handshake protocol between the sender and receiver. This system is intended to eventually result in a high degree of satisfaction between consumers and marketers. If opt-in email advertising is used, the material that is emailed to consumers will be “anticipated”. It is assumed that the recipient wants to receive it, which makes it unlike unsolicited advertisements sent to the consumer. Ideally, opt-in email advertisements will be more personal and relevant to the consumer than untargeted advertisements.
A common example of permission marketing is a newsletter sent to an advertising firm’s customers. Such newsletters inform customers of upcoming events or promotions, or new products. In this type of advertising, a company that wants to send a newsletter to their customers may ask them at the point of purchase if they would like to receive the newsletter.
With a foundation of opted-in contact information stored in their database, marketers can send out promotional materials automatically using autoresponders—known as drip marketing. They can also segment their promotions to specific market segments.
In an age of increasing usage of social media for advertising, email marketing still rules the roost, according to a study:
94% of Internet users use email, while only 61% use social media
75% of adult online users say that email marketing is their preferred marketing method
the “opt-in” feature of email allows marketing by consent
email marketing allows targeting by demographics (age, income, etc.)
email messages have a much wider range of formatting possibilities than social media messages
email offers more reporting and analytics capability, such as click-through rates, open rates, bounce rates, and conversions
The huge advantage of email over social media is that prospects and customers are more likely to see an email than social media. Just posting something doesn’t mean that everyone you want to see your message will see it. Your post might not even show up in your targets’ social media streams. However, an email will sit in the inbox until it’s read (or deleted).
Ideally, email marketing should go hand-in-hand with social media. Adding social media “Like” or “Share” buttons to your marketing emails gives an additional way for customers to connect with your brand. Snippets of positive reviews from social media fans can be included in emails, and conversely, social media postings can be used to encourage fans to subscribe to your email newsletters.
Email marketing can substantially increase your income if you do it correctly. (See the tips below.) It’s a great way to get people to visit and/or revisit your website or blog, and more traffic usually equates to more income.
Email Marketing Tips
1) Build your own list. This has already been mentioned but buying email lists is a waste of time. All you’re going to do by sending unsolicited email is turn off most of the people you’re hoping to turn into customers and run the risk of being labeled a spammer.
2) Adhere to the rules of the CAM-SPAM Act. These rules include having a non-deceptive subject line, a method of unsubscribing, and your name and address at the end of the emails.
3) Don’t just send out ads to buy all the time. Use your emails to build rapport with customers by sharing your expertise and/or that of others, giving them tips and insights they can value. Share information that lets them know more about you and/or your company if it’s interesting.
4) Treat your list well. Remember that the people you’re using email to communicate with have trusted you with their email and name; they deserve your respect. Just as you deserve as a chance to convert them from customers to fans and even evangelists for your brand, people who want to talk about and share your message and get involved in any way they can.
5) Stick to a schedule if you’re doing a newsletter. Sending email on a regular day or days can help your subscribers know what to expect from you and when.
Email marketing tools
Email marketing tools are tools that marketers use to create, send, test, optimize and report on their email campaigns. An email marketing tool could be a specific tool related to email marketing like an email subject line generator, or an inbox placement testing tool, or a suite of tools that enables a marketer to do all their email marketing end-to-end.
MailBrainiers is a web hosted bulk email marketing & newsletter software service that lets you send unlimited trackable emails campaigns and promote your startup business to the world.
Email is a very versatile medium. Formats range from simple text to HTML & rich media. Content can be one-size-fits-all or highly customized. Frequency can consist of fixed, frequent intervals or sporadic intervals, with transmissions occurring only when something newsworthy comes along. Sophistication (and cost) can be very low or very high.
Along with the power of email comes the abuse of email, commonly known as spam. Is spam email considered marketing? Technically, the answer is probably yes, but it is certainly not responsible email marketing. While some users fail to distinguish between permission marketing and email spam, spam is actually a major threat to legitimate email marketers, as a glut of messages could make the entire email medium less effective.
Email marketing is a vital component in many industries, especially for creating those important customer-business relationships. Learn to use it well and it will definitely bump up your company’s success.
Our dedicated email marketing infrastructure helps you to increase your ROI exponentially. We have a proven track record in increasing your email marketing outreach.
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