You have heard of email marketing repeatedly on the internet, at conferences and during marketing strategy meetings. They say email marketing enriches business communications, targets specific key markets, and is both cost-effective and environmentally friendly. But what exactly is email marketing and how does it work? How is an email more effective than a radio spot or television advertisement and why should a business spend the time to maintain an email list?
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.
Email marketing is popular with companies for several reasons:
- An exact return on investment can be tracked ("track to basket") 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.
- Email marketing is significantly cheaper and faster than traditional mail, mainly because of high cost and time required in a traditional mail campaign for producing the artwork, printing, addressing and mailing.
- Advertisers can reach substantial numbers of email subscribers who have opted in (i.e., consented) to receive email communications on subjects of interest to them.
- If compared to standard email, direct email marketing produces higher response rate and higher average order value for e-commerce businesses.
With email marketing, you can easily and quickly reach target markets without the need for large quantities of print space, television or radio time or high production costs. Thanks to effective email marketing software, you can maintain an email list that has been segmented based on several factors including the length of time addresses have been on the list, customers’ likes and dislikes, spending habits and other important criteria. Emails are then created and sent out to specifically target members of your email list, providing them with a personalized email detailing information that they are interested in or have requested. This helps promote trust and loyalty to a company while also increasing sales.
There are several examples of email marketing campaigns, starting with a welcome email that thanks that new contact for opting in to your subscription. Welcome letters can not only give valuable information about your company, they can also request key information about your new client, helping you put the person in the correct categories for future marketing efforts. Additional email campaigns include sending out announcements on products or services, a newsletter regarding your company and/or products, coupons for future purchasing and much more. Every email you send out should have company information on the bottom, giving potential clients a chance to learn more about your company as well as ‘opt-in’ to get future emails. Incentive programs that give members a ‘promo code’ to collect discounts on purchases also allow you to monitor the effectiveness of your campaign as well as what your contacts are interested in.
With the help of email marketing software, 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.