E-mail marketing is very popular nowadays as the competition for customers in net business has toughened. E-mail marketing is a mode of direct marketing which employs the electronic mail as a communication tool for sending commercial or fundraising messages to the potential customers.
This term e-mail marketing refers to sending e-mails with the aim of improving the relationship of a merchant with its current or previous customers and to induce customer loyalty and repeat business. Sending e-mails with the aim of gaining new customers or convincing current customers to buy something more is also considered as e-mail marketing. Adding advertisements to e-mails sent by other companies to their customers and sending e-mails over the net, as e-mail did and does exist outside the internet is also considered as e-mail marketing.
Through e-mail marketing the exact return on investment can be tracked and it is proven to be high. E-mail marketing is ranked as second only to search marketing. It is possible for the advertisers to reach a substantial amount of customers who consented to receive promotional e-mail on subjects that were of interest to them. It has been estimated that nearly half of the net surfers check or sent e-mails everyday.
Though there are many advantages, e-mail marketing does have its own disadvantages. E-mail deliver-ability is a major problem for legitimate marketers. The average delivery percentage is 56, nearly 25 percent of the e-mails are rejected and nearly 8% were filtered. Small and large business enterprises that use e-mail for its marketing should make sure that their program does not violate the spam laws of the region.
Opt-in e-mail advertising or permission marketing is a method the advertisers adopt to nullify the disadvantages of e-mail marketing. In this method the recipient has consented to receive e-mails and only after obtaining the permission mails are sent. The opt-in email marketing will be more personal and relevant to the customer than untargeted advertisements.
There are actually three major types of e-mail marketing used by the business enterprises viz. Direct e-mail, retention e-mails and advertising in other people’s e-mails. Direct e-mail marketing involves sending promotional message in the form of e-mail. The business enterprise will rent lists of e-mails from service companies and then send mails to persuade the customer. Retention e-mails usually take the form of newsletters. It may carry promotional messages or advertisements but it usually aims at developing a long term impact with the customer. This type of e-mails will have more value than mere promotional messages. Advertising in other people’s e-mails is another way of e-mail marketing.
Though e-mail marketing is far easier and simpler than regular mails, it involves multiple complexities like designing, delivering e-mail messages, getting them read and respond, measuring and analyzing the results and then the issue of permission has to be addressed.
E-mail marketing works for many small business enterprises as it allows targeting, it is data driven, it drives direct sales, it builds relationships, loyalty and trust and it supports sales through other channels. Every e-mail campaign the small business enterprise sends generates a heap of actionable data that can be used to refine their approach and messages. E-mail marketing and offers generate immediate actions. It effects sales, downloads, inquiries, registrations, etc. Informative e-mails sent prepare the way for catalogs, build awareness, contribute to branding, strengthen relationships, encourage trust and cement loyalty. E-mail marketing can be a great marketing solution if one knows the basics and puts the usages right.