E-mail marketing is still has the best response rate of any Internet Marketing activity. It is a form of direct marketing which uses electronic mail as a means of communicating commercial or fund-raising messages to an audience. In its broadest sense, every e-mail sent to a potential or current customer could be considered e-mail marketing. However, the term is usually used to refer to:
- Sending e-mails with the purpose of enhancing the relationship of a merchant with its current or previous customers, to encourage customer loyalty and repeat business
- Sending e-mails to prospects and past customers with the purpose of acquiring new business or to purchase something immediately
- Adding advertisements to e-mails sent by other companies to their customers
There are both advantages and disadvantages to using e-mail marketing in comparison to traditional advertising mail. Work with an experienced marketer to set-up your e-mail templates, schedule your mailings, and connect to Call-to-Actions to get the best ROI.
Advantages of e-Mail Marketing
E-mail marketing is popular with companies for several reasons:
- An exact return on investment can be tracked and has proven to be high when done properly. E-mail marketing is often reported as second only to search marketing as the most effective online marketing tactic.
- Advertisers can reach substantial numbers of e-mail subscribers who have opted in (i.e., consented) to receive e-mail communications on subjects of interest to them.
- Over half of Internet users check or send e-mail on a typical day.
- E-mail allows marketers to reach out to consumers with personalized, relevant, dynamic messages.
- Transactional e-mails allow businesses to respond automatically to important consumer events like purchases or shop-cart abandonment.
Comparing e-Mail Marketing to Direct Mail
A report issued by the e-mail services company Return Path, as of mid-2008 e-mail deliver-ability is still an issue for legitimate marketers. According to the report, legitimate e-mail servers averaged a delivery rate of 56%; twenty percent of the messages were rejected, and eight percent were filtered.
Companies considering the use of an e-mail marketing program must make sure that their program does not violate spam laws such as the United States’ Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM), the European Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003, or their Internet service provider’s acceptable use policy. While there are many direct mail lists that companies can purchase, purchased e-mail lists violate the CAN-SPAM laws. A good inbound marketing program will help build an email list that is valid and legal to use.
While e-mail has the highest return of marketing dollars, it can be tricky to get the right program established.
Give us a call to learn more about e-Mail Marketing, develop a e-mail campaign for your business and review several companies and programs that can simplify the process.