If you have an email address, you’ve seen plenty of examples of email marketing. A clothing store might tell you about some new styles, a car dealership might let you know about a special financing deal, a local restaurant might let you know about new menu items.
Email marketing is a form of direct marketing which allows anyone to send messages directly to a pre-determined list of users. These messages can be anything from simple, plain text to rich, graphic-laden pages (similar to normal websites). Email marketing messages are delivered right to the recipient’s inbox, just like normal email.
Email marketing differs from other online marketing in that it is inexpensive, easy to send, highly measureable, and goes straight to a target’s inbox. It’s another tool in your online marketing toolbox.
Now, let’s take a look at what makes email marketing so useful.
The Advantages of Email Marketing
1. Low Cost
Email-based marketing costs can be as low as $0.005 per email. This compares favorably to other online marketing methods like pay-per-click or cost-per-impression advertising. Compared to the expense of traditional mail marketing, the savings are even greater (think about all the printing and postage costs!).
2. Measurable Results
Using innovative tracking systems, email marketing allows you to know exactly how many people receive your message, how many open it, and how many actually click on the links and calls to action contained within your message. Armed with this knowledge, you can make adjustments and improvements to subsequent emails.
3. Precision Targeting
Send emails exactly where you want them to go. You can easily create segmented lists and direct different messages to designated customer groups. You can collect email addresses from a number of sources, including your existing customer database. Adding a “mailing list” box to your website is a great way to build a list of users who are interesting in to hearing from you.
Email newsletters don’t limit you to simple, static content. You can include video, music, polls and more. These tools provide multiple ways to engage your customers.
5. Strong Calls to Action
Clicking on a link or button is very easy, which means that recipients have to take very little effort to follow through on a call to action. Compare this with traditional newsletters where recipients have to dial a phone number or type a website address into their computer.
6. Highly Personalized
Use your database to easily greet recipients by name. Make them feel that they aren’t receiving a generic mass email.
7. Time and Venue Shifting
Recipients can read your message on their own time and on the device of their choosing, whether that means in a traditional email inbox or on an iPhone. This freedom increases open rates and engagement rates.
8. Opt-In & Unsubscribe Options
Because email lists are easy to opt-in and opt-out of, you don’t have to worry about customers receiving unsolicited and unwanted advertising.
9. Instant Response
Most recipients will read your message within minutes or hours. You can know the success of your campaign the same day you send it instead of weeks down the line.
No need to coordinate design, printing, and mailing as is necessary with physical mail-shots. And unlike other forms of online marketing, you don’t have vague targets and results. Email marketing is straightforward: send a message to a targeted list of recipients. Write the message and press send.
11. Easy To Get Started
Getting started with your mailing list is simple. You probably even have a huge database of email addresses already. Think about all the email addresses you have in your current email system, Rolodex, Blackberry, or other device. And surely you have at least a handful of company news, special offers, or other piece of information you want to share with your contacts.