Email marketing has become a very useful tool in businesses today. In its most basic term, email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message to a group of people. It is a form of direct marketing that uses email to send commercial messages to customers and an audience in general. It involves the use of email to build trust and loyalty between a merchant and an audience/customer, so as to request for business, more patronage or solicit for funds.
Email marketing Vs traditional mail marketing
It has a lot of advantage over traditional mail marketing such as;
- It reaches a broader audience
- It is faster and cheaper
- The return on investment can be tracked
Types of Email marketing
- Direct emails: This kind of email marketing involves you sending an email for the major purpose of promoting your business. It involves newsletters, press release emails, catalogs etc.
- Transactional email: This is a type of email marketing done for the major purpose of facilitating, completing or confirming a transaction that the email recipient has agreed to carry out with the email sender. They are triggered by the customer’s action with a business or company and they include confirmation emails, email receipts, password resets, activation codes, thank you emails, invitation/survey emails, etc.
Why is email marketing important?
- Cost: Email marketing is very cheap when compared to other forms of marketing. No cost is spent on printing and mailing like it’s done in traditional marketing. A substantial amount of audience can be reached with less cost. Most businesses like to hire other email marketing agencies to do the mailing for them, in order to avoid spam complaints. But that does not cost so much and is optional.
- East tracking: With technological intervention, it is possible to track a lot of activities online. Email marketing provides a cost-effective way to test marketing techniques. Using analytics and responses to emails, the email marketer can see the effectiveness of his campaigns. With that advantage, he can know which strategies are working best and then apply them accordingly.
- The increase in profits: With email marketing, it is easy to reach former customers. Since they have patronized you in the past, chances are they might be interested in doing so again. Constant emailing, informing them of newer deals and recent releases, can subsequently persuade them to repeat transaction again.
Cons of email marketing
- Spamming: A spam is basically an unsolicited mail. Sometimes permission has to be given before you can email your customer base. If you send too many emails, it may be regarded as commercial spam. Aside from the fact that it gives your company a negative view, most people go ahead to report your company to your web host. If the reports are too many and your web host agrees to the complaints, your site would be shut down.
- Failed delivery: With the increase in spamming, newer filtering techniques are constantly being developed to curb the problem. So words like “free” or “money” can easy trigger the spam filter and the recipient may never see you email.
How does email marketing work?
Email marketing can only be effective if you can get your customers to click your links. For that to happen, your emails should possess the following:
- Good appearance: The overall design of the mail, whatever type it may be, should have a captivating appearance. Use a lot of visuals. This makes it interesting and can motivate the reader enough to go through the content of the mail. Also, the attributes of the mail such as the header, subject line, format etc., should be properly selected so that it may not be considered as spam for customers.
- Personalized: Personalize emails as if the recipient is the only intended target. This draws attention and increases its relevance to the reader. You do not have to use their names. New research shows that with the increase in phishing, credit card, and identity theft, people are more suspicious about emails greeting them with their names. A more suitable way of personalizing emails is to track the customer’s purchases and needs and use the derived information to personalize the email based on their needs.
- Proper timing: Sending emails during working hours and in the day, in general, has proven to have a better response rate than those sent at night. An average worker checks their email at an average of thirty times a day.
- Integrated Marketing Communication: This is a term used to imply the technique of combining all aspects of promotion work of a company to form a whole. Companies use different types of marketing strategies and practices, therefore the emails sent should have the same message and image of the company’s entire operations.
- Copywriting: When preparing emails to send, a lot of consideration has to go into the wording and all aspects of the language, from the subject line all through to the signature. Don’t be too compelling, but then you are trying to get that person to patronize you. Put hyperlinks at the beginning, the body and the end to get the impulsive customers. Try to make the email worth reading.
- Give away something: To reduce the friction when trying to engage your recipients, try giving things away for free. It works effectively.
- Ensure that the emails are well optimized for mobile phones as most people check their emails through their phones. Proper attention should be given to the email designs to ensure they are responsive.
- Engage inactive subscribers: Re-engage your inactive subscribers by sending out emails telling them that they are missed and you want them back. Give out discounts, special offers, coupons and other incentives to re-ignite their interest.
Email marketing is a very important tool to create a customer-firm relationship. The key to effective email marketing is proper planning, strategizing and analyzing of data. Testing and experimenting what works is crucial as it provides you with what information to provide better future campaigns to increase your company’s sales.