Defining Email Marketing And Does Anybody Really Care?
In the fast world of social media does email marketing still have a place? Hmmm we think so and here’s why.
Email Marketing Definition
The term includes any email communication from a business to a customer, but a more specific email marketing definition is delivering a commercial email message to a group of customers (or potential customers) in order to build relationship and increase sales.
While many people have had experiences with a badly crafted email marketing campaign or “spam” emails, good email marketing targets customers who have already expressed an interest in the business, allowing them to provide information that is of real interest and benefit to the customer – resulting in increased sales, loyalty and brand awareness.
Nice email marketing definition but is there any real benefit?
Well-crafted email marketing campaigns can help a business to create and retain customers, with the roll-on effect of increased sales. No matter the size of your business, email marketing is an effective way to connect directly with customers, with minimal cost and impressive results.
While different forms of advertising have varied outcomes, quality email marketing consistently achieves better results and a higher return on investment over time when compared to other options.
What makes up email marketing?
There are several types of emails that fall into this category:
Welcome emails. When a customer first signs up to a mailing list, they generally receive a welcome email. This is the company’s first chance to make a good impression.
Some businesses offer discounts or special offers to help ensure this first contact results in sales.
Transactional emails. Once a customer has had an interaction with a company, transactional emails are sent to help establish trust and provide status updates. They could include reminders that a customer has unpurchased items in a cart, order statuses, purchase orders, or electronic receipts.
Direct email. Occasionally a company will have a promotional message they want to share with their potentially interested customers. Direct email can communicate any special promotions, announcements, discounts, sales or pre-sale information to those on the mailing list.
Newsletters. Designed to keep customers up-to-date about general company information, newsletters should be informative and engaging with the goal of increasing customer engagement with the business.
Why Use Email Marketing?
Email marketing puts your business right into your customers’ hands. Marketing messages can be specifically tailored to consumer interests, and contain information they actually want to receive – especially when it comes to discounts and promotions.
Email marketing is a direct and inexpensive way for a business to grow and sustain customer relationships that result in increased sales and customer loyalty.
The two major advantages of email marketing are how cost-effective and how easy the process can be.
Emails are an extremely inexpensive form of communication, and an email marketing expert can create an effective campaign and easily track its success. They are relatively simple to create and quick to send, with emails landing in inboxes within seconds.
And these campaigns really can be extremely successful – with good strategy and execution, the return on investment for email marketing outstrips any other comparable advertising.
That return on investment is also easily measured, which allows businesses to analyse the most effective parts of their campaign and modify their strategies to get the best results.
The data gathered through email marketing campaigns can then be applied across the businesses’ wider advertising strategy.
Who Reads These Emails?
While there is a recent emphasis on other kinds of online advertising such as social media campaigns, the truth is that email is far more applicable across the board, especially taking into consideration the algorithms used by social media platforms.
These algorithms make it unlikely that your campaign will even be seen by customers, advertising through social media alone makes it hard to target potential customers without spending large amounts.
Facebook feeds seen by customers has now dropped to just 2% down from 12-15% in 2012. Social media is becoming a ‘pay-to-play’ platform and that can be frightfully expensive.
On the other hand, it has been estimated that around 94% of people on the internet frequently use email, completely overshadowing the number of users belonging to even the most popular social media platforms.
Those emails are often opened on smartphones, which means that they are received on the same devices as SMS campaigns, and generally preferred by customers to advertising in the form of an SMS.
When is Email Marketing Most Effective?
Spam email is not only disliked by customers, it can be illegal. There are strict guidelines that email campaigns have to meet in order to comply with national regulations.
Even then, spam filters can catch even legitimate marketing emails, meaning the customer never sees them.
An experienced email marketing company can help you create campaigns that have the highest chance of being seen by consumers.
Details are important – for example, there are even optimal times for emails to be sent that can increase the chances of the email being read.
Knowing the right time is a mixture of experience and monitoring the business’s data to identify trends. A good campaign will target groups of customers or can even be tailored to individuals, such as special deals on their birthday.
Maximum effectiveness means finding the balance between regular email contact with customers, and not overpowering them with constant communication.
Effective Email Marketing
Email marketing is a tool that should ideally be used as part of a wider advertising strategy – however, it is arguably one of the most important features.
A good email marketing campaign will help a business to attract and retain customers, gaining new sales and having past customers come back for more.
Email marketing is relatively inexpensive with an impressive return on investment, and outperforms other comparable advertising options. Even though it may be one of the most venerable forms of online advertising, email advertising is even more relevant for businesses today.
Find out what good email marketing content can do for your business by checking out this article Email Marketing Content