When people switch on their computer the first thing most will do is check their email.
Responsible bulk email marketing is based on the idea of permission. This is a complex issue and the subject of intense debate in the marketing community. Essentially, you need an email address owner's permission before you can send them a commercial email. If you don't have this permission, then the recipients of your mail may well regard your message as spam; unsolicited commercial (bulk) email.
Email marketing can be a fantastic way of staying in touch with your customer base and making an impression on new customers. Whether it is simply a welcome message, a promotional offer a fortnightly newsletter or quarterly company magazine delivered into your customer's inbox, email marketing increases and maintain product awareness. But good email marketing is also selective. If you start spamming your customers with junk mail every day, sell your customer list to an advertising firm or commit any other online marketing faux pas then email marketing will work against your business.
Good email marketing should involve a personalised message that really reaches out to your customer, and should be made up of well though out content.
Give me an analogy...
You can think of these three main forms of email marketing as the electronic equivalent of: Direct mail Sending people a print newsletter Placing advertisements in subscription magazines and newspapers There is, however, one extremely important difference - the issue of permission .
Establish your goals
There are a number of reasons why you should consider conducting email marketing, but defining your goals before you start will help make your campaign more successful.
Ask yourself some questions before you start. Do you want to increase the number of visitors and therefore potential customers to your site? Do you want to increase brand awareness? Do you want to use it as a tool for conveying special offers or promotions? Or do you want to get feedback from your customers to improve customer service?
Virtues of email marketing
What exactly are the virtues of email marketing?
Compared to direct mailing or producing a printed newsletter the costs are next to nothing. You don't have to pay for production, paper, printing or postage.
Email reaches your customers instantly at the click of a mouse and more and more people are using email to communicate every day. Research has shown that on average users respond to emails within 48 hours, in comparison it can take between 6 and 8 weeks for a customer to respond to a snail mail campaign.
It's easy to track
You can easily monitor the success of an email campaign. Tracking how many bounce-backs have occurred, how many positive or negative responses there have been, how many click throughs to a offer on your site, if there has been a substantial rise in sales after an email was sent, is all simple to do.
Email is a good way of retaining communication links with you customers and increasing brand awareness - especially if you do a lot of business online.
Compliments online strategy
Email marketing goes hand in hand with the marketing mix, and should be part of an overall marketing strategy.
The growth of email
Researchers predict that the still relatively young bulk email marketing industry, which has been booming since 1999 will continue to grow through to 2006 when analysts expect it to top the $2 billion mark. What is more, businesses will begin to see email campaigns as an inaugural part of their overall marketing strategies. However the success of email marketing hinges somewhat on the actions of businesses. Businesses need to keep their email marketing strategies ethical and legal if consumers are to remain open to it.