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Email Marketing – A Unique Business Opportunity

Studies show that 58% of people spend at least 2 or more hours a day checking, reading and sending emails. A large percentage of these admit that checking their email first thing in the morning has become a habit. This is what makes emailing a great way of promoting a business.

What is email marketing?

It is a means of direct, yet broad marketing that encourages customers to purchase or re-orderproducts or services. It helps build customer-company relationships and to acquire new customers. When handled correctly, it creates a unique but effective business opportunity not only for ecommerce but for physical establishments too.

Email marketing is generally backed by an established website and web-based software that allows easy tracking of movements and results. It is an effective tool for driving sales, downloading of forms, registrations and inquiry submissions. It makes use of informative newsletters and other promotional materials for the purpose of spreading a message or growing a business.

The study further reveals that about 90% of retailers declare that email marketing has proven to be successful for them. That success rate may be attributed to the fact that more than 50% of email subscribers have made purchases as a result of receiving advertisements through email.

The Advantages of Email Marketing

1.Wider Reach, Instantaneous, Cost-Effective

Because email can reach almost any part of the globe, it enables businesses to reach a wider audience. Messages are sent and received instantaneously enabling communication with customers in real-time.

Campaigns need not rely on costly personnel investments, printing and mailing expenses, advertising rates or phone connections but only on software and hardware. Thus, overhead costs are kept at a very minimum.

2.Improved Awareness, Relations, Spread of Information

Product information and updates are sent out regularly and fast! Responding to customers is also quick, giving customers the feeling of being important. This is vital in maintaining a good relationship and encouraging their loyalty to the brand.

3.Easy to Track and Test

Evaluation of campaign success is easy to track thus allowing opportunities for improvements. The metrics include:

  • Click-through – a link where a customer buys a product, requests a service, schedules a dialogue, download, etc. The content associated with this link has to be attractive enough to encourage email recipients to actually take action.
  • EPC – earnings per click lets you see not only the action taken by your audience but the earnings generated at each click. This helps you determine which product attracted more buyers which means you may want to offer more of it.

Through email marketing, it also becomes easier for businesses to test and see what types of graphics, headlines or messages are most effective.

4.Allows Target Mailing

Email marketing allows a business to send customized or modified information based on customer demographics. It also makes a very convenient means of providing links to specifically targeted markets.

While it makes a very effective business promotion medium, there are also some disadvantages to email marketing. Some customers don’t want unsolicited emails where they have not opted in. The effect is that some campaigns are mistaken to be spam which has a negative effect on legitimate trades.

To counter any disadvantage, the following methods would help build a powerful support to your marketing efforts:

  • Make it relevant to your recipients. This is where knowing your target market is important in order to increase response rates.
  • Know the value of customer response by offering incentives. People want to know “what’s in it for me?
  • Time your campaign right. When is the best time or date to advertise to your recipients? This may have to do with the season, important occasions like birthdays, anniversaries or specific holidays.
  • Keep a consistent message and image in all your campaigns and marketing channels.
  • When copywriting, ensure that everything is done right from top to bottom. Do you have an engaging headline? Are your links strategically placed to immediately catch an impulsive customer’s attention?
  • Save your promotion from being regarded as spam with proper attributes that are highlighted to work best for the business.
  • Make it easy for customers to navigate and find exactly what you intended.
  • Filling out forms should also be hassle-free.
  • Comply with regulations by observing the CAN-SPAM 4 Rules.
    1. Collect email addresses the legal way and let prospects know what to expect from you. Get proper subscriber permission.
    2. Do not mislead recipients of who you are and what you are sending.
    3. Allow subscriber a way to opt-out in all emails and promptly act (within 10 days maximum) on any request.
    4. Include your business address (physical) in all emails.
  • Set correct customer expectations and deliver what is promised whether that is a simple telephone call or a follow-up email.

With 77% of consumers receiving permission-granted marketing campaigns through email, keeping your product and services on top of their minds is vital. You can further inspire your customers to take action by observing the following best practices:

1.Appropriate identification. Who would want to respond to a stranger? You need to identify yourself in a way that will instantly grab the interest of your recipient. Incorporate your brand so that you can make a connection within the first few critical seconds or your customer may disregard your message.

2.Concise subject line. Make a short but interesting header that would make your reader want to find out more and keep reading.

3.Image appeal. Add images that are attractive to create visual appeal, properly sized and with the look and feel that are not offensive. Ensure that the visual images will display right using customized HTML when and where needed as not all recipients have images enabled.

4.Trust building. Be consistent with an educational and relevant message without the tendency to over promote. Remember the 80/20 business rule. The regularity of your emailing may have to dictate that you reduce advertising to 10%.

5.Clear CTA – observing best practices leads to a loyal customer following. Prompting them to take action can become easy. It may not always be about purchasing but other actions such as see a demo, sharing on other sites, etc. but your “call to action” has to be clear to your reader.

Keep in mind that emailing is not limited to desktops or laptops. Many people access their email through mobile phones. Keep your success rates higher by making your email marketing accessible through mobile phones.

Maximizing the Email Marketing Power

  • Opt-in forms testing – the combination of different opt-ins in your campaign will generate different reactions. Testing such variables will help you determine which works best.
  • Campaign testing – test a series of broadcast messages for your campaign because responses vary. Selecting the most successful approaches will be crucial for your product launch and promotion.
  • Provide help to increase sales – your email campaign should let customers know that you are an expert in the industry and that they can turn to you for help. Sales will naturally follow.
  • The art of segmenting – the power of email marketing will work best when subscribers are grouped accordingly. Your messages may be tailored effectively for each segment.
  • Clean up – remove from the list recipients that don’t open your messages to save time, effort and money.

More than Measurable Benefits

Email marketing is advertising with a lot of perspective and for every dollar spent you can earn forty, it makes a wise investment. With the right components, it can certainly work to benefit your business in less time and effort. In addition, email marketing does not involve paper so it is a huge contribution towards a greener earth.