In recent years email marketing has witnessed an exponential increase among businesses and companies of all sizes, due in part to the fact that Internet use is becoming more widespread and now reaches into almost every home in America. It has been estimated that nearly half of all email users check their email at least once a day and many users check their email even more often due to the number of people now connected to the Web via handhelds, personal computers, laptops and cell phones.

Companies have always strived to reach potential customers wherever they might be, which makes email marketing a growing and lucrative aspect of any sound marketing plan. Because email marketing is cost effective and tailored to the target audience’s preferences and tastes, even companies with smaller budgets can reap benefits from the practice. What’s more, the message reaches the prospect’s inbox with very little effort from the marketing team. When implemented appropriately, an email marketing campaign can have a dramatic impact on the success of any business.

 What Types Are There?

Email marketing campaigns can be divided into three subcategories: direct email, retention email, and advertising via intermediary email. Either type can be used individually or in unison with other types of email marketing to form the basis for a successful email marketing campaign.

    Direct email is the use of email to send persuasive commercial sales messages. These messages are usually sent to the addresses of customers who have already experienced the product or service being offered or to potential customers in your target market who might benefit from or enjoy what you are offering. Direct mail email marketing campaigns can be launched using your company’s own email list, a purchased or shared email list, or even through a third party service company. Oftentimes, third party companies know which audience to target via email marketing or will undertake market analysis to determine the best email addresses to garner the highest conversion or response rates for your business.

    Retention emails (which are often referred to as newsletter emails) are not designed specifically for promotional use. Newsletters usually aim at causing a long-term impact in the recipient’s mind and thus contain more than just sales messages. The retention email points out the advantages of the product or service offered in an informative format that might be slightly off-topic from the actual product, but related in some manner. You will find a bigger response rate an entertaining or engaging retention email that can cause a big boost in sales.

    Intermediary emails refer to advertising and marketing in the emails that other businesses send out. Instead of your company writing and sending out its own emails, the task is delegated to other companies who maintain their own email subscriber lists. This type of email marketing is now becoming popular to the extent that some newsletters even written with the purpose of selling advertising space to other companies.

 Avoiding Failure

Email marketing has specific criteria that must be employed to make it successful. Not all marketing emails get through to their intended recipients, which makes it all the more important that the ones that do get through present the intended message in the best light possible. Many marketing emails fail to accomplish this goal. So, how can your business avoid failure in email marketing?

First of all, before sending any email, the sender should critically think about the target audience, the content to be delivered, and the channel through which this sender will be distributing the email. When thinking about the audience, the sender should consider what the reader (which is the potential customer) expects from sellers and merchandisers offering this type of product or service. Some of the questions to keep in mind are: Does my message highlight the key features of my product/service offered? Is the method of purchase/rental clearly described? How can my audience relate to this product/service? Are my messages short and concise, or will they be time-consumptive on the recipient’s end?

Secondly, before sending out any email, you must be very selective in the content of your messages. Valuable content is an important key factor because engaging content keeps current subscribers from marking the email as spam or from simply disregarding the email. Emails, moreover, should have exclusive content that only potential customers can have access to. Having a mere repetition of what is found on your company’s website or blog would be useless to distribute again in email form. Make your email messages useful – maybe mentioning important highlights about your products or services that the customer might be interested in knowing. When writing content with the intention of persuading the customer to experience your product or service, think of what the customer would want to gain from this experience and put an emphasis on that. You may want to also add tips, mention exclusive features, offers, and other areas of interest to the recipient.

The sender’s reputation plays a significant role in email marketing. Building a positive reputation gives positive response from the recipient side. Usually, this positive reputation builds up by sending legit emails. In addition to these valuable points, consider the following three tips for your email marketing campaigns:

    1. Use information that is relevant to your business only

    Use email marketing when you have something your potential customer will definitely benefit from and will be interested in

    2. Write an informative subject line

    The subject line, concise and straight to the point, will definitely grab your potential customer’s attention. Avoid over exaggerated subject titles like. The most effective supplement ever! Such a title does not indicate any thing about your particular product/service offered and says nothing to the audience; it would most probably get your email directly deleted or simply marked as spam.

    3. Use both HTML and text formats to ensure the receipt of your message

    Many times, after your recipient has read the subject line and actually decided to open the email to observe the content, he/she is surprised to find that the HTML formatted message cannot be displayed on the screen. To avoid wasting your efforts, always include an option to view as HTML (for customers that have adequate programs). HTML can allow the display of graphics, logos, pictures, and can also give the user the freedom to be more innovative with the content design.

Advantages of Email Marketing for Your Business – Why Choose Email Marketing?

In order to ascertain whether or not email marketing is an effective commercial tool, it is important to look at the advantages and disadvantages of email marketing.

    1. Cost effectiveness: With email marketing, companies can now distribute a wide range of information to a large audience for a relatively very low cost. It is also much less expensive than other means of media and promotion such as the printed newsletter or traditional direct mail campaigns delivered by the postal service.

    2. Short Impact Time: In comparison to other marketing methods, email marketing is delivered in just seconds to the recipient’s inbox.

    3. Ease of Use: Email marketing is easy on both the reader and the company issuing the email. The recipient can access the email directly from his inbox without any further action needed from his side. He doesn’t have to pick up the phone to call you, or fill out a postcard to return to you in order to show his interest.

    4. Personalized/Targeted Method: With the help of the emerging email marketing companies and with the market segmentation that is readily available (according to geographical factor, occupation, or other) your company can now target a more focused potential customer list based on the target market’s needs, wants, and interests.

    5- Viral Method: An effective email message has the potential to become “viral” all that it takes is a recipient interested enough to forward your message on to others in their network.

    6- Traceable Tool: With the use of advanced tracking systems, everything about your email marketing campaign can be tracked, including the number of emails that were opened and the number of links that was clicked on by recipients.

    7- Complimentary Method: Email marketing is very useful to support the other marketing and advertising activities that are formulated under your marketing plan.