Disadvantages of Email Marketing

While email marketing is definitely the “wave of the future” for many companies, a well-thought out campaign is essential to your success with this emerging marketing method. In reality, there are many factors that will determine your success or failure, including strong competition, deliverability barriers, legal issues, and more.

Although, in most cases, email marketing is used to communicate a message to potential or already existing customers; others send bulk email, which is also known as spam. This is the major email deliverability issues in an email marketing campaign. According to statistics, G-mail receives on average 8 billion email messages a day. During the year of 2002, 25% of the total mail volume received was spam. Now, and according to the latest data of 2008, spam increased to up to 95% of the total volume received.

In response to this phenomenon, free email hosting companies such as Yahoo now send back messages. Hotmail, on the other hand, trashes or filters messages (does not allow passage of the email to the inbox directly). AOL also encounters similar problems, but in AOL’s case, the email bounces back either temporarily or permanently (leading to blockage). If emails are classified as spam, they lose any chance of being read by the recipient or even being regarded as holding credible information.

Deliverability Improvement

In order to improve the email delivery status, you may want to start sending marketing emails slowly and not in bulk to avoid being labeled as spam. The addition of an unsubscribe button in your messages is important to prevent the customer from hitting the spam button (which many do). Improving deliverability success is not comprised of solely having the right frequency of emails being sent out, but also involves targeting the right people. Email marketing is more successful if it focuses on people that you know are interested in what you’re offering. You may also keep in mind that an email to an existing customer or contact may be valued for its content. Even if this contact does not take any immediate action, he/she is more likely to do so in the future.

 How to Trace Email Marketing Effectiveness

Several web programs can give email marketers a general view of how their campaign is doing. Some of those tracking features are: the delivery rate (which measures the number of emails successfully sent), the open rate (which measures the number of email opening responses in form of a percentage of the total emails sent), the bounce rate (which shows the number of bounced emails), the unsubscribe rate (which measures the rate of people unsubscribing from the list), the ISP feedback rate (which is an important measurement of recipients who reported your messages as spam), the web view rate, and many others. These statistics can be interpreted differently depending on the nature of the company, the target of the company, and the size of the campaign being launched and can be a vital part of your email marketing efforts.

Spam and Legal Issues with Email Marketing

As spam increased to almost 95% in the year 2008, many spam laws have been enacted to govern email marketing. Email marketing campaigns now have to be carefully planned. Under e-commerce regulations, when your company wants to distribute email marketing messages your company must also deliver information about your business (including, but not limited to, the full name and contact details). The presence of a valid address for people to opt out of receiving emails from your company is also essential. Companies are not allowed to distribute unwanted marketing messages by email (to subscribers) without those subscribers prior approval.

Violating regulations and laws that have been established for email marketers in the U.S. can cause your company to suffer stiff penalties, up to $11,000 per violation in some instances. In order to avoid such penalties, it is crucial that precautions are taken during the email marketing process, such as including a valid physical address in the email message and providing an unsubscribe feature to the email recipient as previously mentioned.

 Tips: the Recommended Success Formula to Email Marketing

The formula for a successful email marketing campaign is often considered to be the following: The Right Message + The Right Target Audience + The Right Frequency + The Right Occasion + The Right Channel = Positive Response/Success