What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is one of the most direct and effective ways for a business or organization to communicate messages to its clientele. It allows the business to send any message it wants directly to the email inbox of its customers.
The return on investment for email marketing campaigns is unparalleled and the field has grown increasingly more sophisticated in recent years. Various email marketing platforms can help businesses manage their campaigns professionally and better understand what their individual consumers are looking for.
Who Uses Online Email Marketing?
There are many different types of businesses that use direct email marketing. In fact, it really does not matter whether a business operates online or off (or both). Every type of business can benefit from a carefully thought out implementation of email marketing best practices, many of which are detailed for users by email marketing platforms such as Constant Contact.
For example, a barbershop or salon could ask their current customers to provide an email address in order to be notified about upcoming sales. Then, the owner can design a simple email which informs the customers about a 30% discount on a certain day. Or an online business owner can design a series of emails to help potential customers educate themselves about a common problem and then invite them to visit the website in order to see more solutions, ideas and information (and buy their products).
When did Email Marketing Begin?
The first “modern” email was sent in 1971, using the ARPANET system, one of the forerunners of today's internet. Of course further developments significantly improved computer technology in the following years, especially during the 1980's and 1990's.
The popularity of email in general exploded during the early to mid 1990s. It was in this period that a number of email marketing software programs were invented to make it even easier for businesses to use as a tool.
Additionally, this lead to misuses, such as spam. Spam is unsolicited commercial email. This is essentially the electronic version of 'junk mail' and should be avoided by every serious email marketer. Beginning in the years 2002 and 2003, laws were passed around the world making the sending of spam a crime.
Why Should Businesses Use Email Marketing?
Email Marketing has been proven to yield results for those seeking to enhance their business. The following is a look at just some of the benefits that make it such an effective method of reaching out to consumers:
Low cost — Platforms offer reasonable deals. GetResponse is free up to 300 contacts
Ease of use — Email marketing programs provide templates and support
Insight into customers — Reporting tools, such as that offered by VerticalResponse, can track consumer activity
Targeted marketing — Segmentation allows businesses to market to specific customers
Mobile market capitalization — Many platforms offer mobile-friendly templates
What should a beginning email marketer avoid?
Businesses engaging in their first email marketing campaigns are well advised to put themselves in their customers’ shoes. A customer who is inundated with a large number of emails that are not interesting and lack value for them is likely to mark the sender as a spam account. The proper frequency of campaigns and the right message must be attained. Email Marketing platforms offer tips and advice on how to find the golden equation for a given business.
The bottom line is that email marketing can benefit every type of business, but it must be used responsibly and come as part of a well thought out strategy. With a number of affordable email marketing platforms to guide the newcomer, those seeking to increase their revenues and gain insight into their customers’ activities can take a step in the right direction immediately.