What is Email Marketing?

Sep 24, 2015 | Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the longest enduring internet marketing campaign methods, and there’s a reason that it’s stuck around for so long. Using emails to reach clients provides a unique way to directly reach past, current, and prospective clients with various ways to connect with a business. Combine this with a very low cost and great conversion rate and email marketing campaigns offer a great marketing opportunity.

What is Email Marketing?

The basic idea of email marketing is to send out email messages to clients on an email list that you continue to grow and curate. These emails will typically include a link to a landing page on the website and will drive traffic there.

There are four basic types of email marketing that can accomplish different goals. Depending on the nature of your industry and what your business offers, there may be one or more types that will provide the most benefit.

Transactional emails are typically sent to customers after some type of transaction has occurred. That can be anything from confirmation of a purchase to a welcome email for joining a newsletter. These will usually contain a “Thank you” message and can suggest related products. This can bring customers back to your website with personalized recommendations that fit their interests.

Educational emails provide information to your clients and are typically used to direct traffic toward a blog or other subscription service.

Promotional emails inform customers of an available deal, such as an upcoming sale, a current discount, or a coupon.

Re-engagement emails are intended to turn inactive customers into active ones. If a potential client adds items to their cart but doesn’t make a purchase, or a formerly active forum member goes silent, one of these emails can attempt to get them engaged again.

Benefits of Email Marketing

Effectively choosing a relevant email to connect with your customers and potential clients is one of the most widely used marketing methods. One large contributor to its success if the great return on investment and conversion rate that this channel offers, especially compared to other options.

Search engine marketing (also known as SEM or SEO) currently offers the highest average conversion rate in digital marketing at 1.55%, while email marketing provides the next closest rate at 1.05%. Compare this to the cost of these channels, and email marketing offers this high conversion rate at a much smaller price. On average, SEM costs about $2500 per month, while email services with a professional marketing company average around $800 per month.

Plus, email marketing has a high potential for reaching as many customers as possible. Practically everyone has an email account, and over 90% check their email at least once a day. A huge chunk of users will check their email on a mobile device, where certain other marketing channels may not reach effectively. By hanging around in an inbox indefinitely until checked, emails also carry a much longer lifespan than a Facebook post or especially a tweet.

Email marketing also offers additional benefits, such as:

  • Relatively inexpensive, especially compared to other marketing channels
  • Easy to personalize for your customers and products. The most effective message will include the recipient’s real name and come from a person, not a company.
  • Very simple to measure results, as you can track open and click-through rates
  • Quick communication and automation, with a process than can be very easy with templates

When you’re building up your list of email addresses, which is a very valuable asset for your business, never purchase a list of addresses. These are frequently offered by sketchy companies – thousands of email addresses for just a few dollars. If you send out your emails to people who aren’t interested in your products or know anything about your business, this can lead to a huge amount of unsubscribes and spam flags on your email. Email services such as Gmail, Yahoo!, and Outlook interpret these signals from users and your emails may start landing in Spam folders, or your address could even be blocked. Plus, these offer very little chance of success, so it’s best to stick with growing your email list naturally. You can gather these on your website, as customers request a quote, join your blog, or other actions.

Creating a subscription page for your email newsletters is also an effective method. Be sure to tell your customers why they should sign-up and exactly what they’ll be getting, whether that’s special discounts, advance notice of sales, or useful information.

Once you’re ready to undertake email marketing, send out emails regularly and often. Be consistent with your timing, whether that’s one email a month, once a week, or twice a week. Once a day may be a bit much for most companies, although it’s best to plan your efforts around what best fits your customer’s needs and a rate that you can reasonably sustain.

Reaching out to customers through their inboxes is a great way to offer a personalized channel of communication at a fraction of the cost of other internet marketing tools. You can also gather valuable data about your customers based on the open and click-through rates of different types of messages. Although SEO and social media may seem more glamorous in our modern age of the internet, email marketing still holds a solid place among the most effective digital marketing channels.

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