Email marketing is, quite simply, directly marketing or promoting your company’s products or services through email to either acquire new customers, further develop your relationship with current customers or renew your relationship with old customers. Its target result is to achieve new business or repeat business and establish customer loyalty.
The backbone of email marketing is the list of email addresses of your intended recipients. This is where you can get into hot water.
You may encounter list brokers - unscrupulous people or companies selling or renting out email lists. These lists contain email addresses of people who have not given permission to receive email from you. If you send any commercial email to addresses on these lists, your email will be considered spam. Your company could be blacklisted by the major servers. At the very least, you would be incurring the ire of the market you are trying to win over.
Imagine yourself in their position. Receiving unsolicited commercial email or junk mail is akin to receiving those unsolicited telemarketing calls or having to face door-to-door salespeople ringing your doorbell to hawk special offers. Even on my best days, this is already annoying. On bad days, I go on a tirade and vow never to buy any of their company’s products ever. Is this the reception you want for your email marketing campaign?
Some companies work around this and still get to use other companies’ email lists by paying to put their advertisements in those companies’ outgoing email. This could work to some extent but be aware that your recipients may not be as receptive to your advertisements since it was not what they signed up for.
You would want to send email to people who would be eager to hear from you and what you have to offer. To achieve this, you have to build your list from opt-in subscribers, meaning from people who have signed up to receive commercial email notices and offers from your company. You could invite people to do this on your company web site, and then steer people to your web site through your product packaging and even printed newsletters.
Once you have your email list built, you have to determine the kind of email marketing you want to launch.
One of the more popular email marketing tools is the email newsletter which could stand alone or be complementary to the company web site.
Another would be an email campaign where a series of emails are prepared specifically catering to the needs and interests of certain segments of the mailing list. Each email is designed to encourage a certain action from the recipient which would then trigger the sending of the next email, and so on, leading to the final goal which is usually a sale.
Finally, all of these activities - from the building of the email list to the sending out of emails, to recipient response - need to be monitored, tracked and analyzed. Results will, in turn, be the basis for further improvement of the entire system.
Many of my previous posts under the category of email deal with the details of email marketing. I will also be posting more on this topic in the coming days.