Email marketing is not a new concept by any means, but several businesses are still not embracing this marketing concept as well as they should be. There are several worries that come along with email marketing, such as:
- Won’t my emails be treated as spam?
- Is it a waste of time?
- In the end, is it going to help my business that much?
Some businesses are going to say that the time that is devoted to email marketing is not worth it for them, that the profits they may earn from this do not even start to pay for the time that they invest. The truth is that when it comes to marketing, most studies have shown that email marketing does better than other marketing methods, including the use of social media. This does not mean to dismiss the other marketing methods, as a healthy marketing plan is one that utilizes various marketing techniques to complete the marketing goals.
How Email Marketing Works
It is best to think of email marketing just as any other marketing method, minus the use of a printer, paper and ink. Emails can be sent that have what would normally be sent in the mail as postcards announcing a new sale upcoming, a new item or even giving coupons to valued customers. The route in which they do this is to collect email addresses from current customers and potential customers. The best route to do this is to have a collection area on your website. For example, a call to action box that allows customers or potential customers to sign up for email offers. This allows you to legally obtain the email address and use this to send email marketing material to.
There are companies out there that are providing bulk email lists. However, there are dangers to this that need to be discussed. You need to understand that you can only send emails to those whom you have permission to send this email to. Thus, buying email addresses is not always the best alternative. Keep in mind that the US has a CAN-SPAM Act, enacted in 2003, that spells out what a business can and cannot do in email marketing.
Understanding the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003
There are a few rules to keep in mind when sending email marketing materials:
A) Always ensure that your subject line relays what you are writing about and is in no way false or misleading. For example, a good subject line would be: Exclusive Sale for Loyal Customers Only 7/5! A misleading subject line would be: You have won $100!
B) Also ensure that the To and From are labeled accordingly, you need to ensure that your name or business name is represented so that readers can see who sent the message
C) At the end of the email there has to be an opt-out link. You must give readers the option to quit receiving your email marketing messages if they so choose.
D) All email communication that is sent as an advertisement has to include this information in the communication. In addition, there needs to be a physical address of the company listed in the email.
Businesses who are found to be guilty in abusing marketing strategies via email can be fined up to $11,000. Worse, they can lose the right to send email or even lose the right to have a website for the infraction.
Types of Email Marketing
Almost anything can be emailed to customers or potential customers. For the most part, businesses that utilize email marketing can be put into one of three categories:
1. Promotional Emails: These emails are meant to show any promotions that may be ongoing, and are meant to encourage a customer to buy a product or to keep buying products due to the sale/low price.
2. Regular communication: These emails are meant as a way to stay in touch with customers. It is basically a way to reach out and keep a customer as your customer, thus inspiring brand loyalty.
3. Advertisement emails: These are similar to promotional emails, though they can be sent as a postcard type of email that is colorful, has sparse information that simply says the advertisement. For example: 20% off online purchases: Today Only!
How This Will Help You
It is simple: email marketing is a way to reach current customers and find new customers! There are 5 important aspects that email marketing can help with:
1. Email Marketing can increase the sales that you are seeing.
2. Through email marketing you ensure that your business is always on consumers minds.
3. With the use of email you are helping to ensure that customers are repeat customers.
4. This can help to establish that you are the business to turn to for a certain product or service.
5. You are building and maintaining relationships with customers through sending emails.
Starting Email Marketing
There are several programs out there which are designed to help get your email marketing program off to a great start. But, first you need the email addresses. One of the best methods for this is to have a way for customers to sign up for emails from your business. A great way to do this is to have a sign up form on your website. Another method is to collect these email addresses when purchases or orders are made for this purpose.
There are several programs on the market that can be utilized as a way to send out mass emails to those contacts that you have. A few examples of these programs are:
- Constant Contact