Saturday, September 1, 2018

Email Marketing – Are You On The List?

Marketing is a key element to attract and sustain customers. There are many methods businesses use to market their products and services to clients from post mail outs, Television advertisements, radio spots and more recently the Internet.

One very cost-effective method which many businesses use is email marketing.

A recent survey revealed that approximately 85% of people have emails and, a staggering 2.5 hours each day is spent on checking emails. I know in my case that as soon as I switch on my computer I open my email accounts. In fact, it is the first activity of the day. Email has become one of the fastest and most effective ways of communicating. The benefits of email are that you can check the emails when you want and respond at a time that is at your own inconvenience.

Email marketing is a great way for businesses to stay in contact with their clients.

Once you have a potential customers or existing customers email details, it’s possible to begin your email campaign with them.

Email marketing is an easy and cost-effective way to reach target markets.

There are many software programmes designed to sift through target groups information, based on factors including: the length of time addresses have been on the list, customers’ likes and dislikes, spending habits, and other important criteria.

A target groups email address is taken in accordance with a customers/clients interest in a business’ products and services, through either subscription or after a point of sales purchase of the goods or services.

Most often the procedure is that a business will send out a mass email to the target group in accordance with their level of interaction with them

Thus, the first email is often either a welcome letter or a letter thanking the client/customer for their services.

The following emails then go on to market the businesses services through deals and offers that are specific to the customer’s needs.

It’s not just direct marketing of products and services that email marketing is used for. Another key element to email marketing is keeping the lines of communication open. It’s about maintaining a relationship and staying in the forefront of the customer/clients mind.

Think of it like a friend. Those you have more contact with are likely to be more on your mind. You are more likely to know what is going on in their lives and be more invested in them. It’s the same with businesses. Thus, email marketing is an efficient way of retaining current clients.

One of the greatest benefits of email marketing is that it is incredibly cost-effective. The cost of advertisement on TV, radio, and print are huge in comparison. Email costs next to nothing except the time it takes to write the message and the software bought to target the groups the message is intended for.

It is also environmentally friendly as no paper is used! Think of all the junk mail and leaflets used in marketing. Often, these are thrown in the trash. If a client or customer isn’t interested in the product or service you are emailing them, they can simply hit delete. No paper wasted!

Another benefit is that it is then also easy for your customer/client to: a) pass on the information to a friend or colleague who may be interested in your product or services and b) to respond to you.

Email marketing is a two way communication that is interpersonal, whilst still remaining professional.

Building a long term email strategy is key to a successful email marketing campaign. There are many software packages out there that come with assistant support.

The three main functions of these software are to:

Create engaging emails with ease – often there are standard templates that a business can use to add their message, whether it be an introductory  letter or a letter thanking the client for their business. There are also templates for newsletters and offers/deals etc.

Automated triggers and actions : This function allows a business to (amongst other things) set up subscriber actions to update subscriber information, perform subscription tasks and send campaigns. What this means is that based on how the subscriber responds the strategy is developed. It’s a bit like a domino effect that swings like a pendulum. Well lets call it a chess game J

Reports and Analysis – There’s no point in going ahead with your email marketing strategy campaign if it is not proving to be successful. Naturally there needs to be a way to measure the success of your email marketing. Email marketing software also has the means to assess the success rate of your campaign and provide reports and analysis. This often includes looking at campaign activities and social interactions in real time, e.g through Twitter, Facebook updates etc. And how many of your email marketing recipients are actually opening and reading the emails can also be tracked. These simple reports can make a big difference and are key to managing a successful email campaign. If there are any problems with your email marketing strategy these reports are the fundamental ones to flag that up.

So as you can see email marketing is an essential marketing tool that is easy to administer and cost-effective. There is absolutely no reason why every business shouldn’t be utilising this powerful and effective marketing tool.

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