Email marketing is a vital tool for businesses in the 21st Century, but one that many overlook. Unlike more traditional forms of advertising in the ‘analogue’ world, email marketing has the potential for even small firms with minimal resources to make a significant impact. To understand how, you need simply consider the benefits that an email marketing campaign has over traditional offline methods.
Market more for less
Billboards, newspaper adverts, television slots and even mail shots can cost a significant amount of money. In addition to the cost of the resources used in their production, print space, airtime and other factors, such advertising usually requires a substantial amount of labour to be effective. Email marketing, meanwhile, requires a fraction of these resources and can be successfully undertaken by a single individual.
One of the major benefits of email as a tool for communication has always been the time (or lack of it) that it takes for a message to reach its recipient. Within seconds of clicking ‘send’ your email campaign will be sitting in prospective customers’ inboxes. This is of particular benefit for time sensitive offers, and can be used to remind customers when the deadline for a special deal is coming to an end.
Create dynamic visual content
Emails have always been about more than just words. Hyperlinks within the email that lead to specific web pages create a uniquely dynamic user experience. Unlike a direct marketing letter sent through snail mail, the recipient has only to click once to gain instant access to the content you wish them to view, whether it’s a particular product, details of an upcoming offer or anything else.
Reach anyone, anywhere
The Internet has made the world smaller. Today even companies with only modest resources and influence can reach a global market at no additional cost. Rather than being limited to your immediate backyard, region or country, you can reach prospective customers on the other side of the world, easily and affordably.
Benefit from forwarding
Email is not a solitary medium. People like to forward messages to their friends that they think might interest them and share them on social networks. Email enables you to readily exploit the enormous potential for reach and influence offered by social media and viral.
A weekly or periodic email newsletter is a great and inexpensive way to build lasting relationships with customers, potentially resulting in higher repeat sales and stronger loyalty to your brand. It can also enable you to generate a significant amount of interest in upcoming products or special offers.
Target specific customers
Another thing that the Internet has given consumers is greater choice than ever before. By giving your customers the choice of opting into receive emails on specific elements of your business and products that interest them you can be sure that your marketing is reaching the right people.
Email enables you to send these contacts highly targeted content, even dynamically, based on their registered interests and preferences and based on their contact history, buying patterns and online behaviour. Automatically triggered campaigns can also ensure you send the right message to the right person at the right time, with no need for human resourcing.
Gather customer feedback
For any business, listening to the needs and opinions of customers is essential in ensuring that you are offering them something that they want. Email gives your customers the chance to communicate with you with very little effort, providing you with valuable information on what your business is doing well and what it could to improve.
Track your campaign
On top of this potential for greater volumes of customer feedback; email marketing enables you to easily access dynamic information on the success of your marketing campaign. With email marketing you can keep track of how many emails were delivered, how many were opened and how many were acted upon. Many email service providers enable you to track activity down to individual recipient level, so you can see what a named individual has done on receipt of your email, and follow up accordingly.
Finally, using email marketing instead of conventional mail shots and other paper-based methods can boost your green credentials. By using an electronic delivery system like email to drive your marketing message home, you’ll also be saving substantial amounts of money on expensive hardcopy print.