First, let us define what we mean by email marketing. Email marketing is the process of sending an electronic message to a group of people or an individual, using email with a purpose of advertising, requesting business, or lobbying for sale of products or services. E-mail was the first tool that allows businesses to take advantage of the interactivity of the Internet in marketing. Every email sent to a potential or current customer is email marketing. Email marketing is by far the fastest, most-flexible and cost-effective way of reaching new customers and retaining existing customers, as it encourages repeat visits to your website. Email marketing can also allow you to personalise and customise messages to individual needs.
A Brief History of Email Marketing
Over 57 years ago, Ray Tomlinson sent the first email. Since then, sending messages via a network has transformed into the most low-cost forms of direct marketing. In 1978, Thuerk sent an email to 400 users via Arpanet. (Developed under the U.S. Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), ARPANET was the network that became the blueprint or basis for the Internet). With the introduction of internet, in 1991 come a new way of mass communication. Read The evolution of email marketing at smartinsights
Most e-mail marketers are aware of the fact that no other medium offer the advantages that email brings to the marketing arena. Successful and smart e-mailers quickly see the value of email marketing straight out of the box.
Automation. Email automation is an exciting and effective advantage, if you are not already; consider using email automation tools in campaigns to nurture your leads. The idea is to have an automated email campaign that begins with a trigger, such as completing a “request information” form. Then, from there, the recipient receives emails based on a pre-set schedule, such as day, date and time, etc. The email messages are prewritten, and recipients are on their own schedule based on when they signed up or added to the list. The ideas are endless on how to use email automation.
Personalisation. Personalising your emails make them inviting and friendlier. Aberdeen research showed that personalising emails results in a 14 percent increase in Click-through rate, and that emails with personalised subject lines are 26 percent more likely to be read.
Email Marketing Challenges for Marketers
Research suggest, the number of business emails sent each day is staggering, over 200 billion and it is only due to continue rising. However, how many business emails sent each day are actually generating a response? Getting your email past spam filters has been and is still a key concern, for email marketing campaigns. On average, over 30 per cent of business emails are blocked or filtered, classified as spam by Internet Service Providers. If an email is classified as spam, the response rate potential diminishes. You have to ensure that your emails avoid the junk mail filters. There is a deference however, between sending email to consumers compared to businesses.
Email delivery ability is crucial to the success of every email marketing campaign. If you are managing your own email campaigns via in-house software, is advisable to consider checking all your email content against filers, tailoring your content for image blocking and encouraging your customers or subscribers to add you to their personal whitelists. However, is not impossible to deliver email campaigns on your own without extensive support from experts. There is no need to outsource your email marketing activity to get deliverability, although doing so will help you take the burden away from your marketing department.
Building a Successiful List for your Email Marketing
A straightforward and relatively quick to implement would be putting an email opt-in requirement on the pricing page. Time wasters will be dicouraged because they have to opt-in before they can access the price list. Hence,
You can adopt email marketing into your advertising plan to tap into the opportunities provided by the digital medium to connect and interact with your consumers cost-effectively. However, due to stiff competion for consumer attention, you must strive hard to make your digital content relevant and interesting to draw optimal consumer attention in competitive online marketing environment today. Email characteristics have significant influence on consumers’ responses towards email newsletters, the design of the content including layout, could substantially increase the click-through rate. Click-through rate of an email newsletter is the ratio of total number of clicks to the total number of recipients who received it successfully expressed as a percentage.
Consumer attention should be the outmost consideration in designing your interactive digital contents. Users tend to scan through the email newsletter starting from ‘left’ region as compared to ‘right’ region, thereby drawing their responses more to the links placed in left region. Links placed in the “left” region can elicit higher consumers’ response than those placed in the “right” region in terms of click-through rate. Then, readers’ attention shifts to the right region of email newsletter, where in-depth processing of information is occur; furthermore, pay special attention to email other characteristic, such as the number of images, email size, link locations, number of links and subject line length. Marketer Jay Baer’s Convince & Convert blog reported that 35 percent of people open emails based on subject line. Restrict your email newsletter to not more than 18 images and 9 links.
It is also vitally important to divide your newsletter into four quadrants, labelled as north–east (top-right), north–west (top-left), south–west (bottom-left), and south–east (bottom-right) for first, second, third, and fourth quadrant, respectively. To stand out in your recipient mailbox, branded and well-designed marketing emails should do the trick. Storytelling works well here when done right, but emails should not be lengthy as the aim is to point your customer to your website for more information. Lastly do not forget strong Call to Action such as apply, visit, call, request information, etc., without confusing the recipients.
Most people love the convenience of email, but hate the way it consumes their day. Constantly bombarded by mass media, voicemail, Tweets, Facebook messages, and emails all day, every day and yet, we have to filter these messages to stay focused and productive. Stop and think about the emails you received today, how did you handle them? Probably you deleted without reading them because of the assumption of the sender. You scan the subject line, make a split-second determination, you skim through quickly to see if is worthy reading further such as reading whole email, clicking a link, or opening an attachment. Now visualise emails that you always open, read, and act on. What makes them special? Can you get onto your customers’ “must-read” list?
Email Marketing Best Practices
One of the key factors in email marketing is allowing your prospects to either opt-in or out. Email marketing with permission is highly effective. This means your prospects have previously agreed to be contacted for marketing purposes. When a box is checked on an e-mail and the consumer must “uncheck” the box to not receive future emails that are opt-out. In opt-in the box is unchecked and must be checked to start receiving communications. In Europe, EU Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC) require all recipients to have opted in to receive marketing communications (regardless of channel including Facebook and twitter). Failure to operate within the legal confines could result in your business being hit with hefty finesClick Here
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