E-mail marketing is one of the most powerful elements in your digital marketing toolbox. It lets you communicate easily with your customers on a personal level through a universally accepted digital medium. Choosing the right approach for your e-mail marketing communications is, of course, the key. Unsophisticated mass-marketing techniques, or anything that smacks of e-mail spam, are likely to be ignored, that's if they make it to your prospect's inbox at all.
Naturally, as e-mail started to become integrated into our business and personal lives, so the mass marketers turned their attention to the new medium. Junk paper mail became junk virtual mail. But whether it's online or in the 'real world', if your business becomes associated with streams of junk mail (or spam) it will destroy your credibility. People will either ignore your electronic missives or filter them out before they even arrive.
Despite the proliferation of spam and the fact that most people's inboxes today are bursting with irrelevant and unsolicited messages, email can still be used as a beneficial and effective marketing tool that delivers real value, both to your customers and to your business.
The truth is, many customers will welcome regular e-mail communications from your business, in the same way as they may welcome the occasional traditional or 'snail' mail offering a money-off voucher for their favorite store. They'll open an e-mail containing a newsletter or promotion from you, as long as they recognize your brand, are expecting to receive communication from you, and are confident it will contain something of value to them. The key is to make these messages relevant and interesting for your chosen audience; fail in that, and unfortunately your message is destined for the virtual recycling bin.
E-mail marketing is a fusion of marketing savvy and imaginative copy. In its simplest form, it's an e-mail sent to a customer list that usually contains a sales pitch and a 'call to action'. This could be as simple as encouraging the customer to click on a web link embedded in the e-mail. Some examples of e-mail marketing campaigns are:
1. a hotel promoting a special summer discount;
2. a recruitment company informing business clients about a free seminar;
3. a gadget store offering a money-off code to be used at its online checkout;
4. a fitness centre offering members a special printout voucher that entitles the bearer to bring a friend along for free;
5. a beverage company encouraging people to download a game that integrates into the user's Facebook or MySpace profile.