Email marketing is one of the most versatile marketing techniques that a business can use. It can be combined with the SEO campaign of a business in a wide variety of ways. For instance, you can use email marketing to be completely sales oriented or even use it as an informational tool designed to create brand recall.
Definition of Email Marketing
Email marketing, by definition, is the sending of any form of commercial message by a business to a large number of people through email or electronic mail. The common perception of email marketing has largely to do with sending sales based messages that solicit business.
Owing to the misuse of the concept, many people also treat email marketing as a form of spamming. However, email marketing, if used responsibly and with restraint, can become one of the best ways for a business to not only build authority and trust amongst its target audience but also create brand recall and increase customer retention.
Email Marketing & Professional Email Marketing
As per the technical definition, any commercial email sent by a business to a large number of people through email is considered to be email marketing. However, professional email marketing is a concerted effort which is planned and executed in a strategic manner.
The use of professional email marketing means the use of a service or software program for various components of the campaign. The following are some crucial components of professional email marketing:
- List building: List building is a process through which a business can compile email addresses to which they can send their email messages. The process is permission based wherein visitors to a page are given the option of providing their email addresses through a signup box. As soon as the email address is provided, a follow up mail is forwarded to them.
- List management: List management entails the handling of the email lists created through the aforementioned process. This component could involve everything from editing and organizing existing lists to segregating them.
- Rich content integration: A commercial email can be anything from the simple text based emails to the more advanced emails with a myriad of rich content. This rich content could include things like flash, animations, audio, video, and even attachments. The process is usually simple and involves a drag and drop module.
- Strategic campaign formulation: Large scaled email marketing needs to be structured and organized in a strategic manner where specific phases exist. This component would see the use of scheduling emails, basing them on themes and conditions, and tailoring them to synergize with other marketing endeavors.
- Opt out features: Most respectable professional email marketing campaigns would have an opt out feature which would allow the recipients of the emails to choose to not receive the messages.
- Tracking and monitoring: One of the most important aspects of professional email marketing is for the campaign to be tested and fine tuned in an ongoing manner. For this, such campaigns contain a tracking and monitoring component. This component would entail checking bouncing emails, conversion rates etc.
Benefits of Email Marketing
Benefits of email marketing for a business are immeasurable. Consider the following.
- Target based marketing: Email marketing’s biggest benefit is that it is target specific. This means that the process can be tweaked and modified with ease in such a way that it focuses on reaching the target audience.
- Increased communication: Email marketing allows businesses to foster a close relationship with their target audience. Not only is the quality of communication better but also the quantity.
- Financially viable: The costs of initiating and maintaining a sustainable email marketing campaign are extremely low. Usually, it only involves one time payments with little or no maintenance costs.
- Eco friendly: As paper and ink which can have an effect on the environment are not being used, email marketing turns out to be highly eco friendly.