Email marketing is reported to be the second most-used online marketing tool, second only to search marketing. According to Internet World stats, more than 360 million people use the internet every day. More than half of those people use their email account daily, which means that every day almost two hundred million people open their email. With numbers as huge as those, it’s clear to see why email marketing is so successful. Marketing is a numbers game; the more people who see your sales message, the more sales you will make.
Advantages of Email Marketing
Email marketing has some distinct advantages over traditional direct mail marketing. It’s easier to determine the return on investment for an email campaign, because it is possible to track a customer’s click-throughs to complete the purchase. Also, once the set-up is complete and a list is obtained, it is significantly less expensive to send email than snail mail. Consequently, large email marketing campaigns are more profitable than traditional direct mail campaigns.
Disadvantages of Email Marketing
Email marketing is not without it’s problems, though. A lot of the mail goes undelivered, and even more of it goes unopened. The US Postal Service has delivery success of over 90%, whereas delivery success with email is around 56%. Of the 56%, almost one-third of it is rejected or filtered. Also, large emailing campaigns are subject to anti-spamming laws in the US and elsewhere, and penalties are stiff. In the US, spammer are subject to fines of up to $11,000 per violation. In Europe, it is prohibited to use email addresses for marketing purposes.
How to Run a Safe and Effective Email Marketing Campaign
Start by building your own opt-in subscriber list. In an opt-in subscriber list, subscribers give you permission to mail to them. You offer them an incentive or a premium to join your list, and when they join you send them the premium; usually, a free report or information of some kind. Mail to your list no more than twice a week, no less than once a month. You want to keep your brand and information in front of your subscribers often enough that they remember you, but not so often that they get annoyed and opt-out of your mailings. If you’re having a sale or special event of some sort, or course send a mailing to your list, but don’t go over the twice a week limit; you’ll risk losing your customers.
Automate the Email Process
Building a database of subscriber email address, sending each one their sign-up premium and two emails a week can be quite time-consuming, especially for large lists. The best way to build and market to your mailing list to set up an autoresponder account. An autoresponder account will automatically place your sign-ups into a database, send out your sign-up premium, and mail each name on your list your offers on a pre-determined schedule. An autoresponder account frees you up to to perform the daily tasks of running and promoting your business, and automates the mundane mailing process. There are many autoresponder companies available; two of the most popular are Aweber and GetResponse.
Here a six tips for maximizing an email marketing campaign:
- Use a subject line that offeers a compelling benefit or creates curiosity
- Offer real value to your subscribers; “get our newsletter” doesn’t cut it anymore. Everyone has a newsletter.
- Keep it short and to the point. Don’t waste their time.
- Don’t mail too often, or you may find your “unsubscribe: numbers climbing.
- Mix it up. Don’t “sell” in every email. Be entertaining and informative as well.
- Use a reliable email provider; don’t send from your own website.