Do you ever wonder why those creepy guys that used to knock on your door, presenting you a new set of kitchen knifes, disappeared?
You should thank R.S. Tomlinson for creating the e-mail! Sales and marketing moved to a new era, and email marketing became one of the most powerful communication tools ever used. Find out what you need to know about email marketing and why it is a great tool for businesses!
You may not know this, but e-mail existed even before the Internet was available. The first type of e-mail is considered the messages exchanged between two users of the same computer.
Ray Tomlinson invented the first network email application in 1971, but only in 1993 the large network service providers seized the opportunity and started connecting their e-mail systems to the Internet. Back then, you could have emails sent only to users connected to your provider. But that inconvenient didn’t last too long, and in a few years everybody was sending e-mails all over the planet.
Where there are people, offers and demands, communication and trends… marketers arise! What have they done? Took the “e-mail” and added “marketing”. There you go… now you have email marketing. Honestly, this is one of the greatest inventions that they could have put to great use! Used smartly, e-mail marketing is not spamming! It’s an excellent way to build strong relationships with current and potential customers, maximize the retention rate, add significant value to integrated marketing campaigns.
Main benefits that come from using email marketing:
- Cost effective. You probably know that marketing campaigns can be very expensive. E-mail marketing is the most you can get within a limited budget. It’s the lowest cost per contact that you will ever find!
- Targeted. You know exactly where your message is going to and you can target as deep as you want to. You can pick gender, age, country/city, occupation, etc. All you need is a reliable database.
- Customizable. Make the best out of an e-mail! There is no need to customize for every person in part; you can get away pretty easily, by customizing on a mass scale.
- Measurable. This is one of the simplest ways to measure your reach. You can know who opened your e-mail, who read it, how many people accessed your links (if you suggested links), how many of them placed an order, etc.
Types of e-mail marketing:
- Transactional e-mails. This type of e-mails is also qualified as Relationship Messages. It relates to the purchases you need to do through e-mail. For example: you want to buy something, you have to create an account, set a password, place the order then confirm it through your e-mail, you receive your order’s status and receipt.
- Direct e-mails: advertising/promotional e-mails. These types of e-mails are very similar to the flyers left in the post mail. Promotional e-mails follow a specific purpose and include a Call to Action message.
- Newsletters. This is pretty simple: news + letters => newsletters. The idea is that newsletters are great for keeping a close relationship with the customers and inside information may also create a trust climate. They are also a great client retention technique.
- Emails to suppliers. Using e-mail as a communication channel with your suppliers could be very helpful when you want to have a look at old conversations, what details did you discussed, were the terms of the agreement respected and so on.
- Communication with Affiliates. The same principle goes here. Important conversations should be very easy to find within e-mail archive.
One of the biggest inconvenient is that e-mails servers can reject the e-mails sent and also filter them. It depends a lot on the server’s policy, but also on the legislation applied in a specific area.
Marketers must be extremely careful not to violate international spam regulations because they could be sued. Among the best-known regulations are “Canada Anti-Spam Law” (CASL) from July 2014, European Union Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications from 2002 and United States CAN-SPAM from 2003. Before starting an e-mail marketing campaign, you should take a look at these…it could be useful.
E-mail marketing is a great opportunity for staying in contact with your current clients, helping you with the purchase process, letting clients know in which stage their order is, receiving feedback, etc. But you can also attract new clients with this cost effective method.
The only thing that you have to remember is that the cost of getting it wrong is also very high; so don’t start sending e-mails without planning an e-mail marketing campaign suited for your specific needs.