What are the benefits of email marketing?
Email marketing is essentially the electronic version of direct mail marketing. Instead of sending mail promotions – such as e-newsletters and special deals – through the post, messages are posted electronically via email.
Email marketing is an effective tool to use as part of a long-term strategy to retain connection with existing customers, according to David Byatt, Marketing Directory of Bunbury-based marketing agency, Moshi Moshi.
However, email marketing is neglected by most businesses, especially small businesses.
“Businesses spend more time acquiring new customers – which is much harder than retaining existing customers,” he says.
Email marketing allows you to send out targeted and personalised information. It’s also a good way of connecting customers with your website and increasing inbound web traffic.
The caveat is that the commercial emails are most effective when they’re distributed responsibly – namely only to those people who have explicitly consented to receiving the information.
While spam has given email marketing a bad name, the Spam Act 2003 has largely reduced the amount of unsolicited commercial electronic messages (email and text messages) sent from within Australia.
Types of systems
There are two types of systems to send commercial emails – stand-alone programs and integrated components of platforms, such as web content management systems, customer relationship management systems and e-commerce platforms.
These systems allow you to create rich-looking email content that acts as a teaser for more information published on web pages. In essence, you’re capturing people’s attention in emails to lead them to information that’s published on web pages.
So, for example an e-newsletter email will contain the headline, an image and a short summary of each article. As the recipient of the email, you can choose to click on a link in the email that takes you to the full article published on a web page. Like a print magazine, editorial in the email can be accompanied by advertising.
Likewise, a catalogue-type email may display a series of products that have links to web pages with more information or to an electronic order form.