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Email Marketing

Introduction to Email Marketing: what is email marketing?

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For hundreds of years, businesses have found ways of being able to advertise their company and products through many
types of media. Advertising is a term used to describe the ways that an institution attempts to persuade people to buy
a good or service that it offers. The institution can be anything from a non-profit organization that needs to raise funds
to a business that sells grocery items. These institutions, whatever their ultimate goal is, use advertising as way to get
themselves recognized and as a way to get people involved. These people they are advertising to are potential customers.

So how do businesses advertise? The short answer is that they do marketing campaigns, but there is so much more to it
than that. There are many different marketing campaigns a business can perform, and how a business chooses the type of
campaign it carries out is highly dependent on the era and media available in that period of history. If you flip through
a magazine, you're likely met with a load of advertisements covering parts of a page, or even an entire page. The same is
true for the daily newspaper you might pick up on your way to work each morning.

We continue to see this type of magazine/newspaper advertising to this day, but think about the other forms of advertising
we encounter. More importantly, think of the media through which we are able to see these advertisements. When we
watch television, the programs we watch are interrupted by commercial breaks for products, services, movie trailers and
a great deal of other things. Films we see in the movie theater have previews for other movies, and there may even be
product placement in the new summer blockbuster hit of the year. In the days when telephone land-lines were the norm,
telemarketers would call to interrupt during dinner. Even our mailboxes get filled with advertisements from a vast array
of businesses offering discounts for a large pizza and the like. These days, another type of mailbox is a key component to
the types of marketing that businesses engage in:

- The Email Inbox

Figure 1 - The Email Inbox

Introduction to Email Marketing

Unlike with direct mail to P.O boxes and mailboxes outside of homes and apartments, businesses do not have to waste
million of pounds of paper to get their advertisements to potential customers. More importantly, with a much larger
number of people having access to the Internet, businesses are able to reach out to a greater number of people using
email marketing. Businesses know, too, that email has become one of the primary means of communication. Of course,
any good marketing campaign utilizes more than one form of media to advertise.

The following ebook will focus exclusively on email marketing and the strategies used to implement it. First, we will cover
some basics of email marketing and provide a broad overview of what to expect throughout the ebook.

What is Email Marketing?

When considering a definition for email marketing, there are a number of ways to define it from the broad to the specific.
Essentially, email marketing is the act of sending out emails to customers, both current and prospective. Here are some
key components to what a successful email marketing campaign does:

  • Direct Email - Emails are sent directly to current and potential customers
  • Retention Email - Frequent and regular emails are sent to current customers
  • Email Placed Ads - Marketing ads are placed within emails sent by others

    What is Email Marketing?

You can think of these components as analogous to marketing by mail. Emails sent directly to current and potential
customers are like flyers and envelopes that fill a mailbox. Frequent and regular emails are like printed newsletters sent
to regular and loyal customers. Marketing ads within emails are like marketing ads within a newspaper or magazine.

Let's look further at each of these components.

Direct Emails

Receiving direct emails is like receiving a flyer from a local business. In both instances, the business may be providing an
announcement for something, like a special deal going on for a limited time or a coupon for one of their products or services.
The difference between the two is that with email, you are not confined to receiving mail solely from local businesses.
The Internet is a place where the market and competition has become global, and everybody wants to compete for you.

It might sound a bit intimidating, but in recent years, businesses have become better when it comes to marketing to the
right demographics, especially with email marketing. They have also become better at how they market using emails.
Laws against SPAM and customer sensitivity have become key elements to how businesses handle their email marketing
practices. These are two of the most important elements to consider when implementing your email marketing strategy.

The distinctive element of direct email, as opposed to retention emails, is that direct email is a call to action on the part
of the customer. Let's say you receive an email from a business. You may or may not have heard of them, and you may
have never signed up for any of their email lists. Businesses can obtain these lists by buying them, but we will get to that
in a later chapter. Either way, the business sees you as a potential customer and wants to entice you with a good deal. You
may even have done business with them before and they want to do business once more, offering something else you
might be interested in or, better yet, a better deal than before.

Direct Emails

The purpose of direct emails is to be promotional. They might offer you a product or service, or they ask you to sign up
for something. Potential customers are more likely to get these types of emails.

Retention Emails

retention emails

As we stated before, retention emails are the equivalent of printed newsletters. While still promotional in nature, retention
emails attempt to retain customer loyalty by offering the customer something. This could range anywhere from coupons
to up-to-date news on the latest products. These types of emails are sent out on a regular basis. It could be a weekly or
monthly basis, but usually the business tries to send out emails weekly (or even more frequently) to retain customer interest.
Why are these emails so frequent? Like we said before, the Internet is a global marketplace and competition place.

Consumers have loads of information to look at and choose from. Additionally, the attention span of consumers is short,
and you have to hold on to that attention span. One study reported that 55% of subscribers to promotional emails and
newsletters delete the material without even looking at them. As we will discuss further in the book, a successful email
marketing campaign will have a moderate use of retention emails as well as good content use within an email.

Email Placed Ads

Another way to advertise via email is to get some advertisement space within another email. Many times, businesses that
send out retention emails (newsletters) reserve space for other businesses to place their advertisements.

This can be beneficial for you as a business, especially if you have studied the demographic that you are marketing to
and the potential customers you could gain. Knowing what other types of businesses your potential customers go to and
listen to is a great advantage because it allows you to strategically place your ads in emails likely to get clicks. It is also a
benefit for the business with which you have an ad placed because they will know that their emails are being read and
they can also do a bit of analytics work to determine where their customers are clicking.

Does Email Marketing Work?

Simply put, yes, email marketing works. Of course, there is the stigma of SPAM that keeps people wondering whether
or not email marketing is still effective. Email marketing, just like other forms of Internet marketing like social media
marketing, is fast paced and must be adapted to. Despite sometimes being lumped in with the category of SPAM, email
marketing should still be used as part of an Internet marketing strategy. Here are a few statistics to show that email
marketing does, in fact, work:

  • In a survey by Ecoconsultancy in 2011, 72% of respondents said that email's ROI (Return On Investment)
    was good or excellent. Organic SEO (Search Engine Optimization) was the only Internet marketing
    component that did better.
  • According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing in 2010 was expected to generate $42.08 in
    ROI for each dollar spent. This outperforms other channels of direct marketing, such as printed catalogs or
  • According to a 2010 report by Foresee Results, the second biggest influence to retail website visits was
    through emails. The biggest influence was brand familiarity.
  • In a survey of more than 8,000 local US business owners by MerchantCircle, email marketing was one of
    the Top 3 effective marketing strategies cited by 35.8% of respondents. Social media and search engine
    marketing scored higher.
  • Forbes Media conducted the Ad Effectiveness Survey in February/March 2009, revealing that emails and
    e-newsletters are considered the second most effective tool for conversion generation, right behind SEO.
  • A survey from the Society of Digital Agencies reveals that 70% of brand marketers will plan to invest in
    email marketing for the year 2011.
  • Surveyor Campaigner held a survey in 2010 that said 61% of marketers will raise their email marketing
    levels in 2011, while 33% of marketers will remain at consistent levels in 2011.
  • In 2010, the 9th Annual Merchant Survey asked certain merchants what initiatives they will focus on for
    improving the performance of their websites. With 79%, the top answer cited was "send more targeted
  • Several surveys in 2009 found that merchants are more likely to increase their budgets on email marketing
    and targeting.
  • Veronis Suhler Stevenson has an annual Communications Industry Forecast that, in 2009, said the total
    amount spent on email will be $27.8 billion in 2013, up from $11.9 billion in the year 2009.

As you can see here, many companies put quite an investment in their email marketing campaigns. They are willing to
spend the money because they have seen the return on their investment.

The initial question we ask is "Does Email Marketing Work?" But to understand it even further, what we should ask
ourselves is how email marketing works. There are a few major reasons that it works so well:

  • You can target audiences
  • Your marketing is driven by data (demographics, targeted audiences, email composition, etc.)
  • You can directly sell
  • You are able to build relationships, trust, and loyalty
  • Your marketing and sales are supported through other channels

Email software and services these days allow businesses to target specific demographics for better efficiency when sending
out emails. Additionally, there are even more advanced techniques that can personalize emails for specific people, which
helps build an intimate business relationship with the customer as well as loyalty for the brand.

Your email marketing campaigns can also be monitored once you have sent out emails to customers, both current and
potential. The data can be analyzed in a number of ways, including web analytics, downloads, search inquiries, and visits
to promotional events and offline stores.

Is there a Catch to Email Marketing?

Email marketing is not as simple as sending out a single, standard email to thousands of people on an email list. It involves
planning and designing on your part, and it also involves getting customers to read and take action. It is impossible to
get everyone to read your emails, but you can improve the chances of customers reading them.

Spam: The Big No-No in Email Marketing

Getting customers to react and respond to you involves gaining their trust. If it comes down to one important piece of
advice, it is this: Above all -

Never Send Spam

Never Send Spam

Responsible email marketing is permission-based. Before you even send out an email to a customer, you must have his/
her permission. If not, you can become subject to accusations of spam. Spam is an unsolicited and/or bulk commercial
email sent to thousands of people at once. If you are accused of spam, these things can happen:

  • Your email account/s can be closed
  • Your website can be shut off
  • Your reputation can be damaged

Email marketing can only work if your emails are permission-based. That "permission" is defined as part of the EU
(European Union) Directive 2009/136 on Privacy and Electronic Communication in Europe and the CAN-SPAM
(Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing) Act in the United States. We will discuss this
more in a Chapter 3 when we talk about how to build up email lists.

The provisions of Directive 2009/136 and CAN-SPAM are updated frequently, and the kinks are still being worked out.
Some of the newest updates consider SMS messages to be a form of commercial messaging and must adhere to the same
standards as emails. One's individual's politics and beliefs may differ from what these laws entail, but no matter what, it
is important and essential to adhere to these laws. After all, the penalty for breaking one of these provisions can result in
hefty fines (up to $16,000.00 in the US). This can add up very quickly if multiple penalties occur.

Be Educated

In this introduction, we have shown the basics of email marketing. What we hope to teach is that there is precision in the
way email marketing is handled. A good marketer will know the proper methods to campaign efficiently and effectively,
and this ebook will teach you how to do that..

Email marketing is just like tending a garden. You must give both plants and customers exactly what they need and analyze
what they need. Over time, your techniques will improve and you will yield better results. But first, you must learn the basics.

  1. Introduction to Email Marketing: what is email marketing?
  2. Using Email Marketing Software: email service provider, introduction
  3. Building Email Lists by Quantity: electronic communication, privacy
  4. Building Email Lists by Quality: introduction, list segmenting
  5. Crafting an Email: introduction, getting unread email noticed
  6. Analyzing and Tracking Your Email Marketing Strategy: introduction
  7. Resources: