The Benefits of Email Marketing

When you think of mailing to your customers, do you think of bulk mailing rates, stamps, envelopes and/or postcards? Most of us do. Email marketing is still a new idea for most small business and entrepreneur's, but it can be highly effective.

A good email campaign can let you:

  • Get to them cheaper and faster
  • Keep in touch with your customers
  • Provide you with more insight as to it's effectiveness
  • Allow you to customize your message per client
  • Allow you the opportunity to reinforce your image
  • Continue to build your relationships with your customers

With a good email campaign, you spend less time and money than direct mail or print advertising and your message arrives in your customers inbox in minutes, not days or week, allowing you to see results instantly. Because they're cheaper and faster, email campaigns allow you to stay in touch more frequently.

As for a communication channel, email remains the number one online activity of Americans, ahead of Web surfing and using search engines. By adopting a high quality email campaign, you are sending a message to the one place that your customer looks at frequently. Despite spam filters, email marketing campaigns can still deliver good results due to the large amount of time people spend reading and composing email on the computers, PDAs, and cellphones.

Email campaigns are measurable. Unlike conventional mail, when a recipient clicks on a link in your email newsletter, it can be tracked. Your message's open rate (emails opened / [ emails sent - bounces ] ) is a key indicator as to how effective your email campaign is. The typical email campaign has an open rate somewhere between 20-40%. When you compare that to Direct Mailing's response rate of 1-3%, the case for email marketing becomes more compelling.

To start an email campaign, the only required data that you need to collect is your customer's email address. However, collecting your customer's name, and zip code can help boost your email campaign's success. If you find that your messages are going unread, you can try personalizing each message by including the recipient's name in the message body and/or subject line. You can send messages only to recipients in or near a certain zip code to let them know when you'll be appearing in their area, providing the information to only your customers that need it. Email campaigns allow you to communicate with your customers on a more personal level.

Email campaigns offer another opportunity to brand your company. By branding your company, you're shaping the image your customer has of your company. Each email message that you send reinforces that image.

Each message also gives your customers a sense of familiarity and a level of confidence in your company. That level of confidence and familiarity translates into better sales of your products and services. Email campaigns provide a cost effective way to stay in touch with your customers.

But the most important aspect of your email campaign is the content itself. If your message doesn't represent your company professionaly, or it looks too much like spam, it can be a detraction instead of a valuable addition. It is very important that your content be something that your customers want to read and that it represent a real value to them. Otherwise, it will only be discarded.

In conclusion, email campaigns offer a very cost effective means of maintaining contact with your customers that traditional methods can not.