Most often Email marketing comes in the form of newsletters and promotions/ads. Both forms are for either commercial or for fundraising purposes. These two kinds of email marketing function in two different ways: newsletters focus on building long term relationships and repeat business, where as promotions seek and immediate response from the customer either new or old. From a business perspective what more could you want from your customers or clients than to get them to respond to current promotions and build long term relationships.The great news is that today it is easier than ever, for the smallest business or largest business, to utilize Email marketing. Legitimate “Opt in/Opt out” email marketing has become a tool that pretty much anyone, with or without marketing experience, can use with relative ease.
Email marketing solutions, such as Constant Contact, offers inexpensive, legitimate, easy to use Email marketing tools that utilize your email lists. As a first time user of Constant Contact myself, after a few minutes I was creating and scheduling a newsletter without any trouble. You can choose from lots of nicely formatted pre-made templates or choose more advanced options to customize your campaigns to tie into other marketing materials you might have. The Vivid Image newsletter is an example of what can be supported by Constant Contact. Should you run into any trouble Constant Contact, has a plethora of help functions and features that can walk you through lots of issues.
Not sure if you want to use Email marketing…some of the larger Email Marketing services offer a free trial period. You get the same or similar access to program features so try it out and see how it works. Constant Contact, also has a tour feature that takes you through some of the basics that is very informative if you are looking for just some general information.
Like any kind of marketing or advertising Email marketing has its pros and cons.
Some advantages of Email marketing over traditional marketing include:
• Cost: Email marketing is affordable for even the smallest list of customers or clients. Base prices start at about $10.00-$15.00 for up to 500 email addresses in your list.
• High return on investment: When done correctly, Email marketing is often reported as second only to search marketing as the most effective online marketing tactic.
• Fast delivery: All you have to do is hit send and your users have your information almost instantly.
• Easy to track: Users can track bounced messages, un-subscribers, read-receipts, and click throughs among other things.
However, as great as the advantages sound, some disadvantages can include:
• The average reader may have a hard time differentiating between legitimate email marketing and SPAM.
• SPAM filters: Even if you use a legitimate Email marketing company, you can’t control the level of SPAM filtering that might occur with your clients, and your message may never get viewed.
• Choosing the wrong Email marketing company could put your business at risk of being black listed for sending SPAM. Make sure the company you choose to use for your email marketing follows the appropriate Email marketing protocol. A good Email marketing company will have:
o Anti-SPAM and Email marketing best practice policies/ documents
o Are members of the ESPC (Email Service Providers Coalition)
o Have strong connections/partnerships with Internet Service Providers
o Terms of Service
o Violations reporting
o Tools and that prevent you from unintentionally sending SPAM
o Compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003
All in all, Email marketing doesn’t have to seem out of reach or intimidating any longer. Today Email marketing can be a very easy, effective, and quick tool to reach your customers, if done properly. If you have any questions about Email marketing or would like additional information please don’t hesitate to contact Vivid Image.