What is email marketing? Basically the use of email to promote products and/or services. But a better email marketing definition is the use of email to develop relationships with potential customers and/or clients. Email marketing is one segment of internet marketing, which encompasses online marketing via websites, social media, blogs, etc. It is essentially the same as direct mail except that instead of sending mail through the postal service, messages are sent electronically via email.Much of the spam email we all get proclaiming ‘deals’ on this, and that is a good example of email marketing at its worst; the mindless email barrage.
Someone somewhere buys an email list (or several!) and sends an email along the lines of “Get ___________ (the product name) for only $_____! (the amount) to everyone on the list – sometimes repeatedly. All this does is annoy everyone and give email marketing a bad name.
At its best, email marketing allows businesses to keep their customers informed and tailor their marketing messages to their customers.
Email Marketing Tips
1) Build your own list. This has already been mentioned but buying email lists is a waste of time. All you’re going to do by sending unsolicited email is turned off most of the people you’re hoping to turn into customers and run the risk of being labelled a spammer.
2) Adhere to the rules of the CAN-SPAM Act. These rules include having a non-deceptive subject line, a method of unsubscribing, and your name and address at the end of the emails.
3) Don’t just send out ads to buy all the time. Use your emails to build rapport with customers by sharing your expertise and/or that of others, giving them tips and insights they can value. Share information that lets them know more about you and/or your company if it’s interesting.
4) Treat your list well. Remember that the people you’re using email to communicate with have trusted you with their email and name; they deserve your respect. Just as you deserve as a chance to convert them from customers to fans and even evangelists for your brand, people who want to talk about and share your message and get involved in any way they can.
5) Stick to a schedule if you’re doing a newsletter. Sending email on a regular day or days can help your subscribers know what to expect from you and when.