The Complete Guide to Email Marketing – Email marketing is a method of direct product promotion using emails as a means of communication between the customer and the advertiser.
Email marketing types
There is a tendency to identify all the commercial emails we receive with Email marketing. Nevertheless, by definition Email marketing refers to the following 3 types of electronic mail:
- In sending emails from merchants to customers for the purpose of reconnecting and rewarming relationships, as well as reselling products or services;
- In adding advertisements to emails sent by companies to their customers, with the aim of approaching and acquiring new customers, and
- In sending emails containing company news and developments with the aim of informing customers and redirecting them to the company’s website for commercial purposes.
A brief history of Email marketing
The use of Email marketing began in the early 1990s, when the internet began to become accessible to a large portion of people.
Gradually, both advertisers and website owners who promoted products through emails realized that it was a very easy and efficient way of both advertising itself and getting in touch with their customers on a global level.
In fact, in 1995 in the US, the percentage of electronic advertising exceeded conventional advertising by mail for the first time in history. Thus, Email marketing soon became the new way of advertising.
Why should I include Email marketing in my business strategy?
Although advertising mails are an older medium compared to more recent and popular methods of advertising that have been exploited through social networking channels (Facebook, Twitter), Email marketing is undeniably the Number 1 advertising strategy.
Email marketing is almost “forced” to be included in a company’s advertising strategies. Some of the reasons this happens are as follows:
- The cost of implementing an email campaign is very low.
- Mail is an interpersonal form of communication, as it is sent directly to each recipient personally and does not have the general reference of a campaign.
- An email account is the most basic means of online networking for a user, it is kept intact for long periods of time and for this very reason, it presents the lowest abandonment rate.
Email marketing rules and codes of ethics
Like any commercial activity via the Internet, Email marketing also involves several risks. The biggest risk is that your company will be classified as a company that sends spam mail to recipients whose email addresses it has acquired without the relevant approval.
With the evolution of this particular advertising strategy, rules and codes of ethics began to develop in parallel, with the result that Email marketing nowadays is now at its peak and is subject to basic rules that all advertising emails must adhere to. They are:
- the legal way to obtain each recipient’s email address
- the ability for the recipient to stop receiving promotional emails at any time
- the sending of non-abusive content
- all shipping addresses are valid and identified
In any case, large and serious companies try to combat this phenomenon, as Email marketing is a strategy in which they invest financially, while it is the main way of promoting their services.
One of the most serious violations is purchased customer email lists. It is possible that in your search, you will come across several websites that sell email addresses, or you will be tempted to add recipients to all the emails you receive in an email “chain”.
Emails that are forwarded from one user to another and end up including a large number of email addresses are characterized as chain mails. Both of the aforementioned examples should in any case be avoided.
The companies that undertake the sending of the emails for you, treat this process very strictly, and can stop working with you immediately once they find that you have resorted to the above practices.
A simple rule of thumb for defining an email as spam is “anything that comes to me by email without my personal approval.”
Therefore, the right way to get your customers’ emails is to ask them when they purchase a product or service, or enable them to self-subscribe to your advertising lists.
Create an email marketing strategy
In addition to the recipient list, there are several other points of care that you should consider when integrating Email marketing into your business strategies.
Ease of registration: Make the registration process easier for users who wish to receive the content you send via email. To achieve this, the registration form should:
1. be directly accessible in several parts of your website
2. can be completed easily and quickly, without asking the user for many registration details.
Interesting content: Make sure that emails contain material that your recipients will find interesting and useful. This will ensure loyal customers who will stay subscribed to your mailing list to receive your future updates.
Signup Incentive: Give someone who isn’t already a member of your mailing list an incentive to sign up. You can achieve this with offers, coupons and contests, or even by sending them segmented content that they will only have full access to once they sign up.
Interactivity: Give your recipients the ability to send you feedback and contact you if they have a question or request about the content you sent them. Any weakness or difficulty in the recipient’s attempt to contact you can create irritation for them and work negatively in your effort to get loyal customers.
Information flow: Include functionality that will allow the user to easily share the content you send them. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ buttons can make your email more user-friendly in trying to promote your content to a wider audience and lead to additional signups from users who didn’t have access to it in the first place.
Read Also: What is Mailchimp and How does it Work
Include links in your emails that send to content you have post on another of your company’s networking media, for example an article from your company blog, to increase traffic to it.
Conversely, you can increase your mailing list subscribers by leveraging the community that follows you on one of the other social media.
Unsubscribe: Give recipients the ability to unsubscribe at any time. Otherwise, it is most likely that your mail will be marked as spam.
12 Best Email Marketing Software
- Zoho Campaigns.
Best Email Marketing Services to develop a mail marketing strategy
To get the best possible results from this strategy, it is recommended to use professional tools to send your email. Examples of such services are: MailChimp, Constant Contact, CampaignMonitor, and iContact.
All the above services give you the possibility to configure the content of your emails as you wish, to manage your list of recipients, while providing you with a lot of statistical information (e.g. how many opened the email, which links had the most visits, etc. ).
Finally, due to the strict spamming policy they follow and the cooperation they maintain with email providers (yahoo, google etc), they protect your mail from being marked as spam, giving a professional profile to your effort.