How to Harness Email Marketing’s Most Effective Assets

email_specialist_imageSending email newsletters is a cheap, effective method of advertising. It offers a lot of advantages over direct mail or print advertising, such as:

Email marketing has a high return on investment

Direct mail pieces can be a few cents to dollars apiece, but an individual email costs a fraction of a penny. A good, effective ESP like Mission Suite costs as low as $10-50 per month for an average-sized campaign, and allows you to schedule your email blasts, so you only have to spend as much time in front of the computer as you want.

Email newsletters don’t have to be time-consuming to write; in fact the most effect newsletters are short. Nor do they need expensive animation, flash, video, audio, or even a lot of images. Using too much multimedia in email is a turn-off to readers who block it or don’t like that their mobile devices automatically download it. People want to read email, not look at it; short chunks of text and a clear, well designed HTML format works best.

Email marketing encourages repeat business

Once a customer has made a purchase, you may email them several transactional emails: purchase confirmation, shipping confirmation, and, later, a thank you to ask if the product was received. You can use these transactional emails as an opportunity to interact with previous customers, encouraging return business by including links to your website, related products, social media, and to join the mailing list.

Increase conversions on transactional emails by offering incentives. Include discounts or free shipping on related products or the next purchase, or bonuses for getting friends to Like on Facebook or for getting friends to sign up for your mailing list.

Well executed email marketing is not spam

Since the CAN SPAM Act has outlawed buying and selling email lists and mass mail from free email accounts, more people are becoming accustomed to receiving opt-in, interest-related email newsletters that they actually read on their phones during their commute or in line at the grocery store.

The email box is a personal domain, and customers like feeling that they’re getting insider information. People are increasingly on-the-go; even teens are reading email on their phones. If you offer varied, personalized information that goes beyond your brand, customers will continue to read your newsletter.

You can experiment with nontraditional advertising

Internet trends are constantly evolving. Since email is cheap to send, innovation is as possible as your ideas are. There’s a lot of market research that has created guidelines about message length, link colors, and how to use multimedia, but if you think something new will work with your readers, run an A/B test to see if it raises your open rates. You may be the next email marketing innovator.

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