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In its simplest definition email marketing is the use of email to sell products and services. But within this simple definition are various applications that you can tailor to your email marketing needs. To answer the question what is email marketing can be answered as emails sent as direct promotional emails to get new customers and persuade current customers to purchase more of what you are offering; emails designed to build customer loyalty and relationships; and placement of your marketing messages in other people’s emails.
To understand what is email marketing you could think of the answer to what is email marketing as the digital equivalent of sending a print newsletter, sending direct mail, and ads in print magazines and newspapers. Email marketing is a popular marketing strategy because it is cheaper than print, your message is delivered to a target audience, and it has a successful history. There are three main types of email marketing used today.
- Direct email uses promotional messages sent to a list of customers or prospects. Lists of these recipients are collected by you, or you can rent or buy email lists. Direct email is usually targeted to a specific audience.
- Retention email is used to encourage the recipient to take action. Such as visit your website, sign up for a promotional offer, or to purchase goods or services. Newsletters are an example of retention emails if they carry a promotional message. This type of email marketing provides something of value to the reader, not just a promotional message.
- Placement of your marketing message in other people’s emails or newsletters. These newsletters sell advertising space and will include your message for a fee.
Although the answer to what is email marketing may sound simple, it also includes such issues as deign, delivery, getting your message to the right people, measuring and analyzing metrics, and getting permission to send the actual email to people. These issues can be answered by hiring an agency to handle your email marketing efforts. This will free you up to concentrate on your business while the agency takes care of all of the intricacies of your email campaign.
One of the biggest issues about email marketing is permission. You need recipients’ permission to send them emails so you don’t get flagged as spam. Once your messages are flagged as spam, they will end up unopened and unseen. You can also find your email accounts closed down, your website unavailable, and your company’s reputation permanently tainted. In some parts of the world, sending out unsolicited emails may be illegal. Some email marketing experts also feel to build a long term relationship with customers you need their permission to send them marketing emails.
Part of the answer to what is email marketing is what constitutes permission. And one of the biggest debates in the email marketing world is what constitutes permission. One example of permission is an option on your website to have product updates sent to them via email. Another example is a sign up form on your website. Visitors give you their contact information and permission to receive newsletters and emails from you.
If you need help answering what is email marketing, contact us at Mission Suite to take advantage of our free trial offer. We can help you find your target audience, plan, design, and implement your next email marketing plan successfully and get the results you want.