The ubiquitous appeals of e-mail marketing

When most people think about e-mail marketing it conjures up images of unscrupulous con-men, people peddling all kinds of strange pharmaceuticals and spamming. However the reality can be something quite different and if a little thought is applied correctly it is also a must for any modern online marketing plan. Below I have listed 4 different types of e-mail that can be utilised to run a successful campaign.

- Postcard e-mails
These are short and often visual mail shots designed to be quickly scanned over by the recipient. Their main purpose is to make a quick announcement or a call to action statement.

- Press releases
This allows you to keep existing customers and the media up to date with any notable changes within your business or industry and to also keep them informed of any new product launches.

- E-brochures
Simply this is what it suggests; an electronic brochure focusing on latest product releases, special offers and to promote your best sellers with relevant links to the pages within your website and the corresponding product codes. You can also use this as a way to distribute tokens to the prospect that allow a discount.

- Newsletters
This is a handy tool to build up relationships with existing customers and to generate a sense of goodwill. For the best impact with these types of e-mail you should always try to put interesting information and useful advice into a newsletter, and avoid trying to openly sell your products.

So, as you can see from the examples above, e-mail marketing is something to be taken seriously not only as a way to generate new business but also to retain the loyalty of existing customers. This is especially true if you consider that many industry leaders believe that it is by far the one form of marketing that generates the best results in terms of ROI, as it is relatively simple and cheap to run yet it can bring some very handsome rewards.

However, there are some important points you need to take into consideration before you embark on a full blown campaign.

1) Make sure the addresses you are planning to contact came from a reputable source and have relevance to what type of e-mail you want to send out – you don’t want to get a bad reputation for blatantly spamming.

2) Always use a real e-mail address to send them out and one that can be replied to. That way people can send their feed back and unsubscribe if they wish.

3) Immediately remove anyone from the list that asks to be taken off and also any addresses that bounce straight back. Keeping the mailing list as up to date and tidy as possible is an essential part of running a campaign.

4) Put tracking onto the links wherever possible so that you can see who responded favourably to them and which ones were the most popular. This will give you invaluable information when considering how to run future campaigns.

5) Make sure the subject line isn’t deceptive and relates in someway to what the e-mail is about. This doesn’t mean you can’t put something clever or catchy but you do want the recipient to get an idea of what it is about. If they still don’t click on it then your tracking will tell you that they weren’t interested anyway. Remember: you want to target the ones that are.

On top of all these points though, the main thing to remember is that the type of mail shot you send out should fit the bill for the type of demographic you wish to target. It is no good sending out a monthly newsletter to someone who may never have heard of your company let alone purchased any of its products. However, because it is relatively simple to keep a tab on results then don’t be afraid to try new things or look at it from another angle if you think it will work.

At the end of the day we are only limited by our imagination. The hard and fast rule should always be to put yourself into the shoes of the person receiving the e-mail and consider how it could potentially benefit them if they were to open it, whether it may be to save money, learning about a new service or getting some really helpful advice.

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