What is E-mail Marketing?
Email marketing is the practice of sending commercial messages, typically to a group of people, using email. These messages may include promotional content, offers, newsletters, and other information related to a product or service.
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Sending e-mails is another significant medium of online advertising. It requires the direct sending of commercial messages to people in large numbers through e-mail services. These messages may include advertisements or request sales, or donations to build loyalty, trust, and brand awareness.
E-mail marketing helps an organization in the:
- Developing and enhancing the relationship with its existing customers to encourage their loyalty and retention
- Acquiring new customers or convincing the existing ones to buy the products or services offered on the website
- Adding advertisements while sending e-mails to the customers
However, it is essential to use e-mail marketing prudently. Sometimes, with too many e-mail messages and unwanted deliveries, customers may start reacting negatively toward them. Hence, organizations opting for an e-mail marketing program must make sure that the program does not violate laws and allow sending of unsolicited emails, such as spam or junk mail.
Concepts of E-mail Marketing
When opting for e-mail marketing as a medium of online advertising, organizations need to be aware of some related key concepts:
- Permission Marketing
- Mixing Content and Advertising
- Outsourcing E-mail Processing
- Legal and Social Aspects
In e-mail marketing, companies send information related to their products and services to their existing and potential customers. However, not all individuals need to prefer e-mails as the medium of interaction and advertisement. Therefore, an organization must first seek the permission of the intended recipients before sending them such marketing e-mails. This is referred to as permission marketing.
Permission marketing describes how a good relationship can create a successful e-mail marketing campaign between an organization and its customers. It is assumed that an organization can conduct strong e-mail marketing campaigns by developing a mutually beneficial relationship with its customers. This will enable the customers to trust the organization.
In return, the organization can build a trusted database of those customers, who would like to see the organization’s product offerings and have permitted the organization to send them its advertising campaigns via e-mail. For example, newsletters are sent to customers by a company to inform them about upcoming events, schemes, or products.
Mixing Content and Advertising
Nowadays, advertising in its traditional form is no longer relevant, as customers are highly informed and educated. They keep themselves updated on the news and developments about organizations. The Internet allows them to access relevant information as per their requirements.
As a result, they are no longer a captive audience. Instead, they can quit websites at any time if the latter does not provide them with accurate information as needed. Thus, the growing need for relevant information has resulted in the development of content advertising, in which content and advertising are used to gain customer attention and provide them with relevant details.
Organizations are providing instructional and entertaining articles and videos through their websites to hook customers and increase traffic to their websites. In addition, various social networking sites are being used by companies for getting fast and increased responses to their advertisements.
Outsourcing E-mail Processing
Outsourcing involves the obtainment of goods by an organization through third-party vendors. The Internet has given birth to a new trend in outsourcing, known as e-mail process outsourcing. With e-mail becoming a dominant mode of communication today, an organization can outsource its e-mail processes to a hosted e-mail service provider.
The hosted e-mail service provider has the expertise to run an e-mail hosting service for the organization. It provides, maintains, stores, and upgrades the e-mails of the organization.
Some benefits of e-mail process outsourcing are as follows:
- Reduces the costs of in-house systems of e-mail delivery
- Saves large amounts of money due to lowered storage and staffing costs
- Reduces costs for servers, archiving and filtering messages
There are many legal issues and statutory requirements that may impact an organization’s e-mail marketing. An organization should know these laws around Internet marketing to ensure a successful and legal e-mail marketing campaign.
Legally, an organization should ascertain that the information being sent by e-mails is:
- Processed fairly and lawfully
- Utilized for authorized purposes only
- Accurate and relevant
- Processed by individual rights
Criminal penalties are imposed on e-mail marketers, who do the following:
- Send commercial e-mails to an individual without his/her permission.
- Mislead a recipient or an Internet access service about the origin of the sent e-mails.
- Register for multiple e-mail accounts or domain names using false information.