Using Email Marketing Effectively

Using Email Marketing Effectively
Using Email Marketing Effectively Email can be a highly effective way to win new customers and to grow and capitalise on your relationships with existing customers. It's not all about the hard sell: if you think creatively, there are lots of different ways you can use email to contribute to your bottom line, from direct promotions to messages that build loyalty and brand awareness.

There are lots of advantages to email marketing over direct marketing, not just the obvious elimination of production and postage costs. A lot of us sit at our computers all day at work, constantly checking and re-checking our emails, and so any promotional email we've been sent quickly gets noticed; what's more, it stands a good chance of being opened and read because we know it'll probably only take us a few seconds to scan and we can easily junk it if its of no interest. And emails can reach us anywhere, at any time, whether we're away on a business trip or taking an extended vacation.

Also, because it's so easy to opt in or out of marketing lists, or subscribe and unsubscribe for newsletters, many of us are willing to sign up for emails that might be of interest to us, meaning they can be made highly relevant. Ease of use is also important in converting your marketing into a sale – if you are trying to encourage people to buy a product and all they have to do is click on a link to take them direct to your online ordering service, then you are making it much easier for them than if you send them an order form by direct mail which they will then have to fill in and put in the post.

Crucially, email marketing gives you the ability to track the success of your campaigns. Click-throughs and site impressions can be easily measured, meaning you can figure out what you're doing right and what you need to change next time.

You can promote you company and your products via email in many different ways. The most obvious is the simple sales pitch – an email advertising a sale or special offer. This should typically be designed to maximise clarity and have a quick, bold impact.

Email is also a good vehicle for competitions. Many of us are willing to spend a couple of seconds filling in our details online in the hope of winning something, so by including a competition in your mail-out, your company can raise brand awareness, promote its products, and acquire contact details for someone who might be a valuable new customer.

Catalogues can be easily and cheaply sent out on email, and browsed in downtime between tasks.

Importantly, while they might not result in immediate sales, email newsletters are a good way of reminding people about your company, alerting them to any new products, and building brand loyalty. They should include a mix of content, with directly promotional material taking second place to more general relevant news-type pieces.

In fact, every email you send to a customer can be thought of as a marketing opportunity, from confirmation that their online registration has been successful to transactional emails after they've ordered a product from your online store – all emails should be visually appealing, reflect your brand identity and encourage customers to visit your site or purchase from you again in the future.

Whatever type of message you're sending, it's vital that it finds its way to the right people – to people who will be interested in what you have to say, and to email addresses that work. Make sure that you have a targeted, up-to-date mailing list that you can use in mail outs. If you don't, can help you get started. It's quick to register, and its lists are updated every six months.

Emails, used wisely, can be an persuasive and cost-effective form of marketing. Keep them targeted, think creatively, and watch your business grow!