Email Marketing for Business

Getting Started with Email Marketing

No matter what stage your company is in, attracting more customers is one of the fundamental challenges for a business. For decades, companies have relied on direct mail marketing to increase business by offering coupons, advertising sales, or just informing potential customers of their existence. Although this method can be successful at reaching the masses, it is becoming increasingly more expensive with high printing and postage costs. Now, with email marketing there is a way to communicate to your potential customers instantly while being cost-effective and environmentally friendly at the same time.

Technically defined, this method of advertising is a form of direct marketing that uses email to distribute business newsletters, promotions, advertisements, and fundraising materials to subscribers. The email marketing service review staff at Email-Marketing-Options.com promotes this technique for several reasons, but primarily because it helps customers get to know a brand and the more familiar customers are with a brand the more likely they are to stay loyal to that business.

Check out success stories from clients of the popular email marketing service Constant Contact.

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More than Just the Ad

Email marketing campaigns serve the same fundamental purpose as direct mail campaigns, to reach out to customers. However, while the direct mail ad is limited to the piece of paper it’s printed on, an email marketing campaign merely begins with the email itself. This form of marketing not only allows you to send an eye-catching advertisement to someone’s inbox, they let you link to other beneficial content on your company’s website and elsewhere. This gives email marketing an exponential advantage over printed ads since there is almost no limit to the amount of information to which a single email campaign can be linked.

Creating Your Own Content

Before you balk at the prospect of creating content on top of running your company, keep in mind that you most likely have lots of insider tips and tricks you have learned just from starting up your own business. HGTV does a great job of this with its on-air ads for new shows by having the hosts give home improvement tips as their show’s commercials. This type of content not only makes the ad seem like less of a sales pitch, it makes the viewer feel that if a show has such pertinent advice in a 30-second ad, then it must be worthwhile to watch the 30-minute show. The same goes for useful tips in emails that engage customers while relaying the overall value of your business.

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If you run out of your own ideas for useful content, you can also include links to outside sources that may be interesting to your readers. For instance, if you own a clothing boutique, you could include photos of new shipments with a link to a fashion blog that recommends similar styles. However, be certain to make sure that the content you have (or link to) in your emails is relevant to your product, service, or business in general – if you’re including information or links that are of no interest to your customers, they’ll likely unsubscribe from your newsletter or, even worse, flag your emails as spam.

Adding Promotions

You could even offer an online or printable coupon to encourage online purchases or foot traffic to your store. Also, make sure to include promotional materials, whether it’s a coupon or just a simple ad promoting new inventory. According to market research company Econsultancy, 42% of consumers prefer receiving promotional emails from companies. That’s right; consumers actually want to have ads in their inbox if there is some type of intrinsic value within them. And by combining promotions with useful (and relevant) content, you can create an extremely potent marketing mix.

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Adding valuable content to your email advertisement campaigns makes customers look forward to the next email and also contributes to increasing your return on investment. In early 2011, email marketing had an average ROI of $43.52 for every dollar spent, and that is expected to grow in 2012. According to one recent survey, the return on investment remains so high largely because “more than 50% of consumers make purchases as a direct outcome of email.” Albeit, the survey reflects consumer activity during the peak shopping month of December, it still reveals email marketing’s potential.

Determining which email marketing service is right for you

There are dozens of email marketing services available to help you get your campaign off the ground and choosing the right service for you can be a daunting task. Email marketing comparison sites such as Email-Marketing-Options.com are an excellent resource to help you find the optimum email marketing service for you. Technophiles may want a service that offers complete control of the source code within the emails while those less comfortable with computers may need a service that offers easily designed templates and a very user-friendly interface. Comparison sites can give you an insider’s look into what each service offers as well as give you an idea of what to look for when selecting an email marketing service. Best of all, these sites often offer free trials and free limited services so you can test out different services before committing to one or expanding your email marketing.

Check out these other free email marketing resources:

 

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Jennifer Beardsley

Content Development & Research Intern at CWHighlights
Jennifer Beardsley, a business technology maven, delves into the world of business technology and writes about what she finds for many small business and tech websites.

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