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[ What is Email Marketing? ] By Mark Brownlow
Email marketing is, as the name suggests, the use of email in marketing communications.
What sort of email?
In its broadest sense, the term covers every email you ever send to a customer, potential customer or public venue. In general, though, it's used to refer to:
- Sending direct promotional emails to try and acquire new customers or persuade existing customers to buy again
- Sending emails designed to encourage customer loyalty and enhance the customer relationship
- Placing your marketing messages or advertisements in emails sent by other people
Give me an analogy...
You can think of these three main forms of email marketing as the electronic equivalent of:
- Direct mail
- Sending people a print newsletter
- Placing advertisements in subscription magazines and newspapers
Why is email marketing so popular?
Email marketing is so popular because:
- sending email is much cheaper than most other forms of communication
- email lets you deliver your message to the people (unlike a website, where the people have to come to your message)
- email marketing has proven very successful for those who do it right
For more information, see the article Why do Email Marketing.
Let's briefly review the three types of email marketing:
1. Direct email
Direct email involves sending a promotional message in the form of an email. It might be an announcement of a special offer, for example. Just as you might have a list of customer or prospect postal addresses to send your promotions too, so you can collect a list of customer or prospect email addresses.
You can also rent lists of email addresses from service companies. They'll let you send your message to their own address lists. These services can usually let you target your message according to, for example, the interests or geographical location of the owners of the email address.
2. Retention email
Instead of promotional email designed only to encourage the recipient to take action (buy something, sign-up for something, etc.), you might send out retention emails.
These usually take the form of regular emails known as newsletters. A newsletter may carry promotional messages or advertisements, but will aim at developing a long-term impact on the readers. It should provide the readers with value, which means more than just sales messages. It should contain information which informs, entertains or otherwise benefits the readers.
3. Advertising in other people's emails
Instead of producing your own newsletter, you can find newsletters published by others and pay them to put your advertisement in the emails they send their subscribers. Indeed, there are many email newsletters that are created for just this purpose - to sell advertising space to others.
Where's the catch?
This all sounds great of course. Imagine how much cheaper it is to send a message to thousands of email addresses, rather than thousands of postal addresses!
OK, now that you're armed with some brief background information, browse the rest of this site to find the resources you need to develop a better understanding of how email marketing can work for you and your (potential) customers. Or to speed tings up, try our recommended email marketing solutions - 4emaillists eMail Marketing. 4emaillists as an innovative company provide everything you need to start your email marketing campaign quickly and easily.