Lately, email marketing has been getting a lot of bad reputation, to the point of being called spam mail. However, true email marketing is far from being spam. It is a way to connecting and interacting with people at little costs. We tell you what is this form of marketing is all about and the advantages and disadvantages of it.
What is Email Marketing
Think of email marketing as a form of direct mail, just digitised. It is under the umbrella of digital marketing as you would be reaching out to your audience online. The aim of it is to raise awareness and keep the target audience updated with the happenings in the company so that to convert them into loyal customers. It can be used to reach out to new audience outside of your target too.
These emails coming from the company or brand itself usually contain messages about new products, services and offers. They can be generic to inform as many people as possible or more personalised for certain groups. For instance, charity organisations can send out emails informing the masses of an event that is coming soon or retailers can send sale offers to their customers and members.
Cost Effective and Flexible
Email is definitely cheaper as compared to other forms of traditional marketing. The costs are different depending on whether you do it yourself via online services or engage a marketing consultancy. It can range from $200 to $5000. As compared to putting a print ad, the costs can range from $500 to $20 000. The costs are significantly less for email marketing as compared to traditional marketing.
However, the cost of email marketing might seem a lot for a small business but the return of investment (ROI) is around $44 for every $1 spent. That would be a 4400% ROI! This is a cost effective and cheap way to reach out to you customers and clients. Perfect for small businesses who do not have the huge budget to engage in traditional marketing techniques.
It is also much easier and straight forward to track email marketing campaigns as compared to traditional techniques since there are plenty of online analytic tools. You can track metrics like open rate, click-through rate, conversion rate. It would show exactly how many people are interested in the product or service or want to be loyal customers. It is a bit more tricky for traditional marketing as the ads need to have a way to direct the audience online so they can be tracked. Like a unique landing page to track the number of new visitors.
You would be Reaching Out to the Right Audience
With email marketing, you will be able to reach out to the right target audience; people who would be loyal to your company. The nature of proper email marketing is that people willingly give their email addresses and opt-in to your emails. This means that they consent and would want to know more about you and what you offer. These are your potential loyal customers.
This targeted group would understandably be much smaller as compared to mass emailing a large group. However, it can be a good thing. Your marketing can be more personalised and you can interact with your target audience for feedback or surveys. You will get higher customer retention rates as a result.
People are more Likely to Read an Email than a Social Media Post
Indeed, social media marketing is the latest hot technique to get your message across to the masses. However, email marketing is the technique you would want to use to get people to read what you have to say.
Typically, people are always checking for their emails and would be carefully reading them as compared to social media where they can simply scroll past the message. For social media, it can quite restrictive as you have to follow a certain character length for your captions, follow ideal posting timings and boost your posts to reach a wider audience. And once the message is scrolled past, it can be hard for the audience to go back and check it out.
Email marketing is much more personalised and flexible. You can design e-brochures, flyers or event notices however big or small your want. Your message can be as long as you want them to be. The email will forever be in the inbox (unless deleted) so people can go back to it whenever they want. Plus emails are a bit more formal and easier to conduct business at as compared to social media. And of course, emails can be forwarded to other interested parties too.
That being said, social media marketing and email marketing should be used together to deliver generic messages to the masses and more personalised messages to those genuinely interested respected.
Main Problems with Email Marketing
Email Marketing can be Identified as Spam
One of the biggest issues with improper email marketing campaigns is being marked as spam. It can happen in two ways:
The first way is mass emailing everyone in your list where majority of the people are not your target audience. It could be like emailing credit card offers to students who are not earning an income. People will get annoyed and simply delete your email without even opening it. It will waste the money on your campaign and affect your analytic records. People can also warn others of your company due to the nature of the emails.
Another way is that if your email is not well constructed, email service providers can mark it as spam and move it to the spam folder of the user. This means that it is highly unlikely that your target audience would open the email as people would usually ignore whatever that is in there.
You would need to be strategic in your marketing campaigns. Simply do not mass email but rather find your target audience. Also, you would need to make sure that your content in the email is meaningful so that it does not get marked as spam.
People Unable to Open the Email
There could be various reasons to why emails cannot be opened or loaded fully. It could be that the size of the email is too big with too many attachments inside, and it cannot be loaded in slower internet speeds. The email service provider might wrongly flag the attachments as a security threat will not display them straight away. Or that the designs may get cut off in the email.
To mitigate these issues, you would need to ensure that the email is able to load up almost instantly to maintain your audience attention. You may also need to design your email in a way that it can be viewed on both desktop and mobile devices. This could translate to extra costs as you need to find a designer and a copywriter to craft out these emails.
Email marketing can be a great tool to engage your target audience online, if done right that is. Leave a comment below if you have an opinion about email marketing!