When considering a definition for email marketing, there are a number of ways to define it from the broad to the specific. Essentially, email marketing is the act of sending out emails to customers, both current and prospective. Here are some key components to what a successful email marketing campaign does:
- Direct Email – Emails are sent directly to current and potential customers.
- Retention Email – Frequent and regular emails are sent to current customers.
- Email Placed Ads – Marketing ads are placed within emails sent by others.
You can think of these components as analogous to marketing by mail. Emails sent directly to current and potential customers are like flyers and envelopes that fill a mailbox. Frequent and regular emails are like printed newsletters sent to regular and loyal customers.
Marketing ads within emails are like marketing ads within a newspaper or magazine. Let’s look further at each of these components.
Receiving direct emails is like receiving a flyer from a local business. In both instances, the business may be providing an announcement for something, like a special deal going on for a limited time or a coupon for one of their products or services.
The difference between the two is that with email, you are not confined to receiving mail solely from local businesses. The Internet is a place where the market and competition has become global, and everybody wants to compete for you.
It might sound a bit intimidating, but in recent years, businesses have become better when it comes to marketing to the right demographics, especially with email marketing. They have also become better at how they market using emails.
Laws against SPAM and customer sensitivity have become key elements to how businesses handle their email marketing practices. These are two of the most important elements to consider when implementing your email marketing strategy. The distinctive element of direct email, as opposed to retention emails, is that direct email is a call to action on the part of the customer.
Let’s say you receive an email from a business. You may or may not have heard of them, and you may have never signed up for any of their email lists. Businesses can obtain these lists by buying them.
Either way, the business sees you as a potential customer and wants to entice you with a good deal. You may even have done business with them before and they want to do business once more, offering something else you might be interested in or, better yet, a better deal than before.
The purpose of direct emails is to be promotional. They might offer you a product or service, or they ask you to sign up for something. Potential customers are more likely to get these types of emails.
As we stated before, retention emails are the equivalent of printed newsletters. While still promotional in nature, retention emails attempt to retain customer loyalty by offering the customer something.
This could range anywhere from coupons to up-to-date news on the latest products. These types of emails are sent out on a regular basis. It could be a weekly or monthly basis, but usually the business tries to send out emails weekly (or even more frequently) to retain customer interest.
While still promotional in nature, retention emails attempt to retain customer loyalty by
offering the customer something.
Why are these emails so frequent? The Internet is a global marketplace and competition place. Consumers have loads of information to look at and choose from. Additionally, the attention span of consumers is short, and you have to hold on to that attention span.
One study reported that 55% of subscribers to promotional emails and newsletters delete the material without even looking at them. A successful email marketing campaign will have a moderate use of retention emails as well as good content use within an email.
Email Placed Ads
Another way to advertise via email is to get some advertisement space within another email. Many times, businesses that send out retention emails (newsletters) reserve space for other businesses to place their advertisements.
This can be beneficial for you as a business, especially if you have studied the demographic that you are marketing to and the potential customers you could gain. Knowing what other types of businesses your potential customers go to and listen to is a great advantage because it allows you to strategically place your ads in emails likely to get clicks.
It is also a benefit for the business with which you have an ad placed because they will know that their emails are being read and they can also do a bit of analytics work to determine where their customers are clicking.