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The most effective online sales tactic – Email Marketing!

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Did you know that email marketing is the most cost effective method of reaching out to prospective customers and telling them about your product, no matter what your business is?

Email marketing, as the name suggests, is the use of email in marketing communications. It could be a promotional email that you send, to acquire new customers or even to persuade existing customers to buy again; it could be an email encouraging loyalty and enhancing your relationship with your customers. It could even be your marketing message or ad placed in emails sent by others.

Email marketing is the online equivalent of sending people Direct mail, sending them print newsletters and pamphlets or placing advertisements in subscription magazines and newspapers.

Do you wonder if it is outmoded in today’s ever-changing online and marketing environment?

It still works and how!
Yes, the fact is that today, more than ever – with almost everyone facing a financial crunch and juggling tight budgets – email marketing rules as the  most cost effective method.
Here are some numbers:

  • A survey of online marketing managers at the end of 2011 found 89.2% said email is the same or more important to their overall marketing strategy.
  • 40% of marketers researched in a recent MarketingProfs survey identified that email marketing gives the highest return-on-investment (ROI).
  • According to a survey from StrongMail, 55.5% of marketing executives say they plan to increase spending on email campaigns in 2013.
  • Interestingly, a 2012 survey of consumer channel habits and preferences found 77% preferred to receive promotions via email!

High returns on investment (ROI)
Email marketing gives you the maximum return on your investment compared to other marketing tools. The cost of sending emails is low – it costs only 8 to 10 paise per email – compare this with courier charges for direct mail. With email, not only do you save on printing and delivery costs, but your media costs are zero too, unlike in newspaper or online advertisements. Low costs obviously make it easier to get a high return on your investment.
A key benefit of email marketing which also helps you get high ROI is its measurability –  it tells you how well your campaigns worked in terms of direct responses. This lets you adjust your marketing budget and  improve  effectiveness in future email campaigns. You can easily  track the number of emails opened, clicked and bounced. These reports help you weed out useless data and clean up your database so you can minimise wastage and maximise your ROI.

Why marketers prefer email marketing
A high ROI, combined with a host of other benefits that you get with email marketing make it the most preferred channel for marketers.
With email, you can

  • target potential customers precisely, when you have a relevant database.
  • build relationships and cement loyalty
  • keep your target audience informed about new products
  • present news and ideas you might have
  • bring visitors back to your website
  • engage readers and encourage interaction
  • keep your brand on top of your target consumer’s mind

For SME’s, email marketing is the ideal platform in challenging financial situations, when budgets are tight. And there’s no denying that email marketing – planned carefully and managed efficiently – brings in the money. The important words here are ‘planned carefully and managed efficiently’!

The first step – build your database
The first and basic requirement for email marketing is building a list of people who want to hear from you – a relevant database of potential customers. These could be people who have visited your website or store or responded to your advertisements in newspapers or Internet and shown interest in your products. A relevant database can also be created through various social media marketing techniques among interest groups.
You might be tempted to buy a database – never ever do this. You will most likely be sold a spam list. Even if you are lucky and get a clean database, it may not be your target audience. After all, emails must be relevant and provide value to your readers. If they do not, your messages could well end up in the unread pile or worse, marked spam! You could even get blacklisted.

Do yourself a favour
You might want to take help of  software or an agency to take away the hassle of managing address lists,  to get your email delivered effectively and to give you useful reports on the responses.
Take advantage of this very effective marketing technique and do yourself and your business a favour! If your competitors are using email while you’re not, you might be losing that competitive edge. Your competitor could be on top of your prospective customer’s mind, not you!

 

sadhana_karnad_picSadhana Karnad is a research writer at Abhiyan, where she develops engaging content that builds thought leadership and revenue opportunities for clients. A website critic, she reviews Internet properties in terms of design and content. Reach Sadhana via LinkedIn.
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