The sending of commercial messages, by using email, generally to a bunch of people at the same time is referred to as Email Marketing. In the broader sense of the term any email sent to a present customer or a potential one can be considered to be Email Marketing.
Sending advertisements, requesting business, soliciting sales and/or donations, etc. just by email, are all actions that fall under this umbrella term. Building Loyalty and trust along with creating brand awareness are the basic goals of an email marketing strategy.
|Benefits of Email Marketing||Drawbacks of Email Marketing|
|Messages are delivered very fast||It’s very easy to get branded as a spammer|
|Costs incurred are quite low||You can break the law unknowingly|
|Emails are very easy to use||Readers can get alienated very fast|
|You can personalise the messages||Messages might not actually be delivered|
|Emails tend to enjoy an immediate response||There are a lot of design issues|
|You can track all your movements||Additional resources often need to be put in|
|Your messages can easily go viral|
|You can test strategies at will|
|Email marketing can be integrated into the business easily|
Advantages of Email Marketing
- Speed :
The time that needs to be invested for the creation of an email newsletter is much less than the time required to create advertisement campaigns, etc. using the traditional forms of media. Using email also has the added benefit of having pre-installed templates that can be used, cutting down further on time invested.
- Low Cost :
Using email means you can save up on a lot of money on processes associated with marketing. The platform being digital, it is very cheap. Sending newsletters via email can be extremely cost effective. There are a host of email marketing tools, for example Mailchimp that can be used to assist you in the whole process.
- Ease of use :
Using emails is not a complicated job at all. Hence learning the techniques of building a strategy for the marketing of your business is quite straightforward and does not take long to understand. So in a short period of time you learn to create and send one or more email marketing campaigns for your business.
- Personalisation :
Using the help of an email marketing platform, means that you have the option of dividing your whole list of customers into a number of different segments by the creation of several lists. So you can send custom messages to each different segment of customers. For example segregating male and female customers and sending them offers about their respective clothings, etc.
- Immediate response :
It has been recorded that emails have traditionally enjoyed a considerably high conversion rate and a “click through rate” (Ratio of people clicking on a link to the people in total who actually view the page). This means that emails can be used as a marketing strategy to secure a high return on investment.
- Tracking :
Marketing via email means that every single step carried out is automatically recorded and you can easily access the information later. In fact email marketing platforms are responsible for tracking the total number of emails opened, each and every person who opened any email, the people who did not open any and even every single link clicked.
- Viral :
Anyone can easily forward some information to all of the people on their contact list at the simple click of a button. The spreading of the message is instantaneous and with almost every person on the planet having an email, the coverage opportunities of email marketing are increasing day by day.
- Testing :
Email marketing means your message is deployed at incredible speeds and you have a lot of flexibility. So you have the freedom of testing any strategies and/or content that you want, with customers. (eg. A/B testing, where you can record the “open” along with “click through” rates of two different messages to gage the consumer reaction)
- Integration :
Using email as a marketing strategy can be integrated into businesses, especially smaller ventures, very easily. Like, sending out an offer via email, which contains a link to subscribe to your business and whoever does, gets a discount off of your product. Even before the banners have started printing, email can already spread the word.
Disadvantages of Email Marketing
- Branded a spammer :
Sending too many emails in too little time, especially with content which does not have any new information can have adverse effects on your customer base and people may unsubscribe and/or mark your emails as spam. Some might simply send the emails to the trash without even bother to unsubscribe.
- Breaking the law :
Adopting emails as your marketing strategy means you are almost constantly on the internet. But that means the whole time you have to adhere to the online rules and regulations. Owing to the huge increase in spammers online, the laws governing the internet have become very strict and it is quite easy to break them.
- Alienating readers :
Constantly bugging your audience base with product information and offers on products can quickly lead to your customers getting annoyed and this unsubscribing or disengaging. So it is preferable to send different types of emails. For example messages on recipes to prepare at home, congratulatory messages, etc.
- Delivery issues :
Spam filters, online subscriptions are often changed by people. As a result the emails sent might not actually be delivered to the customer or might become marked as spam and might not get opened. This means reminding customers to update their email settings constantly and learning everything about spam filters so as to not violate their rules.
- Design issues :
Emails can be accessed by users using different gadgets including mobile phones, tablets, computers, etc. So you have no control over the screen sizes and other factors on which the customers view your message(s). The resolution, size, etc. always need to be tested on various platforms to ensure that the content is always visible in the desired manner.
- Resource intensive :
Using email marketing leads to the rise of a host of skills that require time and care to be learnt and perfected. Also you have to carefully plan the creation of a design content in your email marketing strategy. All of this means spending a number of additional resources and should not be taken lightly.
As we can see email marketing has it’s own set of pros and cons. Startups and small businesses often make use of it owing to it’s financial benefits, broad reach, flexibility and speed of message delivery. However, it needs to be handled carefully to avoid disastrous problems and you should understand the whole concept before trying to implement it.