The Notion of Email Marketing
In the era of digitalization, a wide variety of marketing campaigns are spread through various digital channels, and emailing is one of such channels. Some companies view it as “a critical communication link between customers and the brands they trust and love; others see it as a thinly veiled intrusive marketing tool” (Mullen, & Daniels, 2011).
Anyway, email marketing is an integral part of everyday business operation. Consequently, understanding the notion of email marketing is necessary in order to create a successful communication campaign.
There are a number of definitions of email marketing from broad to specific. “Essentially, e-mail marketing is the act of sending out emails to customers both current and prospective” (Mullen, & Daniels, 2011). It is also wise to mention some of the specific functions that the email marketing performs: sending direct emails to both prospective and current customers; sending emails consistently; placing ads to emails sent by other companies. Hence, in general, email marketing is referred to here as sending emails to customers.
How Email Marketing Works
Depending on the purpose as well as the audience of an email marketing campaign, companies use different strategies in designing email communications with the customers. When dealing with email marketing, a number of aspects should be taken into consideration such as timing, consistency, language, and customers’ needs. At the same time, when sending emails, it is also crucial to know how email marketing works in general. “Email software and services these days allow businesses to target specific demographics for better efficiency when sending out emails” (The Internet Marketing Academy, 2011). Besides, today companies possess even more sophisticated technologies which enable them to personalize emails and in such a way build intimate relationships with their customers. In addition, email marketing campaign implies that the process is monitored on a continuous basis with the aim of collecting additional data. Finally, the data is analyzed and the campaign is assessed against the identified performance criteria.
Companies often create emails and send them to their customers without analyzing their recipients first. The approach has proven to be ineffective since every customer is a human being with his or her special needs and concerns. Therefore, a company who is about to create an email marketing campaign has to consider their customers’ wants and preferences. The very first step is usually customer segmentation based on values that the clients share such as self, spiritual, relationships, network, financial, physical, etc.
In order to attract customers’ attention, the emails sent to the customers have to be personalized. Once the company has segmented its current customers or future prospects, it has to create emails appealing to a particular segment. For instance, a company selling insurance policies will normally send the vehicle insurance promotion letters to the owners of vehicles. At the end of the day, the aim of such emails is to boost sales; however, it must be considered that emails, for example, advertizing expensive cars, to people who do not own a car may trigger a negative reaction. Thus, it is vital to create emails for humans, not just send them to everyone without consideration.
How to Create an Effective Email
There are a few tips that can make any email more attractive to the audience. Brands who want to be noticed and not end up in the spam folder are better to be social. In other words, a brand has to humanize itself in a certain way. For instance, to communicate with the customers so that they can see the identity of the brand, the company stands for verbalizing. In addition, emails should be created for the ease of use. The content should be explicit containing a guidance to the other parts of email. For example, one of the researches showed that people tend to read the content in F shape; therefore, it is wise to place there the most important information. Finally, one of the most significant factors in creating emails that grab customers’ attention is language. It has been proven that a person who is labeled tends to live up to the standard. For instance, people named a diamond customer by Starbucks buy more coffee after the nomination.
Consistency in Email Marketing
It was already discussed that timing is important when designing an email marketing campaign. It is true about both the time of launching the campaign as well as the frequency of the sent emails. The content the company shares in its emails has to be engaging, and the frequency of the communication has to be wise so that the customers would not forget the brand. It is crucial not to “overlook the importance of ensuring some kind of consistency in email efforts” (Jenkins, 2008). Consistency means that the company and customers go through a number of stages starting from educating the prospective clients about the brand to build trust which, in turn, results in greater sale volumes and more profits.
Among the vast majority of email providers, some can offer special tools for advertising through emails, and the design of some is more attractive. Here are some of the most popular email providers: www.gmail.com, www.yahoo.com, www.hotmail.com, www.zoho.com, www.mail.com, www.gmx.com, www.fastmail.fm, www.hushmail.com, www.inbox.com, etc. The choice of the distribution channel is highly dependent on what email provider the majority of customers use.
In conclusion, email marketing plays an important role in this era of digitalization. All the tips discussed above contribute to designing an effective email marketing campaign which, in turn, contributes to the company’s competitive advantage. Consequently, in order to earn more money, the company has to master the art of sending emails.