Email Marketing; How useful is it today?

Email marketing is perhaps one of the most popular ways of reaching out to potential customers. It has been one of the most popular marketing tools since as long as the internet started.

Considering that a lot of things have changed in the way people shop on-line, how relevant and useful is Email Marketing today?

If we consider the amount of spam most of us receive, almost all the emails that come to us from unknown sources get junked. However, not all the emails that we receive get junked. Some of the reasons why I want to open and read the message in the email are when :

1. From known brands
2. I have purchased from them before
3. There are early bird prizes, Discount coupon offers
4. There are free gifts
5. Information on products, guides, etc

In my opinion email marketing is as important today as it was earlier. However, the way it is used has evolved over the years keeping in mind the changing mindsets and technologies. Sending out bulk emails to unknown recipients may not do the trick any more, most of it will land in the spam folders, and therefore the conversion rates would be very low. Today marketers can use email marketing in creative ways to engage users, and to tempt existing customers into buying more products. For example, whenever we buy a product on-line, we register using our email id, and we get order confirmations on our email id, this is a chance for marketers to get creative.A very creative subject line is the start of an effective email campaign.

The best way to attract and retain interest is to reach out to these newly converted customers and ask for their feedback (it is nice to include links in the email regarding new offers, complementary offer, apps). The next email could be about new offers, discounts, existing customer privileges, and a number of things, and so on …keeping the communication going is very important.

Content plays a very important role in email marketing. Effective content provides content in an attractive and informative way so that it persuades the potential customer to click and be lead to the landing page. The landing page should be in sync with the message in the email, this is very important because a misguided message can lead to very negative customer experience. In addition to the content, a very clear privacy policy and trustworthiness of the source from where the email has been sent, plays a significant role in converting potential customers into paying customers.

How often should emails be sent out?

There needs to be a balance, if there are too many emails, people may not feel tempted to look at it, however emails at regular frequencies will help in cementing relationships. Injecting a healthy dose of email marketing in your on-line marketing activities will help in ensuring that your customers stay connected, and the chances of getting repeat customers will increase.

Today when social networking is where most of the marketers are considering spending their dollars on, it makes sense to establish relationships with customers over networking sites and send out periodic emails so that they remember you, it is easy to fall prey to out of sight and out of mind… A customer-friendly return policy is something that should be highlighted in every email so that customers feel free to try out your products (especially if you are a lesser-known brand) and otherwise as well.

Email marketing is here to stay; this is a powerful tool to retain and gain new customers. Emailing and sending out text messages are the most popular sources of staying in touch with customers. Why not take this opportunity to create emails that are of value to your customers (offers, information) and in turn help you in retaining and getting repeat customers.

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