Is Email Marketing effective?
E-mails are sent and received almost instantly, whether the recipient is a few doors away or thousands of miles away. This is why the use of e-mail streamlines internal and external communications, accelerates and facilitates the transmission and dissemination of critical information and allows for near-real-time updates. The continuous flow of relevant information makes employees and managers more efficient and productive and allows them to respond quickly to problems.
E-mails remain in the user’s inbox unless they are intentionally deleted, and both standalone messaging software and web messaging services offer a search and filtering capability that allows a particular message to be tracked in seconds. The result is a much more efficient virtual paper trail than printed documents stored in a drawer, making it much easier to extract important information from e-mail communications.
E-mail is one of the most cost-effective ways for an organization to communicate both internally and externally. Small businesses can easily sign up to receive free emails from suppliers such as Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail; even large businesses have relatively low overhead costs to maintain a dedicated email server. The cost gap is particularly significant when considering mass communication. For example, the costs of printing and delivering a set of flyers or letters are much higher than sending information by e-mail.
E-mail allows companies to effectively and efficiently distribute information about their products and services to their current and potential customers. For example, a clothing company could create a mailing list to which anyone can subscribe, and then send weekly emails to all those on the list who have new additions to the catalog. Similarly, a company specializing in management software can contact other companies directly by email to see if they can find their services useful.
Email can significantly improve customer service. Encouraging customers to contact you via email can be mutually beneficial they don’t have to wait or call during business hours, and you don’t have to answer immediately what staff can release for answering the phone.
However, it is important to respect the label when offering customer service via email. Maintain fast, professional and helpful communication. If necessary, consider using features such as automatic replies, confirmations, ticketing and tracking systems to help you manage your customer service.
In business, the benefits of email are undeniable. Email is a fast and simple, cost-effective and easily documented means of communication.
Email marketing allows you to quickly and cost-effectively send targeted messages to your customers by segmenting your marketing list and customizing your email messages to their preferences.
Unlike other forms of marketing, recipients can easily and quickly send emails to their colleagues or friends. Encouraging them to do so is called viral marketing.
Email marketing is effective because it is a personal and urgent interaction. When you create your email campaigns, you should do so:
- Use customer segmentation to control your campaigns
- Clearly indicate the “call to action” and place it “above the fold” in the email
- Create HTML and text versions to ensure cross-platform compatibility
- Avoid spam to increase deliverability
- Avoid misuse because it is likely to be deleted because it is irrelevant or undesirable.
- Evaluate the success of your campaign
Marketing your products or services via email can be a fast, flexible and cost-effective way to reach new customers and retain existing ones by encouraging repeat visits to the site.
Email marketing allows you to create targeted and personalized messages. This can help you build meaningful relationships with your customers. It can also improve the response rate of your direct marketing campaigns.
However, it is important not to use email marketing too often. Receiving marketing emails can irritate people if they are not relevant, too frequent or undesirable.
The benefits of email marketing include:
Cost-effective — the cost of email marketing can be much lower than that of many other forms of marketing. There are no advertising, printing or media space costs.
Authorization-based — Your marketing list consists of people who have actively chosen to receive emails from you. Customers who are really interested in your products and/or services are more likely to be interested in your company.
Flexible design — you can send text, graphics or attachments based on what best fits your message. A choice of design options gives you the opportunity to communicate your company’s brand image.
Scalable — Email marketing can be used to reach a large or smaller audience.
Customization and segmentation — email marketing can be used to customize messages. You can also segment your marketing list so that your customers receive messages that interest them from you, which will help increase their commitment to you.
Shareable — it’s easy for people to forward and share your email content to build your reputation through word of mouth or viral marketing. This can help new customers become followers of your brand.
Conversions and revenue growth — when you have a new promotion, people can click on the links and immediately follow your call to action. Email marketing is also effective at every step of the purchasing process. For example, you can influence someone who chooses your product, maintain customer relations after the transaction and encourage future purchases.
Measurable — You can evaluate the success of a campaign using web analytics software. You can easily test different texts, subject lines and designs to see which ones are most effective. This allows you to optimize your future campaigns.
Benchmark — Compare your results with those of other companies in your industry. There are many free email marketing benchmarking reports — you can find them by doing an online search. Benchmarking data can help you assess and prioritize opportunities for improvement.
Pre-shipment test — A/B testing of subject lines, prompts, personalization, e-mail copying, images or messages ensures that the content of your e-mail is as effective as possible before it is sent.
Less intrusive — unlike telemarketing, recipients can read your message at their convenience. Customers can also update their preferences when they want to receive other messages from you, or unsubscribe when they no longer want to receive your emails.
Environmentally friendly — Email marketing is better for the environment than direct mail because nothing is printed.
Save time — through automation, you can send emails to your customers based on an action they have taken on your website — for example, send a welcome email when a user registers on your website, or send an email with a discount when the user leaves an online shopping cart. Once you have created a template, you can reuse it for many email campaigns.
Real-time marketing — Email marketing allows you to interact with your customers in real-time. With automated triggers such as website activity, recent purchases or shopping cart abandonment, you can reach the right audience, at the right time, in the right place and with the right offer.
Some of the potential problems of email marketing are:
Spam — commercial emails or “spam” irritate consumers. If your messages don’t target the right people, the recipient can delete your email or unsubscribe. You need to ensure that your email marketing is compliant with privacy policies and correctly directed to the people who want to receive it. The click-through rate for non-targeted email is likely to be very low. See the Email Marketing and Privacy Act.
Unsubscribed emails — poorly designed emails may not be delivered. Emails that use certain keywords or spam characters in the subject title or content of the email, e.g. ££££££££££, FREE, click here, are likely to be filtered by email software and internet service providers. If you do not update your marketing lists you will find that incorrect email addresses will result in your messages not reaching the right person.
Design Issues — Your email must be designed to appear as it should on multiple devices and email providers. You may be faced with a compromise between design and functionality. Some people choose to receive only text emails, think about what your message will look like when it does.
Size issues — Files must be small enough to download quickly. Loading emails with lots of pictures can take too long, which can frustrate your audience and make them lose interest.
Resources and skills — to succeed in an email campaign, you need to make sure you have the right copy, design and marketing list. If you don’t have the time or skills in-house, consider outsourcing some of these elements.
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