Prior to the internet age, direct response advertising took the form of mailing salesletters to prospective buyers or taking large print ads or classified ads in newspapers and other publications. This was very effective, and still is today when done properly. However, it’s very expensive and can take a long time to see a return.
Email marketing is a simpler and faster form of direct response advertising that takes advantage of the speed and efficiency of email to send ad campaigns and other marketing materials to potential customers. A business can also use email to send newsletters, product specials and other useful information to repeat customers in order to stay in the front of their minds.
One of the main advantages of email marketing is that it costs much less than other forms of advertising. It’s also much more targeted since people have had to opt-in to a list and are asking to get information. Marketing efforts aren’t wasted on people who aren’t interested.
Since email is delivered in seconds, advertising campaigns can be launched when an offer is hot and the results can be instantaneous. There is no waiting around for a customer to re-visit a website to see a special offer.
I’d like to take a look at the ways that email marketing software can help a business streamline their email marketing operations.
Email software can be used to simplify the process of creating and sending emails to contact lists of all sizes. These software applications come with designs and email templates that are easy to use and walk a user through the whole process. They allow a user to:
- Easily gather contact information
- Run reports that can track and analyze the effectiveness of an advertising campaign
- See which emails were bounced, forwarded and opened (and the date they were opened)
- Track click through rates and unsubscribe requests
When choosing an email software application, a few of the main things to look for are:
- Good product support in the form on phone, email or live chat
- 5 – 10 MB of image hosting
- A large number of professionally designed templates
- The ability to easily manage contact lists and unsubscribes
- The ability to track emails that were opened, forwarded, bounced and clicked through
An important thing to note is that while email software can help to make email marketing efforts more efficient, it’s only part of an overall strategy. It’s also important to understand the customers and get their insights in order to provide them with useful, relevant information. This is something that no software application can provide.
Have you used email marketing in your business? I’d like to hear some creative ways you have used email marketing software to make your business more efficient.