Technology is revolutionizing the way businesses communicate with current and prospective customers.
Email marketing is the most cost-effective method for your small business to stay in touch with your customer base. But to make the most if it, you have to understand how it works and how you can maximize its impact.
What is "email marketing"?
Email marketing is a fast, convenient and cost-efficient way to communicate with your customers or clients. Instead of receiving a piece of paper in their mailbox customers receive an email in their inbox, complete with hyperlinks and other features that elicit an immediate response. As a small business owner, it's important to know that there are two different kinds of email marketing campaigns. The first type of campaign uses your business' own permission-based email list, while the second type uses opt-in rental lists.
How does email marketing work?
If you understand the technology, an email marketing campaign really isn't difficult. You create an email with built-in response features (e.g. a promotional offer, a newsletter, etc.) to communicate with your customers, generate traffic to your website, or make sales. If you don't understand the technology, email marketing companies make it even easier with services that create, deliver, and measure the results of your email marketing efforts. Although it is usually more effective to use your own email list, opt-in rental lists can also be effective – but expect to pay .15 to .40 per email address.
What are the benefits of email marketing for small businesses?
For small business owners, the most important benefit of email marketing is cost. With a relatively small investment you can reach your entire customer base, generate additional sales, and boost profitability. If you use your own email list, you can almost bank on email marketing response rates of 15% or more.
Which is better: Do-it-yourself or outsourcing?
The majority of small business owners find that it's best to outsource their email marketing initiatives to an email marketing services provider. In tech-speak, your basic email client isn't designed to conduct an effective email marketing campaign. Professional email marketers have the technology and relationships to make sure your emails make it through the spam filters and into the inboxes of the people you want to see them. They can also track the effectiveness of your campaign and tell you which headlines, subject lines, and special offers get the best responses from your customers.